AvStop Magazine Online


The "Huskie" was used primarily for crash rescue and aircraft fire-fighting. It was in use with the U.S. Navy when delivery of the H-43As to the USAF Tactical Air Command began in November 1958. Delivery of the -B series began in June 1959. In mid-1962, the USAF changed the H-43 designation to HH-43 to reflect the aircraft's rescue role.The final USAF version was the HH-43F with engine modifications for improved performance. Some -Fs were used in Southeast Asia as "aerial fire trucks" and for rescuing downed airmen in North and South Vietnam. Huskies were also flown by other nations including Iran, Colombia, and Morocco.

A Huskie on rescue alert could be airborne in approximately one minute. It carried two rescuemen/fire-fighters and a fire suppression kit hanging beneath it. It often reached crashed airplanes before ground vehicles arrived. Foam from the kit plus the powerful downwash air from the rotors were used to open a path to trapped crash victims to permit their rescue. The HH-43B on display, one of approximately 175 -Bs purchased by the USAF, established seven world records in 1961-62 for helicopters in its class for rate of climb, altitude and distance traveled. It was assigned to rescue duty with Detachment 3, 42nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, prior to its retirement and flight to the Museum in April 1973.


Rotor diameter: 47 ft. 0 in.

Overall length: 47 ft. 0 in.

Height: 17 ft. 2 in.

Weight: 9,150 lbs. max.

Armament: None

Engine: Lycoming T-53 of 860 hp.

Cost: $304,000

Serial Number: 60-263


Maximum speed: 120 mph.

Cruising speed: 105 mph.

Range: 185 miles

Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft.