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Edited 2-28-18. DWIV

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Those are funny little helicopters. I have a video shot from inside an OV-10 at Ubon,a nd one of those things was flying around in the background. You can only see it for a few minutes, but it makes you wonder who thought that thing up, and then who bought it?

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This aircraft was built by Kaman and used by the Marines and Air Force, much more by the A.F. It was a powerful machine that could use its downwash to suppress aircraft fires while the fire department and other rescue personel went in. It had a limited range but they were also used as a way to deliver irrigation amd other support equipment to nearby villages, transport injured people to a better medical facility if it ws in range and we used them for base and local area recon flights. You haven't seen before because the Huey got most of the attention. About the only thing you ever heard about the Air Force's envolvement was the fighters and bombers and occasionally its transports.

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This aircraft was built by Kaman and used by the Marines and Air Force, much more by the A.F. It was a powerful machine that could use its downwash to suppress aircraft fires while the fire department and other rescue personel went in. It had a limited range but they were also used as a way to deliver irrigation amd other support equipment to nearby villages, transport injured people to a better medical facility if it ws in range and we used them for base and local area recon flights. You haven't seen before because the Huey got most of the attention. About the only thing you ever heard about the Air Force's envolvement was the fighters and bombers and occasionally its transports.

 

and not to forget that A1C Pitsenbarger a pararescueman serving aboard a Pedro HH-43 out of Bien Hoa AFB earned the Medal of Honor.

 

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863 has awarded in the name of the Congress the Medal of Honor posthumously to:

 

A1C WILLIAM H. PITSENBARGER

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty Near Cam My, 11 April 1966:

 

Rank and organization: Airman First Class, U.S. Air Force, Detachment 6, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam.

 

Place and date: Near Cam My, 11 April 1966

 

Entered service at: Piqua, Ohio

 

Born: 8 July 1944, Piqua, Ohio

 

Citation: Airman First Class Pitsenbarger distinguished himself by extreme valor on 11 April 1966 near Cam My, Republic of Vietnam, while assigned as a Pararescue Crew Member, Detachment 6, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron. On that date, Airman Pitsenbarger was aboard a rescue helicopter responding to a call for evacuation of casualties incurred in an on-going firefight between elements of the United States Army's 1st Infantry Division and a sizable enemy force approximately 35 miles east of Saigon. With complete disregard for personal safety, Airman Pitsenbarger volunteered to ride a hoist more than one hundred feet through the jungle, to the ground. On the ground, he organized and coordinated rescue efforts, cared for the wounded, prepared casualties for evacuation, and insured that the recovery operation continued in a smooth and orderly fashion. Through his personal efforts, the evacuation of the wounded was greatly expedited. As each of the nine casualties evacuated that day were recovered, Pitsenbarger refused evacuation in order to get one more wounded soldier to safety. After several pick-ups, one of the two rescue helicopters involved in the evacuation was struck by heavy enemy ground fire and was forced to leave the scene for an emergency landing. Airman Pitsenbarger stayed behind, on the ground, to perform medical duties. Shortly thereafter, the area came under sniper and mortar fire. During a subsequent attempt to evacuate the site, American forces came under heavy assault by a large Viet Cong force. When the enemy launched the assault, the evacuation was called off and Airman Pitsenbarger took up arms with the besieged infantrymen. He courageously resisted the enemy, braving intense gunfire to gather and distribute vital ammunition to American defenders. As the battle raged on, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to care for the wounded, pull them out of the line of fire, and return fire whenever he could, during which time, he was wounded three times. Despite his wounds, he valiantly fought on, simultaneously treating as many wounded as possible. In the vicious fighting which followed, the American forces suffered 80 percent casualties as their perimeter was breached, and airman Pitsenbarger was finally fatally wounded. Airman Pitsenbarger exposed himself to almost certain death by staying on the ground, and perished while saving the lives of wounded infantrymen. His bravery and determination exemplify the highest professional standards and traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Air Force.


