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Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH

United States (1963)
Picture of Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter
Picture of Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter Picture of Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter
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The Gyrodyne H-50 DASH served the U.S. military primarily in the ASW role for a number of decades before becoming a target tug.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 9/11/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

To meet the rapidly expanding capabilities of the Soviet submarine force in the late-1950s and early-1960s, the United States Navy enacted the "Fleet Rehabilitation And Modernization" (FRAM) program allowing older, World War 2-era surface warships (namely destroyers) to be quickly and appropriately modernized for future service as submarine hunters. Since the wartime vessels were designed with surface combat in mind, the program was intended to configure the existing lot to become effective Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) platforms. Veterans like USS Laffey (DD-724) were given the conversion and, part of her augmented capabilities included facilities to operate the Gyrodyne QH-50 "DASH" (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) unmanned drone aircraft.

Seven hundred fifty-five of the type were built and operators included both the United States Navy and Army services as well as the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force for a time. Production ranged from 1962 to 1969 with service introduction occurring in 1963. A first-flight was recorded in 1959.

Gyrodyne based its DASH on the RON Rotorcycle product - a single-seat manned, scout-minded helicopter system developed for the United States Navy (specifically the USMC) and first-flown on November 23rd, 1955. It was itself an evolution of the Bendix Model 2C and ten were built. The new unmanned helicopter, launched from warship decks and expendable as military assets (many off-the-shelf components were used in its construction), was realized through the "DSN-1" and this aircraft was driven by a Porsche YO-95-6 series piston engine of 72 horsepower. A pair of two-bladed main rotors were set coaxially (eliminating torque) over the design on a single mast. The body of the aircraft was essentially the exposed engine itself with no skinning used. The undercarriage was a simple skid arrangement - rugged enough for deck operations. Initial armament was a single Mark 43 series torpedo. The DSN-1 served as pre-production models and nine were completed.


Picture of the Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter
Picture of the Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter


Control was by remote with one operator managing the take-off and landing actions and primary operation handled by another operator in the Combat Information Center (CIC) section of the warship. Early-form aircraft did not carry cameras so the operators were essentially "flying blind" post-take-off.

Then followed the DSN-2 which carried two of the Porsche engines for increased power though only a single torpedo was still carried. Considered another pre-production quality model, the DSN-2 series was produced in just three examples.

The DSN-3 shifted to a Boeing T50-4 turboshaft engine which increased power (300 horsepower), allowing the aircraft to carry into battle two of the Mark 43 torpedoes. Three hundred seventy-three of this mark were produced.

After the 1962 U.S. military realignment, the DSN series was redesignated to "QH-50" and this resulted in the DSN-1 becoming the "QH-50A", the DSN-2 becoming the "QH-50B" and the DSN-3 becoming the "QH-50C". The QH-50D carried a more powerful Boeing T50-12 turboshaft engine of 365 horsepower output and a further 377 aircraft followed in production based on this standard.

The QH-50DM mark were ten DASH drones with modified Boeing engines and intended for the United States Army as reconnaissance platforms. They served in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) from September of 1959 until April of 1975 (the DASH program officially ended in 1969).

The YQH-50E were a collection of three DASH aircraft fitted with Allison T63-A-5A engines. The QH-50F was to be its in-service designation but the mark was not adopted. The QH-50H was yet-another proposed service model, this to carry two engines with wider-span rotor blades and a larger body. However it too was not adopted.

The Japanese Navy operated a stock of twenty DASH drones from several of its destroyer groups. These lasted until 1977.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (92mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Gyrodyne QH-50C's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
755
755


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1963
Type: Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Gyrodyne Company of America - USA
Production: 755
Global Operators:
Japan; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Gyrodyne QH-50C model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
12.96 ft


Meters
3.95 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
20.01 ft


Meters
6.1 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.68 ft


Meters
2.95 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,157 lb


Kilograms
525 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,282 lb


Kilograms
1,035 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Boeing T50-BO-8A turboshaft engine developing 300 horsepower driving 2 x two-bladed main rotors in a co-axial configuration.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
92 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
148 kph


Knots
80 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
82 mi


Kilometers
132 km


Nautical Miles
71 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
16,404 ft


Meters
5,000 m


Miles
3.11 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,880 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
573 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

1 OR 2 x Mk 44 OR Mk 46 series torpedoes.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• QH-50 - Base Series Designation
• DSN-1 - Initial form; preproduction model; nine examples completed; fitted with 1 x Porsche YO-95-6 piston engine of 72 horsepower.
• DSN-2 - Secondary form; preproduction model; three examples completed; fitted with 2 x Porsche engines.
• DSN-3 - Third form; production model; 373 examples completed; 1 x Boeing T50-4 turboshaft engine of 255 horsepower.
• QH-50A - Redesignation of DSN-1 in 1962.
• QH-50B - Redesignation of DSN-2 in 1962.
• QH-50C - Redesignation of DSN-3 in 1962.
• QH-50D - Boeing T50-12 turboshaft engine of 365 horsepower; 377 examples delivered.
• QH-50DM - U.S. Army reconnaissance model for Vietnam War service; ten examples modified.
• YQH-50E - Developmental model with Allison T63-A-5A engine; three examples completed.
• QH-50F - Proposed in-service designation for YQH-50E
• QH-50H - Proposed twin-engined QH-50F model; widened main rotor blades; enlarged fuselage.