STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Sikorsky - USA
LENGTH: 73.16 feet (22.3 meters)
WIDTH: 62.01 feet (18.9 meters)
HEIGHT: 18.08 feet (5.51 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 13,338 pounds (6,050 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 22,046 pounds (10,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x General Electric T58-10 turboshaft engines developing 1,500 horsepower each while driving a five-blade main rotor and five-blade tail rotor.
SPEED (MAX): 165 miles-per-hour (265 kilometers-per-hour; 143 knots)
RANGE: 780 miles (1,255 kilometers; 678 nautical miles)
CEILING: 17,503 feet (5,335 meters; 3.32 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,750 feet-per-minute (533 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Sikorsky HH-3 Pelican Amphibious Medium-Lift Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter.
Entry last updated on 8/7/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Sikorsky S-61R twin-engine platform, evolved from the SH-3 "Sea King" line, was a limited market success for the company. In military service it became the CH-3 "Sea King" and the HH-3 Jolly Green Giant for the United States Air Force (USAF). For the United States Coast Guard, it was represented as the HH-3 "Pelican". The S-61R first-flew in 1959 and was produced from then until the 1970s with service introduction formally beginning in 1961. It remains in very-limited-service with some global operators today (2018).
In USCG service, the HH-3 Pelican was based in the Search and Rescue (SAR) minded HH-3E model and procured in a 1965 initiative. The type would be used in the same all-weather, long-range rescue role and sport a radar fit and a water-landing capability. The Pelican made a career spanning from the late 1960s until the late 1990s, giving decades of faithful service until succeeded by the Sikorsky HH-60J "Jayhawk" line (now MH-60T Jayhawk) modeled from the UH-60 "Black Hawk" family.
In its Coast Guard guise, the HH-3 retained much of the form and function of the earlier aircraft in the series. The piloting crew sat at the nose in a side-by-side arrangement. A radome protruded from the nose section. The cabin was slab-sided and dotted with rectangular windows while sliding doors allowed for entry-exit. At the rear of the fuselage, under the tail stem, was a power-operated loading ramp. Sponsons located to either side of the fuselage not only housed the main landing gear legs but also added a buoyant capability for on-water landings (used in conjunction with the helicopter's boat-like, watertight hull). The entire tricycle arrangement was retractable into the design. The tail unit held the vertical tail fin, horizontal plane and the tail rotor unit (facing portside). Over the top of the fuselage was installed the engine pairing.
United States military services not longer operate the S-61R family of helicopters.
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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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (165mph).
Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Sikorsky HH-3E Pelican's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units