First flight 16 Sep 1952 by pilot Gale Moore. This was the largest diameter main rotor ever flown. It employed a single main rotor with tip burning for rotor drive.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Hughes Helicopters

Primary manufacturer: Hughes Helicopters

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Tail rotor

Crew required: 3

Crew seating: Side-by-side

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height: 9.15 m 30.0 ft
Overall Length: 39.62 m 130.0 ft
Overall Width: 39.62 m 130.0 ft
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length:  
Airframe Width:  
Airframe Height:  
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base:  
Landing Gear Track:  
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height:  
Cabin Internal Length:  
Cabin Internal Width:  

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Max Gross Weight (ground): 22,680 kg 50,000 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne): 22,680 kg 50,000 lb
Max Take-off Weight: 22,680 kg 50,000 lb
Empty Weight: 12,956 kg 28,563 lb
Useful Load: 9,724 kg 21,437 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.571
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb: 8 m/s 1,654 fpm
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE:  
Hover Ceiling OGE:  
Max Level Flight Speed: 145 km/h 78 kts
Never Exceed Speed:  
Service Ceiling: 3,993 m 13,100 ft
Range and Endurance
Max Range: 64 km 35 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: GE TG-180 turbine
Manufacturer: GE Aviation
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated:  
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

Each blade had 4 burners located at trailing edge of the tip. The airfoil section of the blade was NACA 23018. The rotor control system was unique in that the swashplate and the three massive hydraulic actuators were mounted above the rotor head. The XH-17 had a concentrated weight supported by a boom extending from the leading edge of each blade to avoid flutter.

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 39.62 m 130.00 ft
RPM: 88.0 rpm 88.0 rpm
Direction of Rotation: Counterclockwise
Hub Type: Articulated, with flap hinges at 3.5% rotor radius
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction: Extruded aluminum tubes supported with ribs and covered with aluminum skins
Blade Chord:  
Blade Tip Geometry: Conventional
Blade Twist:  
Number of Blades: 2
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 1233.12 m² 13273.7 ft²
Disc Loading: 18.39 kg/m² 3.767 lb/ft²
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade:  
Tip Speed: 182.57 m/s 599.0 fps

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail rotor came from a Sikorsky S-55 (H-19). The tail rotor was needed for directional control and to balance the effects of friction in the main- rotor bearings and rotating seals.

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 2.49 m 8.17 ft
Configuration: Unknown
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades: 2
Blade Construction:
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 4.87 m² 52.4 ft²
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

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