The UH-34 Seahorse is a military helicopter originally designed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the US Navy for service in the anti-submarine warfare role.
The aircraft first flew on March 8, 1954. It was initially designated HSS-1 Seabat (in its anti-submarine configuration) and HUS-1 Seahorse (in its utility transport configuration) under the US Navy designation system. The US Army and US Air Force used the designation H-34. In 1962, the Seabat was redesignated SH-34, the Seahorse as the UH-34 (NAVY), and the Choctaw as the CH-34 (ARMY).
This military helicopter served many roles including utility transport, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and VIP transport. In its standard configuration, the transport version could carry 12 to 16 troops, or eight stretchers if utilized in the Medevac role. As a VIP transport it carried fewer people in greater comfort.
The US Marine Corps (USMC) continued to use the UH-34 even after the US Army had phased it out. UH-34s continued to be used up to and for a period after the Tet Offensive in 1968, even after the USMC received the newer UH-1E "Huey". The UH-34s higher availability and reliability, due to its simplicity compared to the newer helicopters, led Marines to ask for it by name.
Marine Corps UH-34s were also among the first gunship helicopters to be tested in combat, being fitted with a Temporary Kit-1 (TK-1), comprised of 2 M60C machine guns and two 19 shot 2.75 inch rocket pods. The operations were met with mixed enthusiasm, and the armed H-34s, known as "Stingers" were quickly phased out. The TK-1 kit would later form the basis of the TK-2 kit used on the UH-1E "Huey" helicopters of the USMC.
The Seahorse on display, Bureau Number 150213, is a UH-34D built by Sikorsky Aircraft Company and accepted by the Marine Corps on November 27, 1962. During the first 3 years it served at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River with H&MS 26, HMM-262, HMM-261, HMM-264. On October 18, 1967, it was deployed to Da Nang, Vietnam with H&MS 16. In June 1968, it was transferred to HMM-163 in Da Nang, Vietnam. In August 1968, it was transferred to H&MS 36 at Phu Bai, Vietnam. Upon returning to the United States in 1969, it served in the Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment at the following locations: Los Alamitos, CA; Alameda, CA; Glenview, IL; and South Weymouth, MA. It was retired from service in 1971.
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps located in Quantico, Virginia. It was restored by museum volunteers and members of the USMC Combat Helicopter Association "Pop A Smoke" and was painted to reflect when it served with HMM-163 in Da Nang, Vietnam in 1968.
|ENGINE||Wright R-1820 Radial Engine developing 1,525 h.p.|
|MAIN ROTOR DISC DIAMETER||56 feet, 0 Inches|
|LENGTH||46 feet, 9 inches|
|HEIGHT||15 feet, 11 inches|
|MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT||14,000 pounds|
|MANUFACTURED BY||Sikorsky Aircraft|
|TOTAL BUILT||Over 1,800|
|MUSEUM'S AIRCRAFT BUILT||1962|
|ON DISPLAY AT||Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison Airport (KADS), Dallas, Texas|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||123 m.p.h.|