Bud

I believe many of today's social ills and political party bickering could be solved by the simple implementation of legalized dueling.

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And a great little helicopter it was! And so was the MoH ceremony for Pits that took place at the AF Museum in 12/00. Over 1100 attendees, probably the biggest assemblage ever for such a cermony.

The Pedro had a reputation for being able to zoom to 10,000' faster than a F~4. It's main weakness was the wooden rotor blades which could be damaged just by flying in the rain.

The whole procedure for an alert, from klaxon to launch was well choreographed: The entire crew would board the aicraft, spool up and come to a hover by a pole with a small flag that the pilot use for a hover reference while the crew chief hooked up the giant fire bottle, aka; fire supression kit {FSK} to the cargo hook on the belly. The crew chief would then exit forward, lower the pole and the chopper would depart. This was all done in five minutes from the klaxon.

Elsewhere on this forum there is a report on the book by Dieter Dengler about his escape from Laos. His fellow escapee was the copilot of a Pedro shot down over Laos. This fellow was eventually macheted to death. The rest of the crew on that shootdown returned from Hanoi in '73.

Before the introduction of inflight refuelable helicopters into SEA, Pedro would carry an internal aux tank, aka; a 55 gal. drum of JP~4 that could be hand pump transferred inflight and then the barrel disposed of so they could make pickups in North Vietnam.

You got me started but then this was an amazing little helicopter.....that could.

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It's main weakness was the wooden rotor blades which could be damaged just by flying in the rain.

The helicopter wooden rotor blades have never had such limitations. Flight in the rain was normal flight for the helos equipped with wooden blades. Such blades had their pros and cons of course but they were normal blades to use them in the rain as well. Professor I. P. Bratukhin described it very well in his book "Design and Construction of Helicopters" of 1955. There were various designs of wooden blades but not one of them was limited to fly in rainless environment.


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I saw one fly one time, and it really does look unusual to say the least. The rotors are counter-rotating to there's no tail rotor.

Tom Bowers

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Gregory,

 

The humid environment in SEA had a very detrimental effect on the HH-43's wooden rotor blades. Flight through rainy conditions increased that effect. They were not prohibited from flying in rainy conditions, but time between blade changes dropped dramatically after being rained on.

 

The helicopter wooden rotor blades have never had such limitations. Flight in the rain was normal flight for the helos equipped with wooden blades. Such blades had their pros and cons of course but they were normal blades to use them in the rain as well. Professor I. P. Bratukhin described it very well in his book "Design and Construction of Helicopters" of 1955. There were various designs of wooden blades but not one of them was limited to fly in rainless environment.

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

 

Looking for P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

 

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Gregory,

 

The humid environment in SEA had a very detrimental effect on the HH-43's wooden rotor blades. Flight through rainy conditions increased that effect. They were not prohibited from flying in rainy conditions, but time between blade changes dropped dramatically after being rained on.

And we do have very interesting thread :)

Thank you very much for your comment to my post.

 

Maybe US-made wooden main rotor blades for the helicopters were not as reliable as the Russian ones? The NASA translated majority, if not all, Professor Bratukhin's publications so what I wrote above is nothing new on the North American continent. The Russians were pioneers of helicopters so maybe their wooden blades were a little better? Bratukhin was one of the most important scientist in the world's helicopter branch between 1930s and 1960s. He mentions nothing about high humidity problem related to wooden blades. He writes that construction of helicopter wooden blade is almost identical as wooden propeller or wooden wing and, as we all know, these elements may operate in every kind of humidity and their lifetime is comparable to their metal counterparts. There was of course also third pattern of wooden blades being a hybrid of construction of the wooden propeller and wooden wing. Bratukhin never mentioned any limitations for wooden blades when it comes to water and humidity. He emphasized many times that key factors in those blades are quality of plywood and final quality control.

