The World War 2 Rotary Wing Aviation

1517 Words7 Pages
At the close of World War 2 rotary-wing aviation began its transition into a so-called “renaissance” period. New and exciting advancements were being made to give new aircraft greater stability and range. After many demonstrations on exactly what an aircraft could do, the United States Army decided to adopt rotary wing aircraft to fill a search and rescue (SAR) role initially. During the Korean War, medical evacuations and search and rescue missions took up the majority of missions for our pilots. However, we were very limited in what we could achieve. The technology was primitive in using piston driven engines along with heavier parts than necessary. Seeing how useful slow moving aircraft were to our forces, Army Aviation leaders began…show more content…
As the title suggested, the program goal was to stock a dedicated light-class, rotary-wing system with a multipurpose battlefield role. The helicopter would be called upon to undertake various missions including that of SAR, MEDEVAC, observation, transport, reconnaissance, escort, Close Air Support (CAS) and direct attack. (p.1) During the Korean War, our internal rotary-winged aviation assets were performing duties in a very limited role. Although used extensively and often, the majority of missions that took place were either lift oriented, medical evacuation and in some cases reconnaissance. The helicopter most suited for this role at the time was the Bell H-13 Sioux. The H-13 saw its first flight on 8 December 1945, and marked the first large-scale procurement of a helicopter by the United States Army, being utilized from 1948 onwards. While great for its time, the H-13 was very limited in what it could achieve. It was originally fitted with a piston driven engine. Eventually it would be upgraded to a turbine engine; however the frame was still heavy and even the upgraded turbine engine didn’t make up for the lack of lift being generated by its measly two-bladed rotor system. To say it bluntly, it was overweight and underpowered, and we wanted something better. With Technical Specification 153 released, civilian companies immediately started building and presenting concepts to secure the
Open Document