Entering service as the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe heavy-lift helicopter, this aircraft became known as the S-64 Aircrane when Erickson Air-Crane purchased the type certificates, as well as manufacturing and support rights, from Sikorsky in 1992. The S-64F models are upgraded, certified CH-54B aircraft, with remanufactured airframes.

Used in construction, logging, and firefighting around the world, these aircraft set several flight records, many of which are still current. For example, in 1971 a S-64F/CH-54B set a record for highest altitude in level flight (11,010 m, or 36,122 ft) that still stands today.

The Aircranes are unique in that they feature an aft-facing position for load master or engineer. The aircraft can be piloted from this position. While three crew are employed when carrying external loads, only two crew (as per EASA TCDS No. EASA.IM.R.003 page 6) are required to fly the aircraft.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Latest or last design authority: Erickson Incorporated
Originally designed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Latest or last primary manufacturer: Erickson Incorporated
Originally manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Parent type: Erickson S-64/H-54

Aircraft status: Operational


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift devices: 1 Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: 1 Tail rotor

Crew required: 2 in Tandem arrangement

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Key Characteristics

Data on key physical features

Aircraft Details

Data on aircraft configuration, weights, flight performance and equipment


References and sources used

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
EASA Type Certificate Data Sheet EASA.IM.R.003, February 2013 (page 3)

Erickson Chief Engineer
Ian Gibson, Erickson Chief Engineer
Ian Gibson, Erickson Chief Engineer, March 16, 2018

Erickson S-64E Aircrane and Erickson S-64F Aircrane
Erickson, Inc.
http://ericksonaviation.com/fleet/air-cranes, 2015

Randy Erwin, Erickson Chief Pilot
Erickson Inc.
January 30, 2018

Special Conditions: Erickson Air-Crane Incorporated S-64E and S-64F Rotorcraft
Federal Aviation Authority
FAA Document Number: 2010-19921, August 2010
Agency/Docket Number SW014. Special Conditions Number 29-014-SC.

The Twin-Engine BO-105
A.C. Ballauer and P. F. Sheridan
VERTIFLITE August 1969, August 1969
Good description of the overall vehicle

The U.S. ARMY's CH-54 Skycrane Helicopter: History and Contributions
Paul Fardink, U.S. Army (Retired)
AHS Forum 71, Virginia Beach, Virginia, May 5-7, 2015, 2015 (page 10)
Meeting paper or Presentation

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