Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane


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.


Note that while Vertipedia aims to be the internet's most comprehensive source for information on vertical lift aircraft, we are still missing a few data points on the S-64F, such as operational RPM range for the tail rotor, as well as out of ground effect hover ceiling. If you are familiar with this information and can provide specific, accurate citations for it, please contact the Vertipedia team! If we are able to use your data, we'll provide a free download of a paper (your choice) from the AHS Store/Library -- our way of saying "thanks" for your help and for getting involved with Vertipedia!




Parent type Sikorsky S-64/H-54 Aircrane
Variant *No Variant assigned
Design authority Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
Primary manufacturer Erickson Incorporated
Key Characteristics
Operational status In service
Max gross weight (ground)   142 13,608 kg 30,000 lb
Max gross weight (air) 21,319 kg 47,000 lb
Crew 2
Seating arrangement Tandem
VTOL type Helicopter
Compound type None
Lift configuration Single main rotor
Control device type Tail rotor
Number of engines 2
Number of propulsors 0
Number of lift devices 1
Number of control devices 1
Milestones associated with the Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane
1971 Highest altitude in level flight for a helicopter (Sikorsky S-64F/CH-54B)

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane


Dimensions for S-64/CH-54



Overall Dimensions
Overall height   141 7.82 m 25.7 ft
Overall length   141 27.23 m 89.3 ft
Overall width 21.95 m 72.0 ft
Note: All dimensions may be governed by the the diameter of an external rotor.
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe height   189 5.84 m 19.2 ft
Airframe length   108 21.34 m 70.0 ft
Airframe width   107 6.65 m 21.8 ft
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing gear type Wheels (non-retractable)
Landing gear base   189 7.44 m 24.4 ft
Landing gear track   107 6.02 m 19.8 ft
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin height  
Cabin length  
Cabin width  

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane


Company designation for / civilian equivalent of T73-P-700



Image coming soon!

Image coming soon!

Manufacturer Pratt & Whitney
Powerplant designation JFTD12A-5A
Type Turbine
Normal Ratings (uninstalled, sea level, static)
Max. continuous power  [ 223 ] 3,305 kW 4,430 hp
Intermediate power  
Maximum power  
Take-off power  [ 107 ] 3,581 kW 4,800 hp
OEI Ratings (uninstalled, sea level, static)
OEI Max. continuous power  
OEI Intermediate power  
OEI Contingency power  
OEI 30-second power  

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane


This rotor was specific to the S-64F due to the blade chord and twist



Image coming soon!

Main Rotor Characteristics
Hub type Fully articulated
Direction of rotation Counterclockwise
Diameter   107 21.95 m 72.00 ft
RPM   141 185.0
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blades per rotor 6
Blade chord   107 0.661 m 2.17 ft
Blade twist   107   14.000 deg
Tip geometry Conventional
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disk area 378.25 m² 4,071.6 ft²
Disk loading 35.98 kg/m² 7.368 lb/ft²
Solidity 0.1150
Note: disk loading is based on max gross weight (on ground) to help compare the widest range of aircraft.
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Area per blade 7.25 m² 78.0 ft²
Blade tip speed 212.58 m/s 697.4 fps
Note: blade area is calculated as rotor radius times blade chord and ignores any root cut-out.

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane


S-64/CH-54 tail rotor



Image coming soon!

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Hub type
Direction of rotation  167 Top blade aft
Diameter   107 4.88 m 16.00 ft
Configuration Pusher
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blades per rotor 4
Blade chord   107 0.390 m 1.28 ft
Blade twist  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disk area 18.68 m² 201.1 ft²
Solidity 0.2037
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Area per blade 0.951 m² 10.24 ft²
Blade tip speed  

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane


NOTE: the performance data shown is for the aircraft in the standard, clean configuration and weights detailed below, at International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) sea-level conditions. Any deviation from these conditions will be defined in the general notes below, or in any references accompanying a specific data point.


S-64F Aircrane performance

Performance statistics provided are with the non-composite blade. Erickson is developing composite blades that started flight testing in July 2016.


Maximum take-off weight   141 21,319 kg 47,000 lb
Empty weight   107 8,936 kg 19,700 lb
Useful load 12,383 kg 27,300 lb
Empty weight fraction 0.657
Never exceed speed   141 193 km/h 104 kts
Max. level flight speed   107 193 km/h 104 kts
Service ceiling   107 3,962 m 13,000 ft
Normal Ratings (uninstalled, sea level, static)
Powerplant P&W JFTD12A-5A
Number of engines   2
Max. continuous power   223 3,305 kW 4,430 hp
Intermediate power  
Maximum power  
Take-off power   107 3,581 kW 4,800 hp
Note: all powers quoted are per engine.
Range and Endurance
Range (no reserve)   107 385 km 208 nm
Endurance (no reserve)  
Hover Performance
Hover ceiling IGE   107 3,231 m 10,600 ft
Hover ceiling OGE   107  
Climb Performance
Maximum rate of climb   107 8.6 m/s 1,700 fpm

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B


Sorry, no operators have been defined for this aircraft yet.

Erickson S-64F/CH-54B


Forum Proceedings related to the Erickson S-64F/CH-54B

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Journal of the AHS

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NASA/NACA technical documents, reports, citations, images and more from the NASA Technical Reports Server

Technical reports related to the Erickson S-64F/CH-54B:



Full-text patent search at the US Patent and Trademark Office

US patents related to the Erickson S-64F/CH-54B issued since 1975:



Google Books related to the Erickson S-64F/CH-54B


Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane

Jesse Russell
Ronald Cohn

2012-03 - Book on Demand Limited

High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter. It is the civil version of the United States Army's CH-54 Tarhe. The S-64 Aircrane is the current production version, manufactured by the Erickson Air-Crane company.



