Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Sikorsky
Markings
273rd Aviation Company, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Designation
CH-54A
Serial Number
68-18437

Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe

In 1959, Sikorsky Aircraft began testing of a proof-of-concept heavy lift helicopter called the S-60. Initial tests proved successful and the U.S. Navy and Army showed interest in the concept. Sikorsky immediately began development of a more powerful version of the helicopter powered by two turbo-shaft engines. Designated the S-64 by Sikorsky and the H-54A by the U.S. Army it made its first flight in May 1962. The U.S. Army named the helicopter Tarhe, but most people call them Skycranes. The CH-54 served through the last years of the Vietnam War and finally left military service in the early 1990s. Many surplus Skycranes have found new uses in civilian hands being widely used for fighting forest fires and as heavy lift aircraft for erecting electrical towers and in the timber industry.

Specifications
Wingspan 72 ft
Length 70 ft 3 in
Height 18 ft 7 in
Weight 42,000 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 126 mph
Service Ceiling 9,000 ft
Range 230 miles
Engines 2 Pratt & Whitney T73-P-1 turbo shaft 4,000 hp each
Crew 3