|Length:||46 ft 9 in|
|Height:||14ft 3.5 in|
|Rotor Span:||56 ft|
|Empty Weight:||8,410 lb||Kg|
|Cargo Gross Weight:||Kg|
|Max Weight:||14,000 lb||Kg|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Powerplant:||Wright R-1820-84 Cyclone|
|Horsepower (each):||1,525 hp|
|Cruise Speed:||98 mph||Km/H||Kt|
|Max Speed:||123 Mph||Km/H||Kt|
This HH-34J, S/N 148943, was originally manufactured as an SH-34J by Sikorsky
Aircraft in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and delivered to the U.S. Navy in the
1960s. It was one of fourteen aircraft later transferred from Navy storage to
the Air Force as HH-34J Search-And-Rescue ships.
The aircraft was operated by the 304th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery
Squadron, Air Force Reserve, located at Portland International Airport, Oregon.
It operated with the 304th for the majority of its Air Force service.
There were five rescue squadrons in the Air Force Reserve and three of them
(301st ARRS at Homestead AFB, Florida; 302nd ARRS at Luke AFB, Arizona; and
304th ARRS at Portland, Oregon) were assigned the Choctaw as an interim machine
in which to transition from the fixed-wing environment of the Grumman HU-16
Albatross to the rotary-wing world of the Air Force's rescue version of the Bell
The two other AFRES units (303rd ARRS at March AFB, California, and 305th
ARRS at Selfridge AFB, Michigan) operated the Boeing HC-97G Stratorescuer from
1965 onwards until transition to the Lockheed HC-130H/P Hercules in 1972. The
HH-34s retained the auto-hover equipment originally installed for their Navy
anti-submarine warfare mission, making them very steady platforms for hoist
deployment and recovery of personnel.
This aircraft was returned to MASDC by the Air Force Reserve on 4 February
1974. It was later used as a static display at Luke AFB, Arizona. Hill Aerospace
Museum acquired the aircraft from Luke in the late 1980s. The March Field Air
Museum received this aircraft on September 11, 2013 from Hill Aerospace Museum.