Sikorsky Ch-53A Sea Stallion



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Sikorsky Ch-53A Sea Stallion

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Sikorsky Ch-53A Sea Stallion
C. 1966
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

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The predecessor of America's largest helicopters today, the CH-53A was first flown in October 1964 and entered service in 1966. With 16,000 lbs. of cargo capacity, this large, all-weather capable helicopter could carry two jeeps, a 105-mm howitzer, or 38 fully equipped combat troops, giving the Marines valuable mobility in Vietnam. The CH-53A has also demonstrated the impressive ability to perform loops and barrel rolls, and in April 1968, a Marine Corps CH-53A made the first automatic terrain clearance flight in helicopter history. For shipboard stowage, the Sea Stallion's rotor blades and tail pylon fold hydraulically.
The helicopter on display was the third CM-53A to roll off the production line. Entering service with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 1968, it was transferred to the Naval Air Development Center, Warminster, Pennsylvania, in 1971. It served as a development aircraft, pioneering advanced technologies. Some of these technologies include Forward Looking Infrared Radar and the Helicopter Night Vision System, both of which gained public attention for their role in Desert Storm. After being involved in research until the Gulf War, this helicopter was retired to the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.

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