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Kaman H-43

Kaman H-43 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2005 Title Kaman H-43
Author Wayne Mutza Publisher Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Published 1998 ISBN 0-7643-0529-8
Format 112 pages, Softbound MSRP (USD) $19.95

Review

The Kaman HH-43 Huskie was an interesting solution to a long-standing engineering problem. How do you control a helicopter with the least amount of complexity. The solution employed by Bell, Mil, and Sikorsky use a single main rotor for lift and an anti-torque rotor on the tail to control yaw. Kamov uses counter-rotating blades on a single shaft to cancel out torque. Boeing/Vertol opted for two main rotors, one on each end of the aircraft, rotating in opposite directions to counter torque.

And then there is Kaman. They also used two main rotors, but since their aircraft were not long enough to put the main rotors on either end of the aircraft a la Boeing/Vertol, nor did they want the mechanical nightmare of the Kamov design, they opted for the egg-beater approach. The two main rotors were mounted next to one another, angled slightly away from one another, and mechanically intermeshed so that the two rotors safely through one another.

In the case of the H-43, the aircraft was powered by a single engine and could lift a sizable external load which made it a natural for crash rescue. The aircraft would see extensive service within the US military and among some allied air forces before retiring out of old age. Nevertheless, a few Huskies are still flying today in the logging industry in the northwest United States. A few years ago, Kaman even dusted off the Huskie design and produced the K-Max, a single place utility helicopter that replaced many of the Huskies in the forests of the US.

Author Wayne Mutza tells the story of the Huskie from concept, through operations around the world, through its retirement in military service, and through its continued civilian use. The title is well illustrated with color and black & white images of the aircraft in action. Coverage includes:

  • Birth of a Concept
  • The Aircraft
  • Approval from the Navy
  • The Marines Become Interested
  • Drones
  • The US Air Force Huskie
  • Crash Rescue
  • War in Southeast Asia
  • Versatility Worldwide
  • Special Projects
  • Foreign Operators
  • Survivors
  • A Glance at the Future

This is an excellent reference for the aviation historian as well as the modeler. Definitely recommended!

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