Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard
The HH-52 was the U.S. Coast Guard’s first turbine-powered helicopter and the first that could land in the water next to vessels or personnel in distress without using awkward floats, making it the most effective air-sea rescue helicopter of its time. The Coast Guard operated ninety-nine HH-52s between 1962 and 1989, saving 15,000 lives.
The Coast Guard acquired this HH-52 (#1426) in 1967 and operated it until 1989, accumulating 12,618 hours. Its notable missions included a January 27, 1967 nighttime sailboat rescue that resulted in a Distinguished Flying Cross for the pilot and a mention in LIFE magazine. 1426’s most dramatic rescue occurred on November 1, 1979, when it rescued twenty-two survivors from a fiery collision of an oil tanker and freighter off Galveston, Texas. During the mission, it lifted twelve crewmen at one time from the inferno – a record for the aircraft, designed only to carry a maximum of ten, including crew, in the cabin.
Transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard
Rotor Diameter: 16.16 m (53 ft 0 in)
Length: 13.58 m (44 ft 7 in)
Height:4.33 m (14 ft 3 in)
Weight:Empty, 2,306kg (5,083 lb)
Gross, 3,674 kg (8,100 lb)
Engine:General Electric T58-GE-8, de-rated to 1,250 shp
Top Speed:175 km/h (109 mph)
Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, 1966