The AHS History Committee is proud to present the 2016 History Calendar, sponsored by The Boeing Company. The AHS Rotorcraft & V/STOL History Calendar was mailed out to all AHS International members in December. Each month is provided here with more information about each of the featured photos or graphics. We hope you enjoy the calendar! AHS International members can also download a complimentary pdf of the whole calendar by logging in My-AHS or to the AHS Online Store.
Four generations of Piasecki, Vertol and Boeing helicopters are shown in this hovering tribute to the father of the tandem rotor helicopter, Frank N. Piasecki, held at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California, on June 22, 2002.
The Boeing Company celebrates its centennial year in July 2016 of the founding of Pacific Aero Products, Inc. by William E. Boeing, Jr. in 1916.
In March 1945, Frank Piasecki flew the first successful tandem-rotor helicopter in the US and later developed and produced 339 of the HUP Retrievers/H-25 Army Mules for the US Navy, US Army, Royal Canadian Navy and French Navy. In April 1952, the US Air Force-sponsored XH-21 made its first flight. Over 700 were built and it served with the Air Force and US Army as well as the Swedish Air Force and Navy and German Army along with a civilian airliner variant, the V-42/-44 series. It saw its combat debut with the French Air Force and Army in Algeria and the US Army in Vietnam.
On March 31, 1960, The Boeing Airplane Company acquired the Morton, Pennsylvania-based Vertol Aircraft Corporation on the recommendations of Seattle veterans George Schairer, Ed Wells, and George Martin. This purchase provided funding and manufacturing expertise that would be critical to meeting demand for the recently awarded contracts to Vertol to simultaneously design and develop two different, turbine-powered troop/cargo transport tandems that would become the Marines/Navy’s long-serving H-46 Sea Knight and the US Army’s venerable H-47 Chinook, which is still in production today. When production peaked in the late 1960s, Boeing Vertol was completing 30 helicopters per month (Sea Knights and Chinooks).
From left-to-right: a US Army/Boeing CH-47D Chinook from the Stockton California Air National Guard, US Navy/Boeing Vertol CH-46D Sea Knight from NAS North Island, San Diego, California, a US Army/Piasecki/Vertol CH-21B Shawnee and a US Navy/Piasecki HUP-1 Retriever from Classic Rotors Museum, Ramona, California.
(Mark DiCiero, Classic Rotors photo; text by Ken Bartie)