Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk

Attack Helicopter Prototype

United States | 1970

"Only one Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk was ever completed and this was lost to a fatal crash in September of 1974."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/18/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Before the US Army's ubiquitous workhorse transport/utility helicopter - the Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk" - had become a household name, the "Black Hawk/Blackhawk" designation served a 1970s Sikorsky attack helicopter endeavor centered around its S-67 model. Of an advanced design for its time, the type was intended to fulfill the new US Army need for a dedicated, heavily armed and armored attack system capable of defeating Soviet armor at range while promoting excellent speeds and crew protection. Initial work began through a 1960s-era US Army initiative known as the Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) program to which Sikorsky submitted its S-66 design (with pivoting tail rotor acting as a "pusher" prop for increased cruise speeds) against the Lockheed CL-840 (to become the ill-fated AH-56 "Cheyenne"). The Lockheed design was eventually selected as the winner though the program was invariably delayed and ultimately cancelled through internal controversy and the AH-56's complicated/expensive nature.

When the AAFSS program ran into issues, Sikorsky went to work on a modified S-66 design, this becoming the S-67 model, with design work beginning in late 1969. The S-67 was conceived of as a dedicated attack helicopter in a primary role with the intention of carrying an assault-minded role as secondary. In the former, the helicopter would have been outfitted with various weaponry - cannon, rocket pods, anti-tank missiles and short-ranged air-to-air missiles for a variable array of mission types. In the latter, the aircraft would have ferried up to eight combat-ready troops into battle under the protection of the aforementioned armament. In this way, the Blackhawk would have largely served the same battlefield role as the more famous Mil MI-24 "Hind" attack/transport helicopter offered by the Soviet Union during the Cold War (with many in service to this day - 2012).

Construction of a flyable prototype ensued in 1970 and a first flight as recorded on August 20th, 1970. On August 9th, 1972, the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne was formally cancelled and this pitted the S-67 against the Bell 309 "King Cobra" in a 1972 evaluation to replace the Cheyenne. However, neither design fit the US Army bid and both designs eventually fell to naught (such was the procurement process of the US Army at the time). This resulted in the US Army developing yet another new attack helicopter program known as the "Advanced Attack Helicopter" which finally produced the excellent Hughes AH-64 "Apache" tank-killing helicopter. The sole S-67 prototype existed as a company showpiece and developmental platform from then on before being lost to an accident.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
Design of the S-67 incorporated a conventional large-diameter five-bladed main rotor assembly tied to a conventional five-bladed tail rotor facing portside. Power was derived from 2 x General Electric T58-GE-5 turboshaft engines, each delivering 1,500 shaft horsepower, supplying the aircraft with a top speed of 193 miles per hour, 220 mile range and a 20,000 foot service ceiling. The two pilots were seated in tandem along a slim-profile fuselage well-forward in the design. Along the sides of the fuselage were sponsons which housed the retractable main undercarriage legs (the rear tail wheel did not retract). Short wings were fitted at the sponson sides and these showcased trailing edge speed brakes which would aid in agility, allowing for quick turning and rapid slowing down. Internally, the cockpit was modernized with a large moving map display, night vision as standard (added later in the program) and advanced attack functionality. All told, the S-67 would have been cleared to fire the then-standard TOW wire-guided anti-tank missile across four underwing hardpoints (wingtips would have been reserved for carrying AIM-9 Sidewinder short-ranged air-to-air missiles for self-defense). The weapons array could be made more balanced through the integration of 70mm rocket pods. Up to 16 x TOW missiles could be carried in packs of four launchers each across the four provided underwing stations. Standard armament included a 30mm cannon housed in the advanced Tactical Armament Turret (TAT-140). The passenger crew compartment was buried within the lower main portion of the fuselage and insulated/soundproofed from the elements and engine noise.

The Sikorsky S-67 continued to be showcased through marketing endeavors for a short time. It managed to set world speed records in late December of 1970 and, in 1974, the US Army requested a ducted tail fan unit to be tested in the design. This provided the Blackhawk with a top speed of 230mph when evaluated though the helicopter was returned to its former form thereafter. The Blackhawk's tenure in the air ended poorly - and tragically - however when, during an acrobatic aerial presentation at the 1974 Farnborough Air Show, the sole S-67 prototype crashed into the ground. Pilot Stu Craig was killed on impact while pilot Kurt Cannon died nine days later. This signified an inglorious end to the promising S-67 design.

The Blackhawk name emerged once again after the US Army adoption of the Sikorsky S-70 design as the UH-60 "Black Hawk" of 1979.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk Attack Helicopter Prototype.
1 x General Electric T58-GE-5 turboshaft engines developing 1,500 shaft horsepower each driving five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
193 mph
311 kph | 168 kts
Max Speed
16,995 ft
5,180 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
220 miles
354 km | 191 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk Attack Helicopter Prototype.
74.1 ft
22.60 m
O/A Length
62.0 ft
(18.90 m)
O/A Width
15.0 ft
(4.57 m)
O/A Height
12,522 lb
(5,680 kg)
Empty Weight
24,251 lb
(11,000 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk Attack Helicopter Prototype .
1 x 30mm cannon in nose turret

4x4 (16) x TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) OR 4x4 76 x 70mm 19-shot rocket pods on wing stubs.
2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles on wing tips.
Notable series variants as part of the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk family line.
S-67 - Base Series Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

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

[ United States (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (193mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 2
Image of the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk
Image from the Public Domain.
2 / 2
Image of the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk Attack Helicopter Prototype appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 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 Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

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