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Chart of Military Helicopters

Just as jeeps and trucks replaced the horse for military mobility, the military helicopter has come a long way toward replacing motor transport. Originally used for only high value missions such as medical evacuation, helicopters are now the primary vehicle for air assault and many other military roles.

U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Soldiers dismount from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during training for deployment to Afghanistan, Hohenfels, Germany, 4 May 2007
U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Soldiers dismount from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during training for deployment to Afghanistan, Hohenfels, Germany, 4 May 2007.

Today in WW II: 17 Sep 1939 Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_NS_SEPARATOR in /big/dom/xolive_drab/www/od2/od2_support_functions.php(242) : eval()'d code on line 1.  More 
17 Sep 1944 Thousands of Allied planes begin airborne assault on Holland, Operation Market Garden.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Military Helicopter Type Designations

U.S. military helicopters are usually prefixed with a type designation from this list. However, there are exceptions so this system cannot be called universal:

  • AH - Attack Helicopter.Carries weapons used for ground support.
  • CH - Cargo Helicopter.Cargo transport, replacing trucks.
  • HH - Heavy Helicopter. Large rescue helicopters not otherwise classified.
  • MH - Special Operations Helicopter.
  • OH - Observation Helicopter.Primary use is reconnaissance.
  • RH - Minesweeping Helicopter.
  • SH - Anti-submaarine Warfare Helicopter.
  • TH - Training Helicopter.
  • UH - Utility Helicopter.Troop transport, replacing trucks.

When military helicopters were first procured during World War II, they were designated with numbers like R-4 (R for Rotorcraft). In 1948, the U.S. Army Air Force changed the designation from R to H (Helicopter), renaming existing models. On 9 July 1962 the modern prefix system was adopted and again existing models were renamed, e.g. H-19 redesignated UH-19. Helicopters with an X prefix are experimental, with Y prefix are pre-production.

Chart of Military Helicopters

In this chart of military helicopters, click on the photo link to go to the page of photos and information for the specific helicopter.

Aircraft Description Photo Link
UH-1 UH-1 "Huey" Helicopter UH-1 Huey Helicopter
AH-1 AH-1 Huey Cobra Helicopter AH-1 Huey Cobra Helicopter
CH-3 CH-3 Sea King / Jolly Green Giant Helicopter CH-3 Sea King / Jolly Green Giant Helicopter
R-4 R-4 Sikorsky Helicopter R-4 Sikorsky Helicopter
R-5 R-5 Sikorsky Helicopter R-5 Sikorsky Helicopter
R-6 R-6 Sikorsky Helicopter R-6 Sikorsky Helicopter
OH-6A OH-6A Cayuse Light Observation Helicopter OH-6A Cayuse Light Observation Helicopter
H-13 Bell H-13 Sioux Helicopter Bell H-13 Sioux Helicopter
H-19 Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw Helicopter Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw Helicopter
H-21 Boeing-Vertol H-21 / CH-21 Shawnee Helicopter Boeing-Vertol H-21 / CH-21 Shawnee Helicopter
V-22 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
H-23 Hiller H-23 Raven Helicopter Hiller H-23 Raven Helicopter
CH-34 Sikorsky CH-34 Choctaw Sikorsky CH-34 Choctaw
H-37 Sikorsky H-37 / CH-37 Mojave Sikorsky H-37 / CH-37 Mojave
HH-43 Kaman HH-43 Husky Helicopter Kaman HH-43 Husky Helicopter
CH-46 Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter
CH-47 CH-47 Chinook Helicopter CH-47 Chinook Helicopter
HH-52 HH-52 Sea Guard Helicopter HH-52 Sea Guard Helicopter
CH-53 CH-53 Super Stallion Helicopter CH-53 Super Stallion Helicopter
CH-54 CH-54 Sky Crane Helicopter CH-54 Sky Crane Helicopter
TH-55A Boeing Hughes TH-55A Osage Training Helicopter Boeing Hughes TH-55A Osage Training Helicopter
OH-58 OH-58 Kiowa Observation Helicopter OH-58 Kiowa Observation Helicopter
UH-60 Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter
AH-64 AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter
HH-65 Aerospatiale HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter Aerospatiale HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter
AH-66 Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche
TH-67 Bell Textron TH-67 Creek Training Helicopter Bell Textron TH-67 Creek Training Helicopter
ARH-70 Bell Textron ARH-70 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Bell Textron ARH-70 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
UH-72A UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter

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