List of United States military helicopters

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This is a list of United States military helicopters


US military helicopters
Name Role Manufacturer Notes Year of
first flight
Introduction Number built
Sikorsky R-4 Helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation First US military helicopter. 1942 ? 131
Sikorsky H-5 Helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation 1943 1945–1957 300
Sikorsky R-6 Helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation World War II 1943 1945–1951 225
Kellett R-8 Experimental helicopter Kellett Autogiro Corporation Prototype. Program canceled 1946. 1944 never 2
Bell H-13 Sioux Light observation helicopter Bell Aircraft Corporation Bell 47 variant. 1945 1946–1974 2407
Kellett XR-10 Military transport helicopter Kellett Autogiro Corporation Prototype. Program canceled 1949. 1947 never 2
Sikorsky S-52 Utility helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation 1947 1951–? 93
Kaman HH-43 Huskie Firefighting/rescue Kaman Aircraft 1947 1958–1973[1] 193
Piasecki HUP Utility helicopter Piasecki Helicopter The « Army Mule ». 1948 1949–1964 339
Hiller OH-23 Raven Multipurpose light helicopter Hiller Aircraft 1948 1950– ? 2000
Sikorsky H-19 Utility helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation 1949 1950– ? 1102
Vertol H-21 Cargo helicopter Piasecki Helicopter 1952 1954–1967 707
Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave Assault Transport Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Large heavy lift helicopter used by the Army designated "Mojave" and Marines nicknamed "Deuce" 1953 1956–1969 153
De Lackner HZ-1 Aerocycle Experimental rotorcraft de Lackner Helicopters Prototype. Program canceled. 1954 never 12
Sikorsky H-34 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Anti-submarine warfare helicopter 1954 1954–1973 2108
Bell UH-1 Iroquois Utility helicopter Bell Aircraft Corporation The UH-1 was in the service of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.Nicknamed the "Huey" because the original Army designation was HU-1. 1956 1959–2016 16000
Sikorsky S-62 SAR/utility helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation It was used by the United States Coast Guard. 1958 1961–1993 175
Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King ASW/SAR/utility helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation used as the official helicopters of the President of the United States Marine One 1959 1961–2006 1500
Sikorsky S-61R Medium-lift transport/SAR helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation The S-61R served in the United States Air Force and in the United States Coast Guard. 1959 1961-90s? ?
Kaman SH-2 Seasprite Anti-submarine warfare helicopter Kaman Aircraft 1959 1962–2001 184
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Transport helicopter Boeing 1961 1962-in service 1180
Sikorsky CH-54 Heavy-lift cargo helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation 1962 1964–1991 105
Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight Cargo helicopter Boeing From 2004, Used only by the United States Marine Corps until 2015 retirement. 1962 1964-2015 524
Hughes OH-6 Cayuse Light Observation Helicopter / Utility Hughes Helicopters Won a prototype run off between Bell, Hiller and Hughes. The Bell prototype went on to become the OH-58. The OH-6 itself is the parent of the MD 500 and MH-6 variants. 1963 1966-present 1420
MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird Light Observation Helicopter MD Helicopters Derived from OH-6 lineage; used for special operations in the United States Army. 1963 1980–present ?
Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion Heavy-lift cargo helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Load capability of 35,000 pounds [2]
Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low, US Air Force variant.[3]
1964 1966-In Service 500
Bell AH-1G Cobra Attack helicopter Bell Helicopter Textron Was developed by Bell as an independent concept armed helicopter. The majority of parts are interchangeable with the UH-1 series. The AH1-W and Z are used in the US Marine Corps 1965 1967-in service 1116
Bell 206 Multipurpose Utility helicopter Bell Aircraft Corporation Common prototype with OH-58. 1966 1967-in service 7300
Bell OH-58 Kiowa Observation/scout helicopter Bell Aircraft Corporation Five versions: OH-58A, OH-58C, OH58C/S, OH-58D, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior 1966 1969– 2015 2200
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne Attack helicopter Lockheed Corporation Prototype. Program canceled 1972. 1967 Cancelled 10
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Utility helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East. 1974 1979-in service 2600
Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk[4] Combat Search and Rescue helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation This is another variant of the U.S. Army's UH-60 Blackhawk. 1974 1982-in service 101
Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota Utility helicopter Eurocopter Adapted from the Eurocopter EC145 and built in Columbus, Mississippi. 1999 2006-in service 250
Boeing AH-64 Apache Attack helicopter Boeing Manufactured by McDonnell-Douglas after buyout of Hughes Helicopters. 1975 1984-in service 1174
MD 500 Defender Light multi-role helicopter MD Helicopters Based on the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse light utility helicopter. Originally developed by Hughes Helicopters. Purchased by McDonnell-Douglas, eventually sold to MD Helicopters. 1976 1976-in service 471
Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk Multimission maritime helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk variant. 1979 1984-in service ?
Sikorsky HH-60H U.S. Navy Special Operations and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk variant. * * *
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey V/STOL transport Boeing/Bell 1989 2007-in service 160
Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter Bell 2000 2010-in service 229
Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Reconnaissance and attack helicopter Boeing/Sikorsky Prototype. Program canceled 2004.[5] 1996 never 5
Bell UH-1Y Venom Utility helicopter Bell Aircraft Corporation The UH-1Y Venom is currently in full-rate production to replace the UH-1N Twin Huey 2001 2008-in service 92
Bell ARH-70 Arapaho Armed reconnaissance helicopter Bell Aircraft Corporation Prototype. Program canceled 2008.[6] 2006 never 4
Piasecki X-49 Experimental high-speed compound helicopter Piasecki Helicopter Prototype under development. 2007 1

See also[edit]


The U.S. Air Force (USAF) did not exist until September 1947. Therefore the Sikorski R4 of 1942 "notes" indicate USAF. Possibly it was meant to be USAAF (U.S. Army Air Force).



  • Andrade, John M. (1979). U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials Since 1909. Midland Counties Publications. ISBN 978-0-904597-22-6.
  • (in French) Philippe Poulet et Frédéric Ogeret, La fabuleuse histoire de l'hélicoptère, Éditions Mission Spéciale, 2007, 312 p. ISBN 978-2-9163-5714-0
  • (in French) Ouvrage collectif, L'Atlas des hélicoptères, Éditions Atlas, Éditions Glénat, 2002, 240 p. ISBN 2-7234-3368-4

External links[edit]