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CH-37 Mojave
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assault transport
P&W radials
2 x 2,100 h.p. ea.
64' 3"
22' 0"
72' 0"
20,830 lbs.
31,000 lbs.
115 mph
130 mph
1,350 fpm
12,000 feet
250 miles

From when it first flew until around the time that its production ended, the CH-37 Mojave, designated the S-56 by Sikorsky, was the largest helicopter outside of the Soviet Union. It was also the largest U.S. military helicopter until the end of 1961.

The CH-37 Mojave was the first twin engine helicopter produced by Sikorsky. Although lighter and more powerful turboshaft engines had already been developed, Sikorsky used Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial piston engines to power the helicopter.

At the time the CH-37 was built, it was felt that the radial engine was more reliable. The R-2800 chosen by Sikorsky had powered a number of fixed wing aircraft with great success.

The primary mission of the CH-37 was as an assault transport for the U.S. Army, USMC and U.S. Navy. The army originally designated the helicopter as the CH-37 Mojave, the marines as the HRS-1, while the navy designated it the HR2S.

The CH-37 was unique for its time in that in addition to having two engines they drove a five blade main rotor and a four blade anti-torque tail rotor. Other large helicopters of the time used tandem rotors fore and aft.

Also unique for the time were the retractable landing gear of the CH-37. Its twin wheel main landing gear retracted rearward into the engine nacelles.

CH-37 helicopters provided the U.S. armed services with a lift capacity never seen before. Clam shell front doors and a loading ramp enabled straight-in loading. Due to its engines being outside of the fuselage in separate nacelles, more room was available inside. The CH-37 could hold up to three army jeeps, 24 stretchers, or 26 fully equipped combat soldiers. Its winch could lift up to 2,000 lbs.

In 1956 the CH-37 Mojave set a then world record by carrying a payload of 13,250 lbs. to an altitude of 7,000 feet.

Army CH-37 Mojave helicopters were deployed with the 4th Medium Helicopter Transportation Co. in February of 1958.

In 1959 the CH-37 was deployed overseas for the first time with the U.S. Army to Germany.

In 1963 the CH-37 was deployed to Vietnam where it performed search and rescue duties, particularly recovering aircraft from difficult to access areas.

The Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave was retired from military service by 1969. A total of 154 CH-37 helicopters of all types were produced.

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