John A. McKenna
Ned Allen

2010 - Amer Inst of Aeronautics &

The Skycrane was the last creation of aircraft design pioneer Igor Sikorsky. In SKYCRANE: Igor Sikorsky's Last Vision, former Sikorsky Aircraft Executive Vice President John A. McKenna traces the development of this remarkable helicopter from original concept and early sketches to standout performer for the military and private industry. Responsible for building the first S-64 Skycrane in 1961 and for supporting its Army and commercial programs, McKenna has written a comprehensive history chronicling a radically designed helicopter that many thought would not succeed. Indeed, initial versions generated no orders. But General Harry Kinnards vision and advocacy resulted in the Skycranes support of combat operations in Vietnam as part of the groundbreaking concept of supporting Army troops with helicopters rather than trucks. In 1971 Erickson Lumber Company acquired the first Skycrane intended for commercial use to move timber deep in American forests. Owner Jack Erickson later acquired the world manufacturing and support rights to the aircraft creating Erickson Air-Crane Inc. A half century after its first flight the Skycrane continues to save lives, provide essential services, and earn daily profits worldwide. Beautifully illustrated with scores of historical photographs, SKYCRANE features interviews with engineers who designed and tested the helicopter and with Army pilots who flew it during combat in Vietnam. This engagingly written work is the definitive history of a unique and important aircraft.


Airborne Warfare

General James Maurice Gavin

2014-08-15 - Pickle Partners Publishing

To every member of the 82nd Airborne Division who dropped as part of the American paratroop landings during World War Two, they breathed a little easier knowing their commander “Jumpin’ Jim” Gavin would be dropping with them. General Gavin would drop into the fierce fighting along with his men in Sicily, Normandy on D-Day and during the abortive attempt to capture the Rhine bridges during Operation Market-Garden. He shared the risks of all his men dropping into enemy territory, often only armed with his GI issue rifle and accompanied by a handful of men, leading from the front his memoirs are an outstanding addition to the literature of the Airborne in World War II. General Gavin had been at the forefront advancing the use of airborne troops in the US army, writing the first field manual for their combat use. In this volume of memoirs General Gavin recounts his many experiences in the Airborne and also writes of the need and use of airborne troops in the future.


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou

2010-07-21 - Random House

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age–and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is a modern American classic that will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read. From the Paperback edition.


The Well of Loneliness

Radclyffe Hall


Radclyffe Hall (born Marguerite Radclyffe Hall on 12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) was an English poet and author, best known for the novel The Well of Loneliness. The novel has become a groundbreaking work in lesbian literature.


Crete in Transition

Brice L. Erickson

2010 - Amer School of Classical

Archaic and classical Crete : the "period of silence" -- Methods of ceramic analysis -- Eleutherna -- Knossos -- Lamps : Eleutherna and Knossos -- Gortyn -- Isthmus of Ierapytna -- Praisos and its territory -- Pottery styles and influences -- Internal transformations -- Overseas trade and Cretan society -- Archaic Cretan austerity and the Spartan connection.


Summary of Supplemental Type Certificates

Author information not available.


Book description not available.


Summary of supplemental type certificates

United States. Federal Aviation Administration


Book description not available.


The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

Reif Larsen

2009 - Penguin

When twelve-year-old cartography genius T.S. Spivet receives a prestigious award, he leaves his quiet ranch home in Montana for Washington, D.C., and he learns more about himself and the world around him on his journey.


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Annie Dillard

2007-06-12 - Harper Collins

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is the story of a dramatic year in Virginia's Blue Ridge valley. Annie Dillard sets out to see what she can see. What she sees are astonishing incidents of "mystery, death, beauty, violence."



Erickson S-64F/CH-54B





Erickson S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane

Aircraft Notes

Ref. Author(s) Title Source Date Type
107 Linden, Art S-64 Skycrane (CH-54 Tarhe) Sikorsky Archives Newsletter, 2007 2012 Website
  Comprehensive summary of the Type, its characteristics and design and development history
108 Erickson, Inc. Erickson S-64E Aircrane and Erickson S-64F Aircrane 2015 Website
141 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) EAC S-64F EASA Type Certificate Data Sheet EASA.IM.R.003 February 2013 Other
142 Federal Aviation Authority Special Conditions: Erickson Air-Crane Incorporated S-64E and S-64F Rotorcraft FAA Document Number: 2010-19921 August 2010 Website
  Agency/Docket Number SW014. Special Conditions Number 29-014-SC.
167 Vertipedia Team Contributor By inspection Images of this aircraft N/A Other
  A general reference for any characteristic determined from visual inspection of related images
189 Paul Fardink, U.S. Army (Retired) The U.S. ARMY's CH-54 Skycrane Helicopter: History and Contributions AHS Forum 71, Virginia Beach, Virginia, May 5-7, 2015 2015 Meeting paper or Presentation
107 Linden, Art S-64 Skycrane (CH-54 Tarhe) Sikorsky Archives Newsletter, 2007 2012 Website
  Comprehensive summary of the Type, its characteristics and design and development history
223 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) EASA Type Certificate Data Sheet EASA.IM.E.106 EASA TCDS web site 16 Oct 2014 Other