AvStop Magazine Online


The H-5, originally designated the R-5 (H for Helicopter; R for Rotorcraft), was designed to provide a helicopter having greater useful load, endurance, speed, and service ceiling than the R-4. The first XR-5 of four ordered made its initial flight on August 18, 1943. In March 1944, the AAF ordered 26 YR-5As for service testing, and in February 1945, the first YR-5A was delivered.

During its service life, the H-5 was used for rescue and mercy missions throughout the world. It gained its greatest fame, however, during the Korean Conflict when it was called upon repeatedly to rescue United Nations' pilots shot down behind enemy lines and to evacuate wounded personnel from frontline areas. More than 300 H-5s had been built by thetime production was halted in 1951. The YH-5A on display, one of 26 ordered in 1944, was obtained from Eglin AFB, Florida, in March 1955.


Main rotor diameter: 48 ft.

Tail rotor diameter: 8 ft. 5 in.

Fuselage Length: 41 ft. 2 in.

Height: 12 ft. 11 in.

Weight: 4,815 lbs. loaded

Armament: None

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-985 of 450 hp.

Serial Number: 43-46620


Maximum speed: 90 mph.

Cruising speed: 70 mph.

Range: 280 miles

Service Ceiling: 10,000 ft.