Developed in 1959, commonly known as the HSS-2 under U.S. Navy service in ASW; later it was designated SH-3A Sea King.  The amphibious helicopter has automatic blade folding, can operate in all weather conditions and can fulfill a hunter-killer role.


Data on design, manufacture and status


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Tail rotor

Crew required: 2

Crew seating: Side-by-side

Landing gear: Wheels (all retractable)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height: 5.13 m 16.8 ft
Overall Length: 22.12 m 72.6 ft
Overall Width: 18.90 m 62.0 ft
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length: 16.69 m 54.8 ft
Airframe Width: 4.88 m 16.0 ft
Airframe Height: 4.67 m 15.3 ft
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base: 7.11 m 23.3 ft
Landing Gear Track: 3.96 m 13.0 ft
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height: 1.78 m 5.8 ft
Cabin Internal Length: 4.14 m 13.6 ft
Cabin Internal Width: 1.52 m 5.0 ft

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Cruise Speed: 143.8 mph (231.5 km/h); Endurance is for Combat.

Max Gross Weight (ground): 8,185 kg 18,045 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne):  
Max Take-off Weight: 8,185 kg 18,045 lb
Empty Weight: 5,180 kg 11,420 lb
Useful Load: 3,005 kg 6,625 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.633
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb: 9 m/s 1,690 fpm
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE:  
Hover Ceiling OGE:  
Max Level Flight Speed: 261 km/h 141 kts
Never Exceed Speed:  
Service Ceiling: 4,481 m 14,701 ft
Range and Endurance
Max Range: 1,006 km 543 nm
Max Endurance: 4 hrs 4 hrs

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

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

Number of engines: 2
Designation: GE T58-GE-8 (HH-52) turbine
Manufacturer: GE Aviation
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated: 544 kW 730 hp
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

NACA 0012 airfoil

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 18.90 m 62.00 ft
RPM: 203.0 rpm 203.0 rpm
Direction of Rotation: Counterclockwise
Hub Type: Fully articulated
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction:
Blade Chord: 0.464 m 1.52 ft
Blade Tip Geometry: Conventional
Blