The Piasecki H-21 Helicopter: An Illustrated History of the H-21 Helicopter and Its Designer, Frank N. Piasecki
The only comprehensive illustrated history of Frank N. Piasecki and his H-21 advanced technology helicopter. The Piasecki H-21 became the first successful tandem-rotor cargo helicopter to enter mass production. Its innovative and unique design became the basis for the development of both the CH-46 and CH-47 helicopters, which remain in service to this day. The book covers the early life of Frank N. Piasecki and the development of his first helicopter, the single-rotor PV-2. Soon the XHRP-1 (Experimental, Helicopter, Transport, Piasecki, Model One) would appear and it was this helicopter which successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the tandem-rotor helicopter design. Successive improvements soon led to the HRP-1 and the more advanced HRP-2 which were flown by the US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard. The US Air Force expressed a need for a rescue helicopter that could operate in the extreme cold environment of the Arctic and issued a request for proposal. Frank Piasecki responded to this request with his H-21 tandem-rotor helicopter design. The Air Force liked what it saw and soon the H-21A "Workhorse" was in production for the US Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force. The rapidly expanding US Army Aviation Program saw the H-21 as a solution to meet its requirement for a helicopter capable of carrying an infantry squad. Soon the H-21C, now named "Shawnee" following the Army tradition of naming its helicopters after American Indian Tribes. The H-21 was soon in service with France, Germany, Sweden, Japan, and Burma. The H-21, now know as the Vertol 44, entered civil airline service with New York Airways. Five US Army helicopter companies, flying H-21 helicopters were deployed to Vietnam during 1961-62. These pioneering US Army helicopter companies proved that helicopters were capable of operating successfully combat. This success soon led to the rapid expansion and use of helicopters in Vietnam. The Frank N. Piasecki and his H-21, both long overlooked, are nevertheless true pioneers in the history of rotary-wing flight.
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