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HH-43 Huskie

HH-43 Huskie
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SAR/Water Bomber
Lycoming turboshaft
860 hp.
4,600 lbs.
9,150 lbs.
25' 0"
17' 2"
2 x 47'
105 mph
120 mph
25,000 feet
185 miles


The HH-43 Huskie, developed after WWII by Kaman, was primarily used by the U.S.A.F. for search and rescue, and as a water bomber. All Kaman helicopters are built with twin intermeshing rotors, as was the HH-43 Huskie.

The cockpit of the HH-43 Huskie provided its pilots with excellent visibility. Despite its intermeshing rotor system, the controls were similar to a conventional helicopter. Large rear tail fins gave additional directional control at speed. The engine exhaust extended beyond the helicopter's tail.

The landing gear of the HH-43 Huskie were on four struts, with the forward struts longer than the rears. Wide clam shell doors provided easy access at the rear of the cabin.  The shorter rear struts made cargo loading and offloading easier.

The unique rotor system of the HH-43 Huskie provided a responsive, steady platform, especially for foam or water drops. The helicopter generally carried a pair of para-jumper medics for rescue missions.

The HH-43 Huskie set seven world records for its time, including highest altitude at 29,846 feet.

HH-43 Huskie in Vietnam.

HH-43 Huskie helicopters were deployed in Vietnam during the early years of the War. The helicopters had a camouflage paint scheme and were known for their ability to operate in small jungle clearings. Due to their short range, the HH-43 was used primarily over South Vietnam, although they sometimes rescued pilots behind enemy lines. For medivac work the Huskie could hold four stretchers and a medic.

The HH-43 was employed over the Mekong Delta for making deliveries to U.S. Navy Swift boats. The U.S. Navy also used the helicopter for reconnaissance and pilot training.

As a water bomber, the HH-43 Huskie was able to carry water or foam in a tank from its under fuselage sling. It could also seat from eight to twelve with their equipment.

HH-43 Huskie S&R.

Search and Rescue HH-43 Huskie helicopters in the U.S. had a silver and red color scheme. Their rotor blades could be positioned front to back for storage in tight spaces.

The U.S.A.F. deployed 263 HH-43 Huskie helicopters, with the last one received in 1968. Some retired Huskie helicopters were used for logging operations after they were retired from military duties. We only know of one still flying today.

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