CH-3E 67-14718 AT NKP, THAILAND, 1969-1970
CH-3E 69-05811 AT BLAIR LAKES, ALASKA 1974
Pictures Courtesy of Jim Burns
Delivery Date: 31-05-68
Desert Storm Veteran
56th SPOP Wg, APO 96310
703rd TASS, Shaw AFB, SC
Field #9, Hurlbert Field, FL
302nd SOS, Luke AFB, AZ
305th ARRS, Selfridge ANGB, MI
71st SOS, DM AFB, AZ
AMARC, DM AFB, AZ
FMS to Tunisian AF
(Mar 69) Lt. Col. MacQuarrie established three projects to improve the Pony Express performance and expand their operations.
One of the projects was aimed at weight reduction of the CH-3E helicopters to provide crew members with better aircraft performance which is greatly needed with hot temperatures and high density altitudes they were required to work with.
It was determined if the helicopters had fixed landing gear instead of the retractable gear the amount of weight loss would vastly improve the overall performance of the aircraft in the disciplines they were working in.
Two kits were ordered from Sikorsky to be utilized to modify the aircraft. One kit came in with all parts complete; the other was missing parts so only one aircraft (67-14718) was converted.
Note: There was at least one H-3, 69-5811 and possibly two with fixed landing gear assigned to the 5040th in Alaska (Jim Burns). (69-5808 was the 2nd one, info provided by Bob Jones)
We do not have any records at the archives that shows H-3s delivered with fixed gear. The fixed gear must have been installed in the field by the Air Force. There was a kit for fixed gear developed for commercial S-61s similar to the S-61L. The weight penalty for retractable gear was 363 lbs.
Sikorsky Historical Archives
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