 

As the main weak points of wooden blades for helicopters he mentioned possible deformation and weight but not caused by humidity.


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Kaman changed the wooden blades to metal blades in the mid-1950s.

 

Marines and Helicopters, 1962-1973 by William R. Fails (page 10 in discussing the OH-43)


Bud

I believe many of today's social ills and political party bickering could be solved by the simple implementation of legalized dueling.

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I'm pretty sure of myself on this as far as flight in inclement weather. I am not as intimately familiar with the physics of wooden propellors as some here, I only know what I know and that is that these blades were subject to delamination when flown in the rain. That is something unique to wooden framed, fabric covered airframes whether it be like my airplane which chugs through the air at a blistering 75 knots or one of these blades reaching near supersonic speeds at the blade tip. It is the damage to the FABRIC of that wooden framed blade that is the problem because at those blade speeds even the smallest bit of damage could turn into a dangerous hole in moments. Conversely, these blades were light enough without the nitrogen fill required of metal blades that bullet holes could usually be endured without too great a fear of a blade going out of balance just before departing the rotor hub or tearing off the tail boom from the vibration.

Sooooo, there is truth to flight in rain with a purely wooden propeller though many pilots are opting for a resin filled groove in the leading edge of each blade that cuts down on the damage to the finish caused by rain.

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Kaman is still around making parts and pieces for other helicopters. They also have their own heavy-lift model that might look familiar

 

http://www.kamanaero.com/helicopters/kmax.html

 

The State Department was forced to buy several of these as part of Plan Colombia (to "spread the wealth" among certain powerful Congresscritters' constituents), and they were awesome external load platforms. And utterly useless for anything else. State Air Wing eventually was able to divest them.

 

But they were scary quiet. Anyone know how much noise the 43s made?


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Of course wooden blades were not a "revelation" in the helicopters history but they were not so bad for given peripheral speeds. They were used in light helicopters where their rotor peripheral speed was not higher than 140 meters per second.

 

I'm pretty sure of myself on this as far as flight in inclement weather. I am not as intimately familiar with the physics of wooden propellors as some here, I only know what I know and that is that these blades were subject to delamination when flown in the rain.

The last variants of all-wood blades were laminated with glass reinforced plastic (GRP) which is water-proof.

 

Sooooo, there is truth to flight in rain with a purely wooden propeller though many pilots are opting for a resin filled groove in the leading edge of each blade that cuts down on the damage to the finish caused by rain.

Yes, you are right, but we have to remember that helicopter designers protected also leading edges of their wooden blades. Skeleton-type wooden blades had no protection on leading edges, but all-wood type had that edge covered with .2mm steel sheet.

 

Best regards

 

Greg


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Nice to see again...


HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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Pretty manoeuvrable birdie.

Great pic, an early shot with the old radial engine which is even more rare.

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Of course wooden blades were not a "revelation" in the helicopters history but they were not so bad for given peripheral speeds. They were used in light helicopters where their rotor peripheral speed was not higher than 140 meters per second.

The last variants of all-wood blades were laminated with glass reinforced plastic (GRP) which is water-proof.

Yes, you are right, but we have to remember that helicopter designers protected also leading edges of their wooden blades. Skeleton-type wooden blades had no protection on leading edges, but all-wood type had that edge covered with .2mm steel sheet.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

Except Pedro.

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rr01 is correct.

 

According to the Air Mobility Command Museum website, " Unique aspects of the HH-43 are its wood constructed rotors. By warping the blades causes the aircraft to climb or descend. Operation of large tabs on the trailing edge of each blade causes the warping."

 

Because of this warping, which relied on the flexibility of the blades, they were extremely susceptible to moisture.

 

Jon


In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

 

Looking for P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

 

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What a photo!! Those HH-43's sure were goofy little birds. If you want a few hard core combat stories with the HH-43 and many others check out Chopper by Robert F. Dorr. Its an awsome book about the istory of american military helicopter ops from ww2 to OIF/OEF. Its good to see the old predro still comes up from time to time.

