Sikorsky HO3S-1

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The Sikorsky HO3S-1 was the first helicopter assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. The HO3S was the naval variant of Sikorky’s model S-51 commercial helicopter. Despite its observation designation,...

Pitcarin OP-1 Autogiro

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The first rotary-winged aircraft used by naval aviation was not a helicopter. It was an autogiro, an airplane propelled by a normal front-mounted aircraft engine but kept aloft by rotating...

Early Naval Helicopters

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The first U.S. Navy experience with rotary-wing aircraft was not a good one. The Pitcarin OP-1 autogiro, an airplane not a true helicopter, had been tested and found wanting during the era...

Sikorsky HRS-1

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The HRS transport helicopter was the military version of the Sikorsky S-55 commercial aircraft. It featured the familiar Sikorsky design signatures, a single overhead main rotor and a small...

Bell HTL

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired Thanks to the opening credits of the long-running television series “M*A*S*H,” a helicopter delivering wounded men to a field hospital remains one of the most enduring images of the Korean...