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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:09 pm 
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We have been waiting to do a press release but I now see there is interest in the subject so here we go. WiX Exclusive folks :)

Some History
The S-60 Sikorsky prototype sky crane helicopter with its two R-2800 Pratt & Whitney piston engines is returning to Stratford after 49 years of weather and tornado damage. Restoration will begin at the Connecticut Air and Space Center in Stratford.

The one of a kind S-60 was the forerunner of the S-64 turbine engine powered Sikorsky sky crane.
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The S-60 first flew on March 25, 1959. The helicopter accumulated 333 hours of flight in its two-year flight career. The prototype S-60 was one of the last aircraft that Igor Sikorsky was fully involved with from design and development through the two years of its flights.

The length of the fuselage is 64 feet and the overall length from the main rotor blade tip to the tail rotor blade tip is 87 feet 11 inches. From the ground to the top of the rotor head is 17 feet.

Igor Sikorsky liked to sit on an open platform suspended from four cables under the S-60 to demonstrate the stability of the aircraft. Mr. Sikorsky would also walk around, while in flight, on the open platform.

The S-60 was built in twelve months using the engines, transmissions, rotor heads and blades from the S-56 (H-37) helicopter.

The information gathered from the S-60 prototype led to the building of the S-64 turbine engine powered sky crane capable of lifting 25,000 pounds (12-1/2 tons).


Quote:
"In 1958 Sikorsky began design work on the Model S-60 twin-engined heavy-lift helicopter, a machine that incorporated the pod-mounted piston engines and dynamic components of the earlier Model S-56/CH-37. The S-60's fuselage was extremely simple, consisting of a central 'backbone' which supported the podded engines, main and tail rotor systems, and a nose-mounted crew cabin. Bulk cargo and passengers were intended to be carried in large rectangular pods that could be attached to the underside of the aircraft's central spine, whereas vehicles and other out-sized loads were to be sling-hoisted. One S-60 was built for Navy evaluation, but the craft was found to be underpowered for its intended roles and Sikorsky took the design back to the drawing boards for extensive reworking. The reconfigured machine, which was allotted the company designation S-64A, made its first flight in May 1962 under the watchful eyes of Army observers."

S.Harding "U.S.Army Aircraft since 1947", 1990

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The prototype S-60 was involved in an accident in April 1961 due to sensitivity of flight controls. This was on takeoff at ground level. The Cockpit pod ejected as designed and the crew was safe. After the investigation it was decided not to repair the craft and it was donated to the New England Air Museum.
Quote:
The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Conn. Has had possession of this ship for many years after its donation by Sikorsky Aircraft. “It has been sitting in an outdoor storage yard for more than 25 years,” according to Michael P. Speciale, the Museum’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately, we have no available space in which to display the aircraft. I am very pleased that we have been able to donate it to the Connecticut Air and Space Center in Stratford. It is a significant artifact that needs to be saved and exhibited and I am confident that they will do a good job.”
Mike Speciale
Executive Director
New England Air Museum


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The S-60 at New England Air Museum

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The S-60 at New England Air Museum

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The S-60 at New England Air Museum

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The S-60 at New England Air Museum

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S-60 on the Move

As many of you know, the Connecticut Air and Space Center is restoring a Corsair at the facility. Given the fact that the S-60 was the last rotorcraft that Igor Sikorsky personally worked on, the historic importance of this rotorcraft is undeniable and in many ways is more important to the museum's charter than the Corsair (Built in Ohio not Conn.)

It took some major cajoling with our board to talk them into letting us take on this project. Charlie Vesterman and myself took the challenge of pleading the case (over and over), Bill Fickes and John Stots leading the disassembly expedition and Dick Evans (CASC) and Mike Speciale (NEAM) and a few people wishing to remain nameless helped get everything moved around.

The Connecticut Air and Space Center are grateful to Mike Speciale at NEAM for working with us to save this historic rotorcraft. We hope to have some of the major work done within the next 6 months. Currently we have a team of former Sikorsky repair specialists who have joined the team and we are starting the process of rebuilding the frames that were damage.

