Kaman HH-43 Huskie Helicopter

The Kaman Aircraft H-43 Huskie (Kaman Model K-600) was used primarily for crash rescue and aircraft fire-fighting. Designation was changed from H-43 to HH-43 in 1962. The last USAF version was the HH-43F (the "Pedro") with engine modifications for improved performance, armor plate, and other improvements. Some Pedros were used in Southeast Asia as aerial fire trucks and for rescuing downed airmen in North and South Vietnam. Huskies were also flown by other nations including Iran, Colombia, and Morocco.

US Air Force HH-43B Huskie helicopter parked on the flight line, El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, CA, 24 April 1966
US Air Force HH-43B Huskie helicopter parked on the flight line, El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, CA, 24 April 1966.

Today in WW II: 16 Oct 1939 Germans counterattack in the Saar, quickly expelling the French invaders. More 
16 Oct 1940 Selective Service draft registration begins in the United States for approximately 16 million men.
16 Oct 1940 34 ships sunk from Convoy SC-7 and Convoy HX-79 by German submarine Wolf Pack, one of the worst attacks of the war in the Atlantic [16-19 Oct].
16 Oct 1941 Germans and Romanians march into Odessa, following the Soviet evacuation.
16 Oct 1941 Although Stalin remains in Moscow, Soviet government moves east to Kuybyshev [Samara] on the Volga River, where they remain until summer of 1943.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Kaman HH-43 / OH-43 / UH-43 Huskie Helicopter

On 6 December 1959, an H-43 Huskie set an altitude record of 29,846 ft. The H-43 set numerous rate of climb records at other times. In Vietnam, the Huskie was deployed in 1964 for Search & Rescue where it flew more SAR missions than all other aircraft combined - with the best safety record of any U.S. military aircraft.

A Huskie on rescue alert could be airborne in approximately one minute. It carried two rescuemen/fire-fighters and could mount a fire suppression kit slung beneath the craft. It often reached crashed airplanes before ground vehicles arrived. Foam from the kit plus the powerful downwash air from the rotors were used to open a path to trapped crash victims to permit their rescue.

As a Marine Corps Observation Helicopter the HH-43 was designated HOK-1. The U.S. Navy Utility Helicopter designation was HUK-1.

Kaman HH-43 Huskie Specifications and Performance

Rotor diameter 47 ft.
Length 47 ft.
Height 17 ft. 2 in.
Weight 9,150 lbs. max
Armament None
Engine 860 hp Lycoming T-53
Maximum speed 120 mph
Cruising speed 105 mph
Range 185 mi.
Service ceiling 25,000 ft.

HH-43 Pedro (Huskie) helicopter over the Southeast Asia jungle, with hoist deployed to rescue a downed airman, 19 December 1968
HH-43 Pedro (Huskie) helicopter over the Southeast Asia jungle, with hoist deployed to rescue a downed airman, 19 December 1968.

HH-43 Huskie with USAF markings
HH-43 Huskie with USAF markings.

HH-43 Huskie at the National Museum of the USAF
HH-43 Huskie at the National Museum of the USAF.