HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
|US Coast Guard HH-3F "Pelican" from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco|
|Role||Medium-lift transport/SAR helicopter|
|Primary users||United States Air Force (Historical)
United States Coast Guard (Historical)
Italian Air Force (Historical)
Tunisian Air Force
|Developed from||Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King|
The Sikorsky S-61R is a twin-engine helicopter used in transport or search and rescue roles. A developed version of the S-61/SH-3 Sea King, the S-61R was also built under license by Agusta as the AS-61R. The S-61R served in the United States Air Force as the CH-3C/E Sea King and the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, and with the United States Coast Guard as the HH-3F "Pelican".
- 1 Development
- 2 Operational service
- 3 Variants
- 4 Operators
- 5 Aircraft on display
- 6 Specifications (HH-3E)
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The Sikorsky S-61R was developed as a derivative of their S-61/SH-3 Sea King model. It features a substantially-revised fuselage with a rear loading ramp, a conventional though water-tight hull instead of the S-61's boat-hull, and retractable tricycle landing gear. The fuselage layout was used by Sikorsky for the larger CH-53 variants, and by the much later (though similarly-sized) S-92.
Sikorsky designed and built a S-61R prototype as a private venture with its first flight in 1963. During its development, the US Air Force placed an order for the aircraft, which was designated CH-3C. The Air Force used the CH-3C to recover downed pilots. The CH-3E variant with more powerful engines would follow in 1965.
The improved HH-3E variant would follow later, with eight built, and all 50 CH-3Es were converted to this standard. Known as the Jolly Green Giant, the HH-3E featured protective armor, self-sealing tanks, a retractable inflight refueling probe, jettisonable external tanks, a high-speed hoist, and other specialized equipment.
In 1965, U.S. Coast Guard ordered a version designated, HH-3F Sea King (more commonly known by its nickname "Pelican") for all-weather air-sea rescue. The Pelican featured a search radar with a nose antenna radome offset to port, and water landing capability.
Italian Agusta built a S-61R variant, named AS-61R under license. Agusta produced 22 helicopters for the Italian Air Force. The company claimed it could re-open the production line in 36 months to build additional AS-61 helicopters.
USAF variants served in numerous air rescue squadrons and aerospace rescue and recovery squadrons of the Military Airlift Command (MAC), rescue squadrons of the Air Combat Command (ACC) and other USAF major commands worldwide. The aircraft was also used by a number of Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard rescue squadrons. All USAF HH-3Es, to include Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, were retired in the 1990s and replaced by the current HH-60G Pavehawk.
The HH-3F Pelican was a dependable workhorse for the US Coast Guard from the late 1960s until it was phased out in the late 1990s. All USCG HH-3Fs were replaced by the HH-60J Jayhawk and those aircraft have since been upgraded to the MH-60T Jayhawk version.
Between 31 May and 1 June 1967, two HH-3Es of the United States Air Force made the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by helicopter. Departing from New York in the early hours, the two helicopters arrived at the 1967 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget after a 30 hr 46 min flight. The operation needed nine in-flight refuelings. Both helicopters were later lost in combat operations in Southeast Asia in 1969 and 1970.
Honors and awards
Due to the nature of combat operations, particularly in Southeast Asia, many of the operational H-3 crews received honors and awards. The highest American military award, the Medal of Honor, was awarded to Captain Gerald Young, USAF, on 9 November 1967. Young piloted an HH-3E, AF Ser. No. 66-13279, of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron in an attempt to rescue a US Army Special Forces reconnaissance team trapped by enemy fire in Laos. When his aircraft was shot down, he escaped the burning wreckage and, despite severe wounds, evaded capture for 17 hours until being rescued. As a result of Captain Young's efforts, the other survivor of the crash was ultimately rescued and the bodies of those servicemembers who perished were also recovered. 
Italian Agusta began production in 1974 and delivered 22 helicopters as replacements for the Grumman HU-16 Albatross used for SAR (Search and Rescue) missions at sea. Italian Air Force AS-61R helicopters performed SAR missions under designation HH-3F in time of peace and C/SAR (Combat SAR) in time of crisis or during military assignment. All helicopters were operated by the 5 flights of the 15° Stormo Stefano Cagna and deployed in 4 bases across Italy.
From 1993 15° Stormo performed support missions to evacuate civilians during natural catastrophes and disasters in Italy. 15º Stormo was also engaged with SAR missions in the hostile zones of the several operations abroad where Italian Armed Forces were deployed - Somalia, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Military transport helicopter, Sikorsky model number.
- Proposed transport helicopter for U.S. Marine Corps, cancelled
- Prototype operated by Sikorsky and first flown 17 June 1963.
- One aircraft for the Argentine Air Force to HH-3F standards.
- Long-range military transport helicopter for the US Air Force, 75 built.
