The Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw was an American utility-minded, multi-role helicopter product of the Cold War period (1947-1991) immediate following the events of World War 2 (1939-1945). The type was produced in some 1,728 examples with operators situated all across the globe. The series recorded a maiden flight on November 10th, 1949 and service introduction followed with the United States Air Force (USAF) on April 16th, 1950. The last American examples, operated by the United States Navy (USN), were retired on February 26th, 1969 after decades of faithful service.
The H-19 series had roots in a private venture initiative by the Sikorsky Company. Its initial purpose was to test in-house developments by the concern and this allowed develop to proceed at a quickened pace without government involvement. The United States military, namely the USAF, became interested in the offering and commissioned for the YH-19 to begin formal testing and evaluations. This developmental model went airborne in November of 1949.
As with other American aircraft, the H-19 helicopter series was entirely redesignated after the reformation of 1962. H-19A became the UH-19A, the H-19B the UH-19B, and so on. The S-55 was its commercial market designation and encompassed an A-, B, C-, T-, and QT-model. Commercial conversions were also available creating a whole other line of designations for the family.
In British military service (with production from Westland), the helicopter was known as "Whirlwind" and designated across several marks for various British services - WS-55, HAR, HAS, HCC and so on, each used to cover such roles as SAR, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), general transport, VIP transport etc... These helicopters found operators all their own in Austria, Brazil, Brunei, France, Ghana, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar, and Yugoslavia.
The H-19 was used extensively in the fighting of the Korean War as an unarmed troop and cargo transport where its balance, reliability, and operational capabilities were proven qualities. The USMC were very active with the type throughout the conflict. The USAF operated their fleet in the SAR role and as MEDEVAC platforms. The series saw some limited service in the early American involvement of the Vietnam War 1955-1975) as well until succeeded by the aforementioned H-34 line.
In the Algerian war of Independence (1954-1962), French forces operated the H-19 in both the transport and gunship roles where the type excelled for its ability to hover, loiter and reach out-of-the-way places. The series was also used by France in Indochina for a time - though mainly in the MEDEVAC role.
Overseas production of the H-19 emerged from Westland of Britain, SNCASE of France, and Mitsubishi of Japan.
- Ground Attack
- Close-Air Support (CAS)
- Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
- Navy / Maritime
- Commercial Market
- VIP Transport
- Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)
- Search and Rescue (SAR)
- Special Forces
62.66 ft (19.1 m)
53.02 ft (16.16 m)
13.35 ft (4.07 m)
4,799 lb (2,177 kg)
7,200 lb (3,266 kg)
101 mph (163 kph; 88 kts)
10,499 feet (3,200 m; 1.99 miles)
405 miles (652 km; 352 nm)
700 ft/min (213 m/min)
Usually none but optional as need dictates. Typically medium machine guns / heavy machine guns and rocket pods.
YH-19 - Evaluation Models; 5 such examples produced.
H-19A - 50 examples produced; USAF version based on the YH-19 evaluation model; fitted with R-1340-57 powerplant of 600 horsepower; became the UH-19A model with redesignation in 1962.
SH-19A - Air-Sea Rescue Variant of H-19A model; redesignated to HH-19A in 1962.
H-19B - Fitted with R-1300-3 powerplant of 700 horsepower; 264 examples produced; redesignated to UH-19B in 1962.
SH-19B - Air-Sea Rescue Variant of H-19B model; redesignated to HH-19B in 1962.
H-19C - US Army Version of H-19A model; 72 examples produced; redesignated to UH-19C in 1962.
H-19D - US Army Version of H19B model; 301 examples produced; redesignated to UH-19D in 1962.
HO4S-1 - US Navy Version of H-18A model; 10 examples produced.
H04S-2 - Proposed US Coast Guard Version
H04S-3 - Joint US/Canadian use; became the UH-19F and H04S-3 designations for US/Canada respectively; fitted with R-1300-3 700 horsepower engine.
HO4S-3G - US Coast Guard Version based on the HO4S-3 model; 30 examples produced; redesignated to HH-19G in 1962.
HRS-1 - USMC version based on the HO4S; 60 examples produced; accommodation for up to 8 combat ready personnel.
HRS-2 - Based on the HRS-1 model series with upgrades; 101 examples produced.
HRS-3 - 105 examples produced along with conversions from HRS-2 models; new production models based on HRS-2 models; fitted with R-1300-3 powerplant of 700 horsepower; redesignated to CH-19E in 1962.
HRS-4 - Proposed model based on the HRS-3; fitted with R-1820 radial engine of 1,025 horsepower.
UH-19A - 1962 redesignation of H-19A model
HH-19A - 1962 redesignation of SH-19A model
UH-19B - 1962 redesignation of H-19B model
HH-19B - 1962 redesignation of SH-19B model
CH-19E - 1962 redesignation of HRS-3 model
UH-19F - 1962 redesignation of HO4S-3 model
HH-19G - 1962 redesignation of HO4S-3G model
S-55 - Commercial Version; fitted with R-1340 engine of 600 horsepower.
S-55A - Commercial Version; fitted with R-1300-3 engine of 800 horsepower.
S-55C - Commercial Version; based on the S-55A model; fitted with R-1340 engine of 600 horsepower.
S-55T - Commercial Version; Fitted with Garrett-AIRResearch TSE331-3U-303 engine of 650 horsepower.
S-55QT - Commercial Touring Conversion Model
OHA-S-55 Heli-Camper - Commercial Conversion for promotional use.
OHA-S-55 Nite-Writer - Commercial Conversion for inflight advertising.
OHA-S-55 Bearcat - Commercial Conversion Model for agricultural use.
OHA-S-55 Heavy Lift - Commercial Conversion Model with heavy-duty crane system.
QS-55 Aggressors - Conversion models used as flying targets.
OHA-AT-55 Defender - Armed Military Model
Whirlwind HAR21 - Royal Navy Model based on the HRS-2 model.
Whirlwind HAS22 - Royal Navy Model based on H04S-3 model.