Designed by helicopter pioneer Frank Piasecki, the Vertol H-21 first flew in April 1952. With two main rotors, its long fuselage could hold large numbers of people or heavy cargo loads. Later adaptations allowed the aircraft to perform rescue and assault operations under combat conditions. In addition to the pilot and copilot, the H-21 could carry either 20 fully-equipped troops or 12 litter patients and two medical attendants.
Originally called the "flying banana," the H-21 served with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the French navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the West German Air Force. The museum obtained the CH-21B on display from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in January 1965.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Engine:Wright R-1820 of 1,425 hp Maximum speed: 132 mph Range: 400 miles Rotor diameter: 44 ft. Fuselage length: 52 ft. 7 in. Overall length: 86 ft. 4 in. (including rotor arcs) Height: 15 ft. 4 in. Weight: 10,223 lbs. loaded Serial number: 51-15857