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Piasecki H-16 Transporter

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Title: Piasecki H-16 Transporter  
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Piasecki H-16 Transporter

H-16 / PV-15 Transporter
The US Air Force prototype Piasecki YH-16A Transporter. The program was abandoned after the crash of the second prototype
Role Tandem-rotor transport helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Piasecki Helicopter
First flight 23 October 1953
Number built 2

The Piasecki H-16 Transporter (company designation PV-15) was a tandem-rotor transport or rescue helicopter designed by Frank Piasecki and built by Piasecki Helicopter. The prototypes were evaluated by the US Air Force and US Army, but the crash of the second test aircraft led to cancelling the project.

Design and development

Given the company designation PV-15, the tandem-rotor helicopter was designed by company founder Frank Piasecki.[1]

Operational history


On 5 January 1956, the second YH-16 test aircraft crashed while returning to Philadelphia from a test flight over New Jersey.[2] The cause of the crash was later determined to be the aft slip ring, which carried flight data from the instrumented rotor blades to the data recorders in the cabin. The slip ring bearings seized, and the resultant torque load severed the instrumentation standpipe inside the aft rotor shaft. A segment of this steel standpipe tilted over and came into contact with the interior of the aluminum rotor shaft, scribing a deepening groove into it. The rotor shaft eventually failed in flight, which in turn led to the aft blades and forward blades desynchronizing and colliding.

The aircraft was a total loss; the two test pilots, Harold Peterson and George Callahan, were killed. This led to the cancellation not only of the YH-16, but also the planned 69-passenger YH-16B version.[3]


Another view of the first YH-16A prototype
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2180-A Twin Hornet radial engines and room for 43 troops, one built later converted to a YH-16B.
Powered by two Allison T38-A-10 1,800 shp turboshaft engines; previously designated XH-27.
Prototype XH-16A re-engined with two Allison T56-A-5 2,100 shp turboshaft engines.

Specifications (YH-16B)

Data from U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947[4]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 3 (2 pilots and flight engineer[5])
  • Capacity: 47 troops or 38 stretchers and 5 attendants
  • Length: 77 ft 7 in (23.65 m)
  • Height: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Empty weight: 25,450 lb (11,544 kg)
  • Gross weight: 45,700 lb (20,729 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Allison T56-A-5 turboshafts, 2,100 shp (1,600 kW) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 2× 82 ft (25 m)
  • Main rotor area: 10,562 sq ft (981.2 m2)


  • Maximum speed: 156 mph (251 km/h; 136 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 125 mph (109 kn; 201 km/h)
  • Range: 216 mi (188 nmi; 348 km)
  • Service ceiling: 15,600 ft (4,755 m)

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ Flying Magazine: 40. January 1954. 
  2. ^ Piasecki Helicopter Corporation newsletter, January 1956
  3. ^ Harding, Stephen (1997). U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947. Atglen, PA, USA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 202.  
  4. ^ Harding 1990, p. 264.
  5. ^ Bridgman 1955, pp. 302–303.
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1955). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1955–56. New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company. 
  • Harding, Stephen (1997). U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd.  

External links

  • Piasecki H-16 page
  • "Biggest Transport Helicopter Cruises 150 Miles Per Hour." Popular Mechanics, January 1954, p. 119, bottom of page.
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