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RCP0110_0_Hangar Talk 2/15/10 5:01 PM Page 16
backing for the company Frank Piasecki pounds (Helicopters). Over 700 of these licopter Corporation scored more firsts
was forced to turn over control. The PV aircraft were produced for the U.S. and and significantly pushed helicopter devel-
Engineering Forum was reorganized into foreign militaries. It was used extensively opment forward once again. The first pro-
the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation in by the French in the Algerian War and by totype YH-16 was developed for the U.S.
1946. Frank Piasecki continued with the the U.S. in the beginning of the war in Air Force and became the world’s first
company as President and Chairman of Vietnam. In 1953, U.S. Air Force H-21s twin engine helicopter. The second pro-
the Board of Directors (Frank N. Pi- set world records for speed, 146.7 mph, totype, the YH-16A, was the world’s first
asecki). With new financial backing in twin turbine helicopter. It first flew in
place many improved tandem rotor ver-
In order to bring in private
1953 and at the time was the world’s
sions followed including the XHRP-1 and largest helicopter. It had a fuselage the
XHRP-2 Flying Banana. The tandem ro-
backing for the company
size of most large airliners at the time and
tor design became increasingly popular
Frank Piasecki was forced to
could carry up to 40 troops or three light
and starting in 1948, 339 XHJP/XHUP/H- vehicles with a range of 230 miles and a
25 models were delivered to the U.S.
turn over control. The PV
max speed of 146 mph (Helicopters).
Army, U.S., Canadian and French Navies.
Engineering Forum was
This would be the last major tandem rotor
The XHUP-2 was the first production he- design built during Frank Piasecki’s time
licopter with an autopilot permitting IFR
reorganized into the Piasecki
at Piasecki Helicopter Corporation. He
and hands off flight (Helicopters, n.d.). left the company in 1955 following dis-
The H-21 was arguably Piasecki Heli-
Helicopter Corporation.
agreements with the major shareholder,
copter Corporation’s mos tsuccessful de- Laurance Rockefeller, over the use of
sign. It was developed for the U.S. Air and altitude, 22,110 feet. In 1956, a U.S. profits for research and development. To-
Force and improved on the X-HRP2. Army H-21 using in-flight refueling day the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation
With a slightly larger rotor head and more crossed the county non-stop in a record is part of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. The
powerful engine the gross weight more 37 hrs (Helicopters). On the next line of popular CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-47
than doubled from 7255 pounds to 14,700 tandem rotor helicopters the Piasecki He- Chinook tandem rotor helicopter models
used extensively by the U.S. Armed
Forces are direct descendents of the
Helicopters had come a long way since
the PV-2 first flew in 1943, but Frank Pi-
asecki wasn’t done yet. In the mid 1950s,
following his departure from Piasecki He-
licopter Corporation, Frank Piasecki and
some of the other original founders of Pi-
asecki Helicopter Corporation founded a
new company called Piasecki Aircraft
Corporation or PiAC. Starting with the
PA-59K Flying Geep in the late 1950’s,
PiAC began developing a series of aerial
vehicles for the U.S. Army. The Flying
Geep used two piston engine powered
horizontal ducted rotors and was success-
fully flown in and out of ground effect at
speeds up to 75 mph. It could also land
and be driven like a car. Two later mod-
els, the PA-59N Sea Jeep and the PA-59H
Air Jeep II were turbine powered versions
with increased power. The Sea Jeep was
successfully flown over water and oper-
ated from a ship at altitudes of up to 220
feet (Geeps, n.d.). Frank Piasecki’s in-
credible vision also led him into com-
pound helicopter technology in the
1960’s. In 1962, PiAC flew the world’s
first shaft driven compound helicopter, the
16H-1 Pathfinder. This aircraft combined
the vertical flight capability of the heli-
copter with the higher speed of fixed wing
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