×
Military Pay Scale Military Ranks Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines
HOME
AVIATION / AEROSPACE
MODERN AIR FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
MODERN AIRCRAFT
VIETNAM WAR

Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe / Erickson S-64 Skycrane


Heavy-Lift Cargo / Firefighting Helicopter


Aviation / Aerospace

1 / 30
Front right side view of an Erickson Skycrane helicopter on display; color
2 / 30
Distant right side view of an Erickson Skycrane helicopter on display; color
3 / 30
Close-up detail view of the main rotor mast on an Erickson Skycrane helicopter on display; color
4 / 30
Low-angled right side view of an incoming Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter; color
5 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter towing the M551 Sheridan tank; color
6 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter in forward operations during the Vietnam War; color
7 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter brings in an Army utility truck; color
8 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter with specialized ski undercarriage; color
9 / 30
A pair of modified Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopters in flight; color
10 / 30
An Erickson S-64 Skycrane helicopter at rest; color
11 / 30
Underside left hand view of a Sikorsky S-64 Tarhe helicopter hauling a field gun; color
12 / 30
Drawing of some of the important internal components of the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter
13 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter with special cargo; color
14 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter hovers in over its cargo; color
15 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter towing another helicopter; color
16 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter readies its cargo; color
17 / 30
A modified Erickson Skycrane helicopter assists in fighting wildfires; color
18 / 30
An Erickson Skycrane helicopter moves in to secure another water load; color
19 / 30
Distant shot of a hovering Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter; color
20 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter moves a bridge piece into position; color
21 / 30
Yes, the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter can even move a house
22 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter transports an aircraft fuselage
23 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter moves two Huey helicopters to their new home
24 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter in-flight with a specialized payload
25 / 30
Close-up view of the forward fuselage of a Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter
26 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter secures yet another cargo load
27 / 30
A SIkorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter takes off with a collectin of field artillery
28 / 30
The Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter takes up another load of cargo
29 / 30
The Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe tows another helicopter into place
30 / 30
A Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe helicopter moves a tractor into position

The unique Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane heavy-lift helicopter also spawned a military form in the CH-54 Tarhe for the United States Army.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 2/3/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The original Sikorsky S-60 proved itself as a heavy-lift helicopter through its sole example completed. This model was born from the established CH-47 "Mojave" (detailed elsewhere on this site) of the United States military and used as the basis for the dimensionally larger S-64 "Skycrane" heavy-lift series. The large helicopter - easily identifiable by its largely missing fuselage section - has seen consistent service in the civilian market since introduction in the 1960s. It served as the base design for the military-minded CH-54 "Tarhe" line as well. A prototype went airborne for the first time on May 9th, 1962 and, in 1992, production rights for the series was obtained by Erickson Air-Crane which has taken on manufacture of the large helicopter from Sikorsky since.

Total production of S-64 units was 110 beginning with the original S-64 built in three examples. These were followed by six evaluation models for the United States Army as the S-64A. From that came the S-64B which was the civilian-minded version of the Army's CH-54A model and seven were produced. Under Erickson, the line was broadened to include the S-64E and S-64F model marks, these becoming upgraded forms of the CH-54A and CH-54B respectively - the F-model introducing Pratt & Whitney JFTD12-5A series engines.

Civilian market operators of the S-64 are found in Italy, South Korea and the United States. Its primary role is in firefighting where its unique configuration allows the helicopter to carry a considerable water load over uneven terrain, dropping its contents onto raging wildfires with the hope of putting the fire source out.

Production of the military-minded Tarhe yielded 105 total units of its own beginning with the six YCH-54A pre-production models. These were followed by the CH-54A production form which fitted 2 x PW T73-P-1 series turboshaft engines of 4,500 horsepower and 54 examples were built to the standard. The CH-54B saw an increase in overall weight as well as a twin-wheeled undercarriage introduced while power was now served through PW T73-P799 turboshaft engines of 4,800 horsepower. 37 examples were manufactured.

Beyond its service with the United States Army, the CH-54 has been featured by the NASA service of the United States for various program work. In military use, the Tarhe has hauled all manner of heavy objects - from oversized bombs and attack helicopters to combat tanks and cargo containers. A special version even featured skies as its undercarriage.



March 2018 - Flight tests of an S-65 featuring a composite main rotor blade assembly are ongoing. Certification is scheduled for later in 2018 and will be an offered upgrade to E- and F-models as well as to the related CH-54A/B model family. The airfoil on the new blade design is expected to increase overall efficiency of these aging platforms.

February 2020 - An improved Skycrane form, the S-64F+, has been detailed with all-modern powerplants, composite rotors, and modernized avionics suite. In addition to this, an autonomous operating function is being considered through the Sikorsky "Matrix" suite, allowing the fire-fighting forms to operate without a manned crew in danger.

Specifications



Year:
1962
Status
Active, Limited Service
Crew
3
Production
215 Units
Sikorsky Aircraft / Erickson Air-Crane - USA
National flag of Italy National flag of South Korea National flag of United States Italy; South Korea; United States
- Transport
Length:
88.48 ft (26.97 m)
Width:
72.01 ft (21.95 m)
Height:
25.43 ft (7.75 m)
Empty Weight:
19,798 lb (8,980 kg)
MTOW:
46,297 lb (21,000 kg)
(Diff: +26,500lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Sikorsky CH-54B Tarhe production model)
2 x Pratt & Whitney T73-P-700 turboshaft engines developing 4,800 shaft horsepower each powering a six-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor.
Max Speed:
149 mph (240 kph; 130 kts)
Service Ceiling:
18,373 feet (5,600 m; 3.48 miles)
Max Range:
230 miles (370 km; 200 nm)
Rate-of-Climb:
1,330 ft/min (405 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Sikorsky CH-54B Tarhe production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Sikorsky CH-54B Tarhe production model)
YCH-54A - Six Pre-Production Aircraft
CH-54A - Initial Production Model; fitted with 2 x T-73-P1 series turboshaft engines of 4,500 shaft horsepower; 54 examples produced.
CH-54B - Second Production Model; increased weight; based on the CH-54A; fitted with 2 x T-73-P700 turboshaft engines of 4,800 shaft horsepower; 29 examples produced.
S-64 "Skycrane" - Civilian Variant of the US Army CH-54 Tarhe; 3 examples produced.
S-64A - Evaluation Models for the US Army; 6 examples delivered.
S-64E - Civilian Version based on the CH-54A production model for the US Army; 7 examples produced.
S-64 "Aircrane" - Current Civilian Production Form.
S-64E - Upgraded CH-54A production models; single new-build example.
S-64F - UPgraded CH-54B production models; fitted with 2 x Pratt & Whitney JFTD12-5A series engines.
S-64F+ - Proposed all-modern offering with Sikorsky autonomous flight suite (Matrix).
Cockpit image of the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe / Erickson S-64 Skycrane
(Cockpit image represents the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe production model)
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 pioneering aircraft
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 representing modern aircraft
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 War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2021 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-