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The Sikorsky S58

Country of origin  
United States of America

Photos  

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Photo © Axel Juengerich

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Powerplants  
S58 - One 1140kW (1525hp) Wright R182084 radial piston engine driving a four blade main rotor and four blade tail rotor. S58T - One 1340kW (1800shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T3 Twin Pac turboshaft (two PT6s linked through a combining transmission) or one 1400kW (1875shp) PT6T6.

Performance  
S58 - Max speed 198km/h (107kt), max cruising speed 158km/h (85kt). Initial rate of climb 1100ft/min. Hovering ceiling out of ground effect 2400ft. Range with max fuel and reserves 450km (243nm). S58T (with PT6T6s) - Max speed 222km/h (120kt), cruising speed 158km/h (85kt). Hovering ceiling out of ground effect 6500ft. Range with reserves 480km (260nm).

Weights  
S58 - Empty equipped 3461kg (7630lb), max takeoff 5895kg (13,000lb). S58T - Empty 3355kg (7400lb), max TO 5895kg (13,000lb).

Dimensions  
S58 - Main rotor diameter 17.07m (56ft 0in), length overall rotors turning 17.27m (56ft 8in), fuselage length 14.25m (46ft 9in), height 4.36m (14ft 4in). Main rotor disc area 228.5m2 (2460sq ft). S58T - Same except for fuselage length 14.41m (47ft 3in).

Capacity  
Flightcrew of two. Main cabin seating capacity for between 10 and 16 passengers or freight. Can also carry external sling loads.

Production  
1821 S58s built mainly for military but also for civil use between 1954 and 1970.

Type  
Mid size utility helicopter

History  

The Sikorsky S58 was one of the most successful piston powered mid size helicopters built.

Sikorsky developed the S58 in response to a US Navy requirement for an anti submarine warfare helicopter. What resulted was the S58, which features a single Wright R1820 radial piston engine mounted in the nose, one of the largest fuselages to be designed for a single piston powered helo and a raised flightdeck. As the XHSS1 the S58 flew for the first time on March 8 1954.

Large numbers of S58s were subsequently built to serve with the US Navy in anti submarine warfare roles as the SH34G and SH34J Seabat, and in utility roles with the US Marines as the UH34D Seahorse. The US Army operated large numbers as the CH34 Choctaw while many other allied countries operated the S58 in various military roles. The UK for example licence built a turboprop development called the Wessex, some of which saw civil service.

Modest numbers of piston powered S58s saw civil service with most were delivered to customers within the USA. The S58 offered a very large fuselage and lifting capacity, but its piston engine made it expensive to operate.

In 1970 Sikorsky announced it was developing a turboprop conversion package for the S58. Turboprop powered S58s are designated the S58T and were initially powered by a 1340kW (1800shp) Pratt & Whitney PT6T3, later aircraft a 1400kW (1875shp) PT6T6. The first S58T conversion flew for the first time on August 19 1970. Sikorsky set up a production line to convert customer S58s, offered kits for S58 operators to perform the conversion and purchased used S58s, converted them to turbine power and offered them for resale. Small numbers remain in commercial service.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.