- Long-range military transport helicopter for the US Air Force, 45 built.
- HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
- Long-range search and rescue helicopter for the US Air Force, 10 built and converted from CH-3E.
- Special Operations version for the US Air Force.
- US Air Force VIP transport helicopter.
- HH-3F "Pelican"
- Long-range search and rescue helicopter for the US Coast Guard, 40 built.
- AS-61R (HH-3F Pelican)
- Long-range search and rescue helicopter built since 1974 under license in Italy by Agusta, 22 built.
Aircraft on display
- S-61R-12 H-02 the former presidential helicopter at the Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica at Morón, Argentina
- CH-3E AF Ser. No. 62-12578 is in storage at Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California.
- CH-3E AF Ser. No. 62-12581 is on display at Edwards AFB, California
- CH-3E AF Ser. No. 63-9676 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
- CH-3E AF Ser. No. 65-5690 at the Aerospace Museum of California, McClellan Airport (former McClellan AFB), Sacramento, California
- CH-3E AF Ser. No. 65-12799 is on display at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, but is displayed with tail number/AF Ser. No. 65-5692, Call Sign PONY 12.
- HH-3E AF Ser. No. 64-14232 is on display at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
- HH-3E AF Ser. No. 65-12784 at Hurlburt Field Air Park, Hurlburt Field, Florida
- HH-3E AF Ser. No. 65-12797 at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina
- HH-3E AF Ser. No. 66-13290, in which Leland T. Kennedy earned the first of his two Air Force Crosses, is on display at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York
- HH-3E AF Ser. No. 67-14703 is on display at the Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB, Georgia
- HH-3F USCG 1455 at the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame, Teterboro, New Jersey
- HH-3F USCG 1476 at the Pima Air and Space Museum, adjacent to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona
- HH-3F USCG 1484 is incorporated into a guest bedroom at the Winvian resort located in Morris, Connecticut
- HH-3F USCG 1486 at the National Naval Aviation Museum, NAS Pensacola, Florida
- Crew: 3
- Capacity: 28 passengers
- Length: 73 ft (22.3 m)
- Rotor diameter: 62 ft (18.9 m)
- Height: 18 ft 1 in (5.51 m)
- Empty weight: 13,341 lb (6,051 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 22,050 lb (10,000 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T58-10 turboshafts, 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) each
- Rotor system: 5 blades
- Maximum speed: 143 kn (165 mph, 265 km/h)
- Range: 779 mi (677 NM, 1,254 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,500 or 21,000? ft (5,334 m or 6,400 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,310-2,220? ft/min (400-670? m/min)
- Disc loading: 6,500 lb (2,948 kg)
- Fuel: 683 US gal (2,585 L)
- Various equipment particular to the operating country.
- Door guns on some variants (For information on American equipment, see U.S. Helicopter Armament Subsystems, S-61R)
- Related development
- United States Department of Defense. DOD 4120.15-L Model Designation of Military Aircraft, Rockets, and Guided Missiles. Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 1974. p. A-40; 1998. p. A-43; 2004. p. 43.
- Apostolo, Giorgio. "Sikorsky S-61R". The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters. New York: Bonanza Books. 1984. ISBN 978-0-517-43935-7.
- "Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant fact Sheet". NMUSAF. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
- Chant, Christopher (1996). Fighting Helicopters of the 20th Century. Twickenham, UK: Tiger Books International PLC. ISBN 1-85501-808-X.
- Donald, David, ed. "Sikorsky S-61". The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Barnes & Noble Books, 1997. ISBN 0-7607-0592-5.
- "HH-3E". USAF ROTORHEADS. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Paris Week". Flight International: 933–934. 1967-06-05.
- "Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipients". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. 3 October 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- "Il portale dell'Aeronautica Militare - Cerimonia di phase-out dell'HH-3F". Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- "World Air Forces 2013" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "A 21st Century S-61" (PDF). Verticalmag.com. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Ericson fleet". ericksonaviation.com. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "World Air Forces 1981 pg. 40". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Italian Air Force retires HH-3F". Air Forces Monthly (Key Publishing): 12. November 2014.
- "S.B. Sheriff’s Dept. CH-3C C/N 61-523". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "USAF Sikorsky s-61 H-3". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "World Air Forces 1981 pg. 100". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "HH-3F Pelican Medium Range Recovery (MRR)". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Sikorsky S-61R (CH-3C) Yanks Air Museum. Retrieved: 8 April 2016.
- "Sikorsky CH-3E." National Museum of the US Air Force. Retrieved: 13 September 2015.
- "Sikorsky CH-3E Jolly Green Giant." Aerospace Museum of California. Retrieved: 13 September 2015.
- S-61R specifications. EvergreenAviation.com
- HH-3 specifications. GlobalSecurity.org
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