Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
|S-64 Skycrane / Aircrane|
|Erickson S-64E, Elvis|
|First flight||9 May 1962|
|Primary user||Erickson Air-Crane|
|Number built||about 110|
|Developed from||CH-54 Tarhe|
The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter. It is the civil version of the United States Army's CH-54 Tarhe. The S-64 Aircrane is the current production version, manufactured by the Erickson Air-Crane company.
Under Sikorsky 
The Sikorsky S-64 was designed as an enlarged version of the prototype flying crane helicopter, the Sikorsky S-60. The S-64 had a six-blade main rotor and was powered by two 4,050 shaft horsepower (3,020 kW) Pratt & Whitney JFTD12A turboshaft engines. The prototype S-64 first flew on May 9, 1962 and was followed by two further examples for evaluation by the German armed forces. The Germans did not place an order, but the United States Army placed an initial order for six S-64A helicopters (with the designation YCH-54A Tarhe). Seven S-64E variants were built by Sikorsky for the civil market.
Under Erickson 
Since that time, Erickson Air-Crane has become the manufacturer and world's largest operator of S-64 Aircranes and has made over 1,350 changes to the airframe, instrumentation, and payload capabilities of the helicopter. The Aircrane can be fitted with a 2,650-gallon (~10,000 litre) fixed retardant tank to assist in the control of bush fires, and it has proved itself admirably in this role.
S-64 Aircranes have been sold to the Italian and Korean Forest Services for fire suppression and emergency response duties. Those in the Erickson Air-Crane fleet are leased worldwide to organizations, companies, and Federal Government agencies for either short-term or longer term use in fire suppression, civil protection, heavy lift construction, and timber harvesting.
Erickson is manufacturing new S-64s, as well as remanufacturing existing CH-54s. Erickson gives each of its S-64s an individual name, the best-known being "Elvis", used in fighting fires in Australia alongside "The Incredible Hulk" and "Isabelle". Other operators, such as Siller Brothers, have followed with their Sikorsky S-64E, Andy's Pride. The Erickson S-64E nicknamed "Olga" was used to lift the top section of the CN Tower into place in Toronto, Canada.
Sikorsky Skycrane 
- Twin-engined heavy-lift helicopter, 3 built.
- Six test and evaluation helicopters for the US Army.
- Civil version of CH-54A, 7 built.
Erickson Aircrane 
- Upgraded & certified CH-54A helicopters, plus one new build aircraft.
- Upgraded & certified CH-54B helicopters. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney JFTD12-5A engines.
- Columbia Helicopters 
- Erickson Air-Crane 
- Evergreen Helicopters, Inc. 
- Helicopter Transport Services
- Los Angeles City Fire Department (contracted by Erickson Air-Crane)
- San Diego Gas and Electric (contracted by Erickson Air-Crane)
- Los Angeles County Fire Department
- N189AC "Gypsy Lady" – crashed in Rose Valley, California late 2006. Rebuilt and back in service.
- N198AC "Shirley Jean" – S-64F; sold to European Air-Crane c.2006 as I-SEAD; crashed in Italy on 2007-04-26. Aircraft was destroyed in a post-crash fire.
- N248AC "Aurora" – S-64E; named after Aurora State Airport. Home to Columbia Helicopters, former owner of aircraft. Crashed on August 26, 2004 in Corsica, killing its Canadian pilot and French co-pilot. The Air-Crane was chartered by the interior ministry to fight fires on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. It had been fighting a fire and it went down near the village of Ventiseri as it was trying to return to a nearby military base because of a technical problem due to inflight breakup.
Specifications (S-64E) 
Data from The International Directory of Civil Aircraft 
- Crew: 2 (pilot, co-pilot), plus room for one rear-facing observer
- Capacity: up to 5 total persons
- Payload: 20,000 lb (9,072 kg)
- Length: 70 ft 3 in (21.41 m (fuselage))
- Rotor diameter: 72 ft 0 in (21.95 m)
- Height: 18 ft 7 in (5.67 m)
- Disc area: 4070 ft² (378.1 m²)
- Empty weight: 19,234 lb (8,724 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 42,000 lb (19,050 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney JFTD12-4A (T73-P-1) turboshaft engines, 4,500 shp (3,555 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 109 knots (126 mph, 203 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 91 knots (105 mph, 169 km/h)
- Range: 200 nmi (230 mi, 370 km) max fuel and reserves
- Rate of climb: 1,330 ft/min (6.75 m/s)
See also 
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- List of surviving Sikorsky CH-54s
- List of active military aircraft of the United States
- List of helicopters
- List of military aircraft of the United States
- Jackson, Paul (1976). German Military Aviation 1956-1976. Midland Counties Publications. ISBN 0-904597-03-2.
- "Corpo Forestale dello Stato Elicottero S 64 F". Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "Korea Forest Service S-64". Retrieved 17-March-2013.
- "KFS Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane". Demand media. Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "Helispot photo". Helispot.com. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "the origins of Erickson Air-Crane". © Erickson Air-Crane, Inc. 2013. Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "Evergreen S-64 spec. sheet". evergreenaviation.com. Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "HTS Fleet". htshelicopters.com. Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "S-64 Aircranes for L.A.?". ainonline.com. Retrieved 17-March-2013.
- "LAFD S-64". emergencyrigs.net. Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "Erickson Air-Crane buys Sun Bird aircraft from San Diego Gas & Electric". Helihub.com. Retrieved 26-January-2013.
- "L.A. County S-64". lacofd.smugmug.com. Retrieved 17-March-2013.
- "NTSB report in pdf". Ntsb.gov. Retrieved 2010-12-20.[dead link]
- Inciweb - Helitanker Accident At Rose Valley[dead link]
- Helicopters area of dgualdo.it (report excerpts in Italian)[dead link]
- "NTSB report — NYC07WA152". Ntsb.gov. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2010-12-20.[dead link]
- "NTSB report — WAS04WA012". Ntsb.gov. 2004-08-26. Retrieved 2010-12-20.[dead link]
- "NTSB probes Air-Crane crash - September 9, 2004". Archive.mailtribune.com. 2004-09-09. Retrieved 2010-12-20.[dead link]
- Frawley, Gerard: The International Directiory of Civil Aircraft, 2003-2004, page 195. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane|
|Line drawing of Skycrane|
- Erickson Air-Crane website
- Canadian Air-Crane website
- Air Tanker Listing
- FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet
- HELIS.com Sikorsky S-64/CH-54 Database