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.
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
||17 ft. 2 in.
||9,150 lbs. max
||860 hp Lycoming T-53
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 at the National Museum of the USAF.