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Sikorsky R-4B helicopter

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Specifications Comment this helicopter
Picture R-4B
General
Manufacturer Sikorsky
Type R-4B
Introduced 5/30/1942
In production? No
Units produced 131
Price US $ 50,000.00
Dimensions
Overall Length 48.6 ft
Length 33.5 ft
Height 12.4 ft
Width 0 ft
   
   
Description

The Sikorsky R-4 (aka “Hoverfly”) is the world’s first large scale, mass produced helicopter. It’s also the first helicopter put into service by the United States and United Kingdom Air Forces.

The R-4 was intended as a training and rescue helicopter, although it was suitable for more general purposes.

Following the successful VS-300 prototype, Igor Sikorsky began work on what would become the R-4. The first prototype was designated VS-316. Clearly showing its relationship to the VS-300. However, the US army had a different designation system for rotorcraft, so they renamed it the XR-4.

The XR-4 first took flight in 1942 and soon smashed all records for helicopters that had come before it. The original XR-4 completed a 1225 kilometer overland flight, set a service ceiling of 3700 meters and had an airspeed of nearly 140 kilometers per hour.

The US Army Air Force ordered many prototypes for evaluation, steadily improving them in conjunction with Sikorsky. The engine power and rotor diameter were increased with each iteration. The tailwheel was also moved further back during development and the exhaust venting changed from a downward direction to a side-venting design. Fuel capacity also grew by 19 liters during this time.

It’s first combat flights took place in 1944 in the China-Burna-India theatre of war. A combat rescue flight by Lieutenant Carter Hartman. Because of fuel and capacity limitations, these early rescue flights included multiple trips and many refuelling legs. However, they would have been entirely impossible using fixed wing craft.

The R-4B is the proper production version of the aircraft and sports a 200 horsepower R-550-1 engine and larger rotor from an earlier variant, the YR-4A. The rotor itself was of a three-bladed design.

In total there were 131 R-4s produced during the two years of its production. The R-4 was succeeded by the Sikorsky R-6.

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Design features
  • Fuselage made from forward and aft structure, bolted together
  • Forward structure of steel tube
  • Aft section made of steel tubing construction, covered with doped fabric to reduce drag
  • Zippers sewn in to allow access to components
  • Wooden main rotor blades with steel tube spar
  • All wood tail rotor blades
  • Good visibility with additional windows in cockpit overhead and in nose below instrument panel
Description

The Sikorsky R-4 (aka “Hoverfly”) is the world’s first large scale, mass produced helicopter. It’s also the first helicopter put into service by the United States and United Kingdom Air Forces.

The R-4 was intended as a training and rescue helicopter, although it was suitable for more general purposes.

Following the successful VS-300 prototype, Igor Sikorsky began work on what would become the R-4. The first prototype was designated VS-316. Clearly showing its relationship to the VS-300. However, the US army had a different designation system for rotorcraft, so they renamed it the XR-4.

The XR-4 first took flight in 1942 and soon smashed all records for helicopters that had come before it. The original XR-4 completed a 1225 kilometer overland flight, set a service ceiling of 3700 meters and had an airspeed of nearly 140 kilometers per hour.

The US Army Air Force ordered many prototypes for evaluation, steadily improving them in conjunction with Sikorsky. The engine power and rotor diameter were increased with each iteration. The tailwheel was also moved further back during development and the exhaust venting changed from a downward direction to a side-venting design. Fuel capacity also grew by 19 liters during this time.

It’s first combat flights took place in 1944 in the China-Burna-India theatre of war. A combat rescue flight by Lieutenant Carter Hartman. Because of fuel and capacity limitations, these early rescue flights included multiple trips and many refuelling legs. However, they would have been entirely impossible using fixed wing craft.

The R-4B is the proper production version of the aircraft and sports a 200 horsepower R-550-1 engine and larger rotor from an earlier variant, the YR-4A. The rotor itself was of a three-bladed design.

In total there were 131 R-4s produced during the two years of its production. The R-4 was succeeded by the Sikorsky R-6.

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Design features:
  • Fuselage made from forward and aft structure, bolted together
  • Forward structure of steel tube
  • Aft section made of steel tubing construction, covered with doped fabric to reduce drag
  • Zippers sewn in to allow access to components
  • Wooden main rotor blades with steel tube spar
  • All wood tail rotor blades
  • Good visibility with additional windows in cockpit overhead and in nose below instrument panel
Performance
Persons 2
Max. Range 230 mi
Cruise Speed 65 mph
Max. Speed 75 mph
Max. rate of Climb 650 ft/min
HOGE ceiling 0 ft
Service Ceiling 8000 ft
Gross Weight 2581 lb
Empty Weigt 2098 lb
Useful Load 483 lb
Dynamic system
Fuel Capacity 30 gallons
Number of Engines 1
Engine Type Piston
Engine Code Warner R-550
Horse Power 200
Rotorhead Fully articulated
Number of rotorblades 3
Rotor Diameter 38 ft
Number of tail rotorblades 3
Tailrotor Diameter 7.9 ft
Blueprints & model
Manufacturer Website manufacturer..
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