Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhee - Pima ASM, Tucson, AZ
Posted by: kb7ywl
N 32° 08.348 W 110° 52.081
12S E 512447 N 3555864
Quick Description: Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhee s/n 68-18437
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 3/24/2012 10:10:57 AM
Waymark Code: WME25D
The Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe is a twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter designed by Sikorsky Aircraft for the US Army. It is named after Tarhe (whose nickname was "The Crane"), an 18th-century chief of the Wyandot Indian tribe. The civil version is the S-64 Skycrane.
Initial work on the Sikorsky "sky-crane" helicopters began in 1958 with the piston-engined Sikorsky S-60.
The first flight of the turboshaft-powered S-64 Skycrane was 9 May 1962, with the Army eventually purchasing 105, designating them CH-54. Used in Vietnam for transport and downed-aircraft retrieval, it was highly successful, thanks to the 'adaptable' nature of the module system first conceived by General James M Gavin in his book Airborne Warfare in 1947. Early pods could not carry troops and external sling-loads at the same time. Advanced pods for the CH-54 could carry troops and cargo underslung at the same time but were not purchased. The Skycrane can not only hold its cargo up and tight against its center spine to lessen drag and eliminate the pendulum effect when flying forward, it can winch vehicles up and down from a hovering position, so the helicopter itself did not need to land. Due to budget cuts the Heavy Lift Helicopter (HLH) program was cancelled and the CH-54s not upgraded with larger engines. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook gradually supplemented it in combat and eventually replaced it in Regular Army aviation units, although CH-54 Skycranes remained in Army National Guard service until the early 1990s. The Soviet Union also created much larger crane helicopters with a similar skeletal design.
A CH-54B holds the record for highest level flight altitude: 36,122ft/11,010m - piloted by James K Church on 4 Nov 1971.
Today, Erickson Air-Crane of Central Point, OR, operates the largest fleet of S-64 helicopters in the world under the name Erickson S-64 Aircrane, which can be equipped with water-dropping equipment (some also have foam/gel capability) for firefighting duties worldwide. After obtaining the type certificate and manufacturing rights in 1992, Erickson remains the manufacturer and world’s largest operator of S-64s.
Type of Aircraft: (make/model): Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhee
Tail Number: (S/N): s/n 68-18437
Construction:: original aircraft
Location (park, airport, museum, etc.): Located at Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, AZ
inside / outside: outside
Pima Air & Space Museum
6000 E Valencia Rd
Tucson, Arizona 85756
Open 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily
Last admittance at 4:00 PM
$12.50-Pima Co Residents
FREE---Children 6 & under
Photo of aircraft (required - will be interesting to see if the aircraft is ever repainted or progress if being restored)
Photo of serial number (required unless there is not one or it is a replica)
Photo(s) of any artwork on the aircraft (optional but interesting)
Tell why you are visiting this waymark along with any other interesting facts or personal experiences about the aircraft not already mentioned.
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