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 configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Tail rotor

Crew required: 2

Crew seating: Tandem

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height: 7.82 m 25.7 ft
Overall Length: 27.23 m 89.3 ft
Overall Width: 21.95 m 72.0 ft
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length: 21.34 m 70.0 ft
Airframe Width: 6.65 m 21.8 ft
Airframe Height: 5.84 m 19.2 ft
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base: 7.44 m 24.4 ft
Landing Gear Track: 6.02 m 19.8 ft
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height:  
Cabin Internal Length:  
Cabin Internal Width:  

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

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

Max Gross Weight (ground): 13,608 kg 30,000 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne): 21,319 kg 47,000 lb
Max Take-off Weight: 21,319 kg 47,000 lb
Empty Weight: 8,936 kg 19,700 lb
Useful Load: 12,383 kg 27,300 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.419
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb: 9 m/s 1,700 fpm
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE: 3,231 m 10,600 ft
Hover Ceiling OGE: 4,267 m 14,000 ft
Max Level Flight Speed: 193 km/h 104 kts
Never Exceed Speed: 193 km/h 104 kts
Service Ceiling: 3,962 m 13,000 ft
Range and Endurance
Max Range: 385 km 208 nm
Max Endurance:  

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Provided powerplant data is for uninstalled, sea level, static operations.

Number of engines: 2
Designation: P&W JFTD12A-5A turbine
Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
Normal Ratings
Max continuous: 3305 kW 4430 hp
Take-off / rated: 3581 kW 4800 hp
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

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

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 21.95 m 72.00 ft
RPM: 185.0 rpm 185.0 rpm
Direction of Rotation: Counterclockwise
Hub Type: Fully articulated in lag and flap
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction: Titanium upper and lower stars, steel lead/lag and flap hinges
Blade Chord: 0.661 m 2.17 ft
Blade Tip Geometry: Conventional
Blade Twist: -0.244 rad -14.000 deg
Number of Blades: 6
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 378.25 m² 4071.6 ft²
Disc Loading: 35.98 kg/m² 7.368 lb/ft²
Solidity: 0.1150
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade: 7.25 m² 78.0 ft²
Tip Speed: 212.58 m/s 697.4 fps

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 4.88 m 16.00 ft
Configuration: Pusher
Direction of Rotation: Top blade aft
RPM: 850 rpm 850 rpm
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades: 4
Blade Construction: steel rotor hub with aluminum rotor blades
Blade Chord: 0.390 m 1.28 ft
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 18.68 m² 201.1 ft²
Solidity: 0.2037
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed: 217.05 m/s 712.1 fps
Blade Area (per blade): 0.951 m² 10.24 ft²

Related VFS Resources

Resources related to the S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane, provided by the Vertical Flight Society.
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Related Public Resources

Resources related to the S-64F/CH-54B Aircrane, provided by public sources across the internet.