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HH-65A Dolphin Short Range Recovery Helicopter

The HH-65A Dolphin Short Range Recovery Helicopter was manufactured for the U.S. Coast Guard by Aerospatiale, with 96 HH-65As replacing the Coast Guard fleet of Sikorsky HH-52A Sea Guard helicopters. The HH-65A Dolphin assists the Coast Guard missions of search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, as well as maritime homeland security missions. Each year, the HH-65A Dolphin was estimated by the Coast Guard to be instrumental in saving 375 lives and with assists on over two thousand drug interdiction cases.

Although the HH-65A Dolphin is not capable of water landings, and is typically stationed ashore, the HH-65A can takoff or land on Coast Guard Cutters which can refuel and support the helicopter while on patrol.

In 2003-2004 the Coast Guard experienced a high number of engine or engine control system failures with the HH-65A Dolphin, resulting in a 2004 decision to replace the original engines with the Turbomeca Arriel 2C2. The first re-engined HH-65A was delivered 7 October 2004.

HH-65C Dolphin Multi-Mission Cutter Helicopter

The HH-65C is an upgraded version of the HH-65A, redesignated as the Multi-Mission Cutter Helicopter (MCH). The HH-65 will undergo a Service Life Extension Plan (SLEP) that will yield a like-new aircraft. A total of fifty four HH-65C “Charlies” were delivered to the USCG fleet by October 2006, operating out of eleven Coast Guard airstations in the U.S.

HH-65A Dolphin Specifications and Performance

Rotor diameter39 ft. 2 in.
Length44 ft. 5 in.
Height13 ft.
Weight9,200 lbs. max
ArmamentNone
EngineTwo 742 shp Lycoming LTS-101-750B-2 Gas Turbine
Maximum speed190 mph
Cruising speed138 mph
Range345 mi.
Service ceiling7,510 ft.

U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin
U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin.

U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter, 15 February 1990
U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter, 15 February 1990.

HH-65A Dolphin at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica on four feet of sea ice, 18 January 1996.  The HH-65A Dolphin transfers mail, cargo, and passengers in support of the National Science Foundations research program
HH-65A Dolphin at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica on four feet of sea ice, 18 January 1996. The HH-65A Dolphin transfers mail, cargo, and passengers in support of the National Science Foundations research program.

Hoist line from a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter is taken by an aviation survivalman during a rescue swimmer training exercise, Kaneohe Bay, HI, 9 March 1992
Hoist line from a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter is taken by an aviation survivalman during a rescue swimmer training exercise, Kaneohe Bay, HI, 9 March 1992.

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