RH-53D Sea Stallion

Our RH-53D Sea Stallion Bu No. 158690

HISTORY OF THIS AIRCRAFT

Our RH-53 was delivered to the US Navy on February 28, 1973 and was assigned to Narostrat training facility from May to November 1973. December 1973 it was assigned to HM-12 Helicopter Mine Countermeasure at Norfolk Virginia Air Station. December 1977 - December 1983 transferred to VR-24 Fleet Logistic Support. January 1984 - January 1985 transferred to HM-14 Helicopter Mine Countermeasure and served aboard the USS Guadalcanal and then USS Okinawa and finally NAS Oceania. January 1985 - December 1986 assigned to HM-15 December 1986 - July 1993 assigned to HM- 18 at Norfolk Virginia. August 1993 - March 1997 transferred to US Marine squadron MAG-49. March 1997 - August 1997 assigned to HMH-772 Marine Heavy Helicopter squadron. August 1997 retired to the Air Victory Museum.



STATISTICS

Manufacturer

Sikorsky

Powerplant

Two General Electric T64-GE-413 turboshaft engines rated at 3,925 hp each

Crew

Seven

DIMENSIONS

Length

88 ft. 2 in.

Wing Span

72 ft. 3 in.

Height

24 ft. 11 in.

Empty Weight

23,485 lbs.

Loaded Weight

36,400 lbs.

Gross Weight

42,000 lbs.

PERFORMANCE

Max Speed

196 mph

Cruise Speed

173 mph

Combat Radius

665 miles

Ferry Range

 

Service Ceiling

12,450 ft

Max Climb Rate

 

Thrust/Weight

 

ARMAMENT

none




The RD-53 Sea Stallion is designed for both land and ship operations. The primary mission is vertical assault transport of equipment and supplies. The aircraft has an external cargo hook rated up to 20,000 pounds and it can carry palletized cargo and vehicles internally. The secondary mission of the Sea Stallion is vertical assault transport of personnel. It is capable of seating 55 combat loaded Marines or carrying 24 litters. It is equipped with an aerial refueling probe and can be refueled while airborne from a KC- 130 tanker. Sikorsky manufactured the RH-53 from 1971 to 1973 for the US Navy as a mine countermeasures aircraft. The Marines took possession of the RH-53D from the Navy in the early 1970's.

From the 34th aircraft, all CH-53s were fitted with hardpoints for the towing of mine countermeasures equipment. However the use of such equipment required a greater level of power than was generally available. Consequently, the US Navy re-engined 15 aircraft with the T64-GE-413 powerplant, and added rearview mirrors on tube mounts either side of the nose. Designated RH-53A, these served with HM- 12, but were subsequently demodified back to CH-53A status. Some Marine CH-53Ds have been used in the mine-hunting role. Aiding this application was the adoption of the definitive RH-53D variant, which introduced T64-GE-415 engines of greater power and the option to mount a refueling probe and sponson tanks. The mine countermeasures equipment is towed behind the aircraft from a heavy trapeze attached to the rear ramp and rear fuselage. Optional equipment includes various floating sleds to handle contact, acoustic and magnetic mines. The SPU-1 Magnetic Orange Pipe system is used against shallow-water mines. Mines brought to the surface by the system are detonated by using a pair of 50 cal machine guns.