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