×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Scale (2024) Special Forces

Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant


Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter


United States | 1967



"The Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant distinguished itself in rescue operations of downed American airmen throughout the Vietnam War."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter.
2 x General Electric T58-GE-5 turboshaft engines of 1,500 horsepower each driving 5-blade main rotor and 5-bladed tail rotor.
Propulsion
153 mph
247 kph | 133 kts
Max Speed
21,001 ft
6,401 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
779 miles
1,253 km | 677 nm
Operational Range
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter.
4
(MANNED)
Crew
73.0 ft
22.25 m
O/A Length
62.3 ft
(19.00 m)
O/A Width
18.1 ft
(5.52 m)
O/A Height
12,346 lb
(5,600 kg)
Empty Weight
22,051 lb
(10,002 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter .
TYPICAL:
2 x 7.62mm M60 General Purpose Machine Guns
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant family line.
HH-3E "Jolly Green Giant" - S-61R / CH-3C "stretched" fuselage variant developed specially for the United States Air Force; rear-loading freight ramp.


Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/28/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The HH-3E "Jolly Green Giant" was a specialized development of the original Sikorsky CH-3 transport helicopter. The HH-3E was specifically designed for Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) which required long operational ranges, loitering times and hovering qualities and appeared during the American involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Due to its "combat" SAR classification, the HH-3E was purposely developed with extra protection for the crew and systems when operating in a theater of war. The HH-3E Jolly Green Giant is no longer in service with US military forces.

The Sikorsky CH-3E "Sea King" production model was selected for conversion to the CSAR role across fifty total airframes (the CH-3E was an offshoot of the Sikorsky S-61R product model). These helicopters were given a large rear powered ramp for ease of access to the cargo hold, self-sealing fuel tanks to counter the threat of small arms fire and armoring to increase crew survivability. Additionally, the CH-3E's were given armament for self-defense and a powered hoist for bringing up downed airmen. The hull was sealed to promote water-landings. In-flight refueling was made possible by way of a probe seated to the lower right of the fuselage. Overall, the airframe retained much of the general look and exact layout of the CH-3E when it in its revised HH-3E form.

Initial HH-3E units were deployed to Southeast Asia beginning in 1967 with the United States Air Force. From there, no part of the theater was out of reach from the high endurance mounts and HH-3E crews went to work, sometimes under lethal operating conditions, in rescuing their fallen comrades. Power was served through a pairing of General Electric T58-GE-5 series turboshaft engines rated at 1,500 horsepower each, powering a five-bladed main rotor and five-bladed tail rotor. The design was characterized by its large, deep fuselage to which the engines were mounted along the roof and the raised tail unit aft and above the cargo ramp area. Sponsons along the sides of the hull allowed for waterborne landings. The cockpit sat the two pilots and window panes dotted the sides of the fuselage. The wheeled undercarriage was retractable. A typical crew of four included the pilots, a flight mechanic and dedicated machine gunner. The HH-3E was generally armed with 2 x 7.62mm M60 General Purpose Machine Guns for suppression of enemy elements. The internal hold could house up to 25 passengers or 15 medical litters along with 2 medical specialists.

HH-3E systems were based in Udorn Air Base in Thailand and out of Da Nang Air Base of South Vietnam. The helicopter was a participant in the Son Tay prison camp operation of 1970. The operation involved some 50 US commandos in a raid attempting to rescue as many as 80 prisoners of war from the North Vietnam establishment. At least 29 US Air Force aircraft directly took part in the raid including HH-3Es. Much to the dismay of the rescuers, the prison was devoid of prisoners during the operation, they having been moved to another facility. The mission technically became something of a "failed success" for no POWs were released from captivity but worldwide attention was brought to North Vietnam treatment of their prisoners.

The Vietnam War certainly illustrated the bravery and sacrifice of Jolly Green Giant crews for they were awarded over 190 Silver Stars, 24 Air Force Crosses and even one Medal of Honor. HH-3E crews were exposed to very harrowing conditions during a typical work day - bullet riddled airframes, loss of windscreens and fractured rotor assemblies. It was not uncommon for a single aircraft to have rescued dozens of downed airmen across the theater of war. One of the more famous of the type became "Jolly Green 22" which is retained on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio - the vehicle having served 32 months in Vietnam skies.

Service for the HH-3E did not end with the conclusion of the Vietnam War for its special capabilities were put to good use in Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Again, the system served down airmen well and managed to further strengthen the history of this fine aircraft. Its involvement in the Gulf War would signal the end of the HH-3E line for the US Air Force retired its fleet by the end of 1995, bringing an end to a storied era.

The United States Coast Guard fielded a similar Sikorsky recovery model recognized as the HH-3F "Pelican". This, too, has been retired from active service.

Italy and Tunisia are the two remaining military operators of the S-61R model.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 50 Units

Contractor(s): Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (retired) ]
1 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
2 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
3 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
4 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
5 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
6 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted
7 / 7
Image of the Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted

Going Further...
The Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopter appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
COLD WAR AIRCRAFT
GULF WAR AIRCRAFT
VIETNAM WAR AIRCRAFT
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks of the World U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols Breakdown U.S. 5-Star Generals List WWII Weapons by Country

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. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)