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Aerospatiale HH-65A Dolphin

posted by Jirka Wagner

The United States Coast Guard has added 96 short range HH-65A helicopters to its fleet to replace the HH-52A Sikorsky Sea Guard.The twin-engine Dolphin operate up to 150 miles off shore and will fly comfortably at 120 knots for three hours.

Though normally stationed ashore, the Dolphins can be carried on board medium and high endurance Coast Guard Cutters. They assist in the missions of search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, including drug interdiction, polar ice breaking, marine environmental protection including pollution control, and military readiness. Helicopters stationed aboard icebreakers are the ship's eyes to find thinner and more navigable ice channels. They also airlift supplies to ships and to villages isolated by winter.

The HH-65A minimum equipment requirements exceed anything previously packaged into one helicopter weighing in at less than 10,000 pounds. HH-65As are made of corrosion-resistant, composite-structure materials. The shrouded tail rotor is unique to the Dolphin. Also a unique feature of the Dolphin is its computerized flight management system which integrates state-of-the-art communications and navigation equipment. This system provides automatic flight control. At the pilot's direction, the system will bring the aircraft to a stable hover 50 feet above a selected object. This is an important safety feature in darkness or inclement weather. Selected search patterns can be flown automatically, freeing the pilot and copilot to concentrate on sighting the search object.

The Dolphin is manufactured by Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation in Grand Praire, Texas. Textron Lycoming builds the LTS-101 750B-2 turboshaft engines in Williamport, Pennsylvania and Rockwell International, Collins Avionics Group manufactures the electronics system in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


H-65A Air Stations:

CGAS Traverse City, Michigan; CGAS Barbers Point, Hawaii; CGAS Borinquen, Puerto Rico; CGAS Brooklyn, New York; CGAS Cape May, New Jersey; CGAS Corpus Christi, Texas; CGAS Detroit, Michigan; CGAS Houston, Texas; CGAS Humbolt Bay, California; CGAS Los Angles, California; CGAS Miami, Florida; CGAS/ATC Mobile, Alabama; CGAS New Orleans, Louisiana; CGAS North Bend, Oregon; CGAS San Francisco, California; CGAS Port Angles, Washington; CGAS Savannah, Georgia.

General characteristics

Primary function SRR (Short Range Recovery) helicopter
Contractors Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation (Grand Prairie, Texas), Textron Lycoming (Williamport, Pennsylvania) a Rockwell International, Collins Avionics Group (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Power plant Two Lycoming LTS-101-750B-2 engines
Thrust 2x 742 HP 2x 553 kW
Weight max. takeoff 9,200 lb 4,173 kg
empty 6,092 lb 2,763 kg
Max. range 460 miles 740 km
Capacity of fuel tanks 291 gallons 1,102 lt.
Length 38 ft 11.6 m
Height 13 ft 3.96 m
Payload 2,000 lb 907 kg
Lifting capacity of capstan 600 lb 272 kg
Diameter of main rotor 39 ft 11.9 m
Speed max. 190 mph 306 km/h
  cruising 138 mph 222 km/h
Endurance 3.5 hours
Armament None
Crew Three (pilot, co-pilot, capstan operator)


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