Friday, 15 May 2015

Helicopter nutters

This is a Sikorsky S-58 (which in the US Armed Forces flew as the H-34). It’s a comeback flight for a retired military pilot in this 8 minute video clip. See the description on Youtube for more info.
The S-58 is one of the last of the large piston engined helicopters having a radial engine mounted in the nose with the exhausts exiting on the left side of the aircraft. The era of helicopters of this type being powered by piston engines was soon over as powerful and much more reliable turboshafts took over, and some were even re-engined, hence helicopters of this type are rare today. The S-58 is powered by a Wright R-1820 radial piston engine, a 9 cylinder single row type more commonly found on conventional aircraft, and well known for its use in such types as the B-17 Flying Fortress and Lockheed Lodestar. In the H-34 the engine was rated a little over 1500 hp which was about the most powerful model of it produced.
This is a clip of a Kamov KA-32, an example of which I mentioned last week. The Kamovs are almost unique for their coaxial rotor designs. Apart from the one which was put onto Araon to go to Antartica recently there has only been one in NZ before and apparently it never flew.