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S-60 Center Section

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Dick Evans Moving one of the R-2800's

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S-56 Centersection will be used to repair the spar on the S-60

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The S-60 Restoration Starts

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The S-60 Restoration Starts by Cherry Bomb Photography, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:56 pm 
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I understand that this will be a static restoration, but is there any chance of seeing it run on the ground just one last time before going on display? It would sure be neat to see her running since all the H-37's have pretty much gone as well so any chance for seeing a large, twin piston helicopter are about none.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Well to be honest, I would love to hear it run but the reality of that is nil. The CASC seems to have an aversion to running aircraft. The reality is this rotorcraft has the same power and requirements as a A-26. Both engines would need rebuilding and massive rewiring etc. The funds are just not there to accomplish such a through undertaking. Now if someones wants to write an endowment check...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:05 pm 
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I LOVE THIS THREAD!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:08 pm 
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Fouga23 wrote:
I LOVE THIS THREAD!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

Boy, you said it -- chalk up another a/c I never knew a thing about to WIX! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:51 pm 
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This aircraft is a massive undertaking aside from just being massive, but I'm extremely confident in the men we have working on her right now, and I'm sure we'll see this project grow by leaps and bounds. Both the Corsair and S-60 Projects are the biggest projects we have, and I cant wait to see some more progress. It will just take some more organization, donations, work, and time. Not neccesarrlly in that order. :wink:

What do we gotta' do?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:55 pm 
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so many parts and aircraft in that storage field in the back. Maybe you can get even more donations of aircraft and engines for the neam?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:54 am 
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Very cool project!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:53 am 
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I applaud you folks for saving this old girl. Keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:07 pm 
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no updates?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Sorry not much to report between winter vacations and blueprinting nothing obvious is happening to report.
We did learn that the main spar is slightly different then the 56 spar so there is some thought going in to the repairs first.

Check out the color photo!
Image[/url]
S-60 In Flight and In COLOR!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:11 am 
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Cherrybomber13 wrote:
Sorry not much to report between winter vacations and blueprinting nothing obvious is happening to report.
We did learn that the main spar is slightly different then the 56 spar so there is some thought going in to the repairs first.

Check out the color photo!
Image[/url]
S-60 In Flight and In COLOR!


this photo is great!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Warbird Kid wrote:
This aircraft is a massive undertaking aside from just being massive, but I'm extremely confident in the men we have working on her right now, and I'm sure we'll see this project grow by leaps and bounds. Both the Corsair and S-60 Projects are the biggest projects we have, and I cant wait to see some more progress. It will just take some more organization, donations, work, and time. Not neccesarrlly in that order. :wink:

What do we gotta' do?



Wow!

For whatever reason, I'm just stumbling across this thread today. Drew, thanks for posting the pics and info.

And Chris, it's a question like yours that gets me thinking outside the box (Sometimes that's even a good thing).


Seeing the S-60 reminded me that Erickson Air-Crane has displayed an S-64 at OSH the last two years in a row ("Elvis" in 2009; "Goliath" in 2010).

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How significant would it be if the CASC were to display some of the major bits of the S-60 alongside a flyable S-64 at the planet's largest aviation venue? The publicity would literally be global. The coolness factor immeasurable.

How about CASC contacting Erickson or maybe Sikorsky about doing this? They may be interested in donating part or all of your expenses (tax write off for them). Mucho advertising $$ is spent on OSH, and an idea like this might be right up their alley. Even if they don't like the idea, I can't imagine establishing rapport with either Erickson or Sikorsky (especially their technical deptartments) being a bad thing. EAA also understands the heritage perspective. Brainstorming with them would undoubtedly yield more ideas than my poor brain can conjure.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Dan K wrote:
How about CASC contacting Erickson or maybe Sikorsky about doing this? They may be interested in donating part or all of your expenses (tax write off for them). Mucho advertising $$ is spent on OSH, and an idea like this might be right up their alley.
Already happening! Drew has been in contact with Erickson and from what I gather there response has been very positive to our ambitions. Erickson is very excited to see the "granddaddy" of there business being restored. They apparently didn't even know the helicopter still existed!

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Last edited by Warbird Kid on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Good to hear that Chris.


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