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H-23 Raven Helicopter

The Hiller H-23 Raven Light Observation Helicopter was based on the Hiller-produced U.S. Navy UH-12, which was first flown in 1948. The H-23 Raven performed as a utility, observation, and MedEvac helicopter during the Korean war. Model numbers ranged A through D, F and G (no model E was procured).

H-23 Raven Models A, B, C, D and G were 3-place while the H-23F was 4-place. The H-23F had a 25 inch cabin extension which placed the pilot in front of the the three original positions. Only 33 of the F-models were procured by the U.S. Army.

The H-23 was called the OH-23 after 1962.

Hiller H-23D Raven Helicopter
Hiller H-23D Raven Helicopter.

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Hiller H-23 Raven Helicopter

The Hiller H-23A Raven Helicopter had a sloping front windshield. The H-23B was used as a primary helicopter trainer. Beginning with the UH-23C, all later models featured the "Goldfish bowl" canopy similar to the Bell H-13 Sioux helicopter. The H-23 Raven also featured the Hiller "Rotomatic" system -- two paddles at right angles to the two rotor blades -- that produced great stability and insulated the pilot from rotor vibrations.

The OH-23D was a purely military version with a O-435-23C engine and a more reliable transmission. Most OH-23Ds were replaced by the OH-23G, the most common version of the Raven, with a more powerful Lycoming O-540-9A six-cylinder, horizontally opposed, air cooled 305 hp engine. The MedEvac version carried two external skid-mounted litters or pods.

The U.S. Navy procured the same helicopter under the designation HTE-1 (similar to Army H-23A, but with four wheels instead of three) and HTE-2 (similar to Army H-23B, but with four wheels instead of skids.)

The Hiller OH-23 Raven served during the early part of the Vietnam war but was replaced by the OH-6A Cayuse in early 1968.

Hiller H-23 Raven Specifications and Performance

Rotor diameter 35 ft.
Length 27 ft. 10 in.
Height 10 ft. 1 in.
Weight 2,750 lb. max
Armament M37C .30 Cal. mg (XM1 armament subsystem) or twin M60C 7.62mm mg (M2 armament subsystem)
Engine Varied by model
Maximum speed 95 mph
Cruising speed 83 mph
Range 274 mi.
Service ceiling 13,000 ft.

Note: Specifications based on the H-23G, superior to the earlier models.

Hiller H-23B Raven
Hiller H-23B Raven.

Navy HTE-2 with wheeled undercarriage, equivalent to H-23B
Navy HTE-2 with wheeled undercarriage, equivalent to H-23B.

OH-23D, personal aircraft of Bruce Briggs, Denton, TX
OH-23D, personal aircraft of Bruce Briggs, Denton, TX.

H-23D Raven armed with twin M37C .30 Cal. machine guns on XM1 armament subsystem, visible above the skids
H-23D Raven armed with twin M37C .30 Cal. machine guns on XM1 armament subsystem, visible above the skids.

Hiller OH-23 Raven
Hiller OH-23 Raven.

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