The Silvercraft SH-4 is a light general purpose helicopter created by the Silvercraft company of Milan, Italy.
The SH-4 was a prototype helicopter that first took flight in October of 1963. The aircraft had three seats and a conventional design employing a main and tail rotor. The main rotor used two blades and a tubular frame supported the tail rotor assembly. Landing gear came in the form of simple skids. The SH-4 used an all-metal design.
The overall design of the SH-4 was instantly recognizable as Italian. This made for a handsome, if uncomplicated, utility helicopter.
Power came from a single Franklin 6A-350 or sometimes a Lycoming LHIO-360-C1A. Power ratings varied between engines, but all models were flat-rated to 170 horsepower, with the exception of the SH-4/C, which used a supercharged Franklin engine.
One of the most notable facts about the SH-4 is that was the first ever Italian-designed helicopter to get both Italian and FAA certification, setting the stage for a vibrant Italian helicopter industry.
The SH-4 was highly suited for pilot training, police work, ambulance duties and many other utility roles. Specialized variants also existed, such as the SH-4/A, which was used for agricultural purposes.
Production assistance from Fiat a production batch of 50 units was begun, but supply issues with the out of production Franklin engine meant that only 21 helicopters were ever completed.
Single samples were exported to countries such as Brazil and South Africa, but production of the SH-4 was stopped completely in 1977.