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R-4 Hoverfly, U.S. Helicopter


Photograph of R-4 Hoverfly

Museum of the USAF


Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly


Specifications:


Crew

1 or 2

Dimensions

33'8" by 38' (rotor) by 12'5"
10.26m by 11.58m (rotor) by 3.78m

Weights

2581 lbs loaded
1170 kg loaded

Maximum speed      

75 mph
121 km/h
Cruise speed
65 mph
105 km/h

Service ceiling     

8000 feet
2400 meters

Engines

One 200 hp Warner R-550

Range

130 miles
210 km

Production

30 YR-4A and -4B prototypes 1942-1943
100 R-4B production aircraft 1943-1944


The R-4 Hoverfly or "Eggbeater" was the first mass-produced helicopter and the first Allied helicopter to see operational use. Two prototypes were sent to Alaska and Burma, and showed enough promise that the Army Air Forces ordered 100 production aircraft. Four of these saw operational use with 1 Air Commando Group in Burma, where they were used as observation aircraft and to evacuate the wounded from otherwise inaccessible locations. A small number were also used for air evacuation in the second Philippines campaign.

References

Cowdrey (1994)

Keating (1976)

National Museum of the USAF (accessed 2008-1-14)


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