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

One more pic of the Navy's early Kaman HUK-1 powered by piston R-1340-52 engine.


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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, you're partially right, but you're getting your rotors somewhat confused.


The 540 system was designed by Bell and incorporated into the UH-1C and AH-1G (and subsequent models). In the late 70s, Kaman designed a new blade for this system and for the UH-1H which improved lift and rotor efficiency. These blades were tapered at the tip and were easily distinguished from the standard Huey rotor blades. The Vietnam-era blades were virtually gone in Army service in favor of the newer Kaman blades in later years.



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  • 6 years later...

Neat thread, I though I would do a forum search on the helicopter type my grandfather (he enlisted in 1943) flew in Vietnam. They sure were unusual looking, but saved many lives. It's too bad a lot of the photos at the beginning of the thread are gone.

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