HH-43 Huskie: Wikis


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HH-43 Huskie
HH-43 Huskie
Role Firefighting/rescue
Manufacturer Kaman Aircraft
Status Retired
Primary users USAF
United States Marine Corps
United States Navy
Developed from Kaman HUK

The Kaman HH-43 Huskie was a helicopter used by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps in the 1950s through 1970s. It was primarily used for aircraft firefighting and rescue. It was originally designated as the HTK and HUK by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.


Design and development

The Huskie had an unusual inter-meshing contra-rotating twin-rotor arrangement with control effected by servo-flaps. The first prototype flew in 1947 and was adopted by the U.S. Navy with a piston-engine. It was later adopted by the Air Force in a turboshaft HH-43B and F versions.

Operational history

This aircraft saw use in the Vietnam War with several detachments of the Pacific Air Rescue Center, the 33d, 36th, 37th, and 38th Air Rescue Squadrons, and the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, where the aircraft was known by its call sign moniker "Pedro." The HH-43 was eventually replaced by newer aircraft in the early 1970s.[1]


A Huskie aids a firefighting operation.
two two-seat aircraft for evaluation
three-seat production version for the United States Navy, later became TH-43A, 29 built
one example for evaluation by the United States Coast Guard
one example for static tests as a drone
prototype of United States Marine Corps version, two built
United States Marine Corps version powered by a 600 hp R-1340-48 Wasp; later became OH-43D, 81 built
United States Navy version of the HOK-1; later became UH-43C, 24 built
USAF version of the HOK-1; later became the HH-43A, 18 built
post-1962 designation of the H-43A
H-43A powered by a 860shp T-53-L-1B, three-seats and full rescue equipment; later became HH-43B, 200-built
post-1962 designation of the H-43B
post-1962 designation of the HUK-1
post-1962 designation of the HOK-1
post-1962 designation of the HTK-1
HH-43B powered by a 825 shp T-53-L-11A with a reduced diameter rotors, 42 built and conversions from HH-43B
One OH-43D converted to drone configuration


 United States


HH-43 (no variant designated)
  • The Midland Air Museum in Coventry, England is carrying out a restoration on HH-43B, serial number 62-4535. The aircraft is usually viewable on display; 24535 is one of only two examples on display in the UK.
  • The Olympic Flight Museum in Olympia, Washington has an airworthy HH-43B Huskie on display.[2]
  • The Military Firefighter Heritage Display on Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas has a restored H-43B on display. The tail number displayed after restoration is 58-1481, but should probably be 58-1841 (its number before restoration, and a number corresponding to an H-43B). This Huskie was a ground trainer (1959-1976) at Sheppard AFB, so it retained the square-tail empennage that was removed from almost all other Huskies after repeated rotor strikes in heavy winds.
Kaman HOK-1 (OH-43D) Huskie at Pima Air & Space Museum

In addition to museum displays, there are a number of Huskies which are in private hands, purchased for agricultural or general operations.

Specifications (HH-43F)

Data from National Museum of the Air Force fact sheet[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Four: two pilots, two rescue crew
  • Length: 25 ft 0 in (7.6 m)
  • Main rotor diameter: 2× 47 ft in (14.3 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 2 in ( m)
  • Gross weight: 9,150 lb (4,150 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming T53 turboshaft, 860 hp (640 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 120 mph (190 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 105 mph (169 km/h)
  • Range: 185 miles (298 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists


  1. ^ "Vietnam Air Losses", Chris Hobson, Midland Publishing, Hinckley, LE10 3EY, UK, c2001, P. 258, ISBN 1-85780-115-6
  2. ^ HH-43 Huskie - Olympic Flight Museum Collection, Olympia WA

External links



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