 

That Others May Live!!


 

 

 

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Kaman is still around making parts and pieces for other helicopters. They also have their own heavy-lift model that might look familiar

 

http://www.kamanaero.com/helicopters/kmax.html

 

Some may not know this but the AH-1's (AH-1G and even AH-1S) had a Kaman rotor blade design. This is the "door hinge" hub that has a pivot hinge line that is aligned along the main axis of the blade. Before this, Bell had used pretty much the same rotor blade and hub you see on the UH-1C and UH-1D. I don't know how they did it but Kaman sold the Army on the design of the blade and Bell had to put it on all their helicopters. It was called the Model 540 Rotor blade.

 

Steve

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Some may not know this but the AH-1's (AH-1G and even AH-1S) had a Kaman rotor blade design. This is the "door hinge" hub that has a pivot hinge line that is aligned along the main axis of the blade. Before this, Bell had used pretty much the same rotor blade and hub you see on the UH-1C and UH-1D. I don't know how they did it but Kaman sold the Army on the design of the blade and Bell had to put it on all their helicopters. It was called the Model 540 Rotor blade.

 

Steve

 

Wow, I didnt know that, Its always interesting to hear about the different airframe design changes!!

 

Brandon :w00t:


 

 

 

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Some may not know this but the AH-1's (AH-1G and even AH-1S) had a Kaman rotor blade design. This is the "door hinge" hub that has a pivot hinge line that is aligned along the main axis of the blade. Before this, Bell had used pretty much the same rotor blade and hub you see on the UH-1C and UH-1D. I don't know how they did it but Kaman sold the Army on the design of the blade and Bell had to put it on all their helicopters. It was called the Model 540 Rotor blade.

 

Steve

 

 

Actually, the UH-1C and the later UH-1M both had the 540 rotorhead. Many of the "B" model gunships were retrofitted in country with the 540 rotorhead. And the "C" model aircraft that were retro fitted with the -13 engine from the "H" model aircraft were re-disignated as "M".

 

The "D" and "H" model aircraft did not have the 540 rotorhead. The difference in the "D" and "H" model was the replacement of the -11 engine with the -13.

 

I know this because I crewed a "C" model in-country and I helped change my "C" model to an unauthorized design change by mounting a -13 engine .

 

Most opf the "C" models that came home from VN were retrofitted into "Mike" models.


Bud

I believe many of today's social ills and political party bickering could be solved by the simple implementation of legalized dueling.

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Some may not know this but the AH-1's (AH-1G and even AH-1S) had a Kaman rotor blade design. This is the "door hinge" hub that has a pivot hinge line that is aligned along the main axis of the blade. Before this, Bell had used pretty much the same rotor blade and hub you see on the UH-1C and UH-1D. I don't know how they did it but Kaman sold the Army on the design of the blade and Bell had to put it on all their helicopters. It was called the Model 540 Rotor blade.

 

Actually, the UH-1C and the later UH-1M both had the 540 rotorhead. Many of the "B" model gunships were retrofitted in country with the 540 rotorhead. And the "C" model aircraft that were retro fitted with the -13 engine from the "H" model aircraft were re-disignated as "M".

 

The "D" and "H" model aircraft did not have the 540 rotorhead. The difference in the "D" and "H" model was the replacement of the -11 engine with the -13.

 

I know this because I crewed a "C" model in-country and I helped change my "C" model to an unauthorized design change by mounting a -13 engine .

 

Most opf the "C" models that came home from VN were retrofitted into "Mike" models.

Very interesting.

Lou Drendel in his "Huey" book (page 10) mentions the "Bell 540 door hinge" and new blades for the UH-1C but he mentions nothing about it that it was Kaman's design.

 

Thanks for sharing.

Regards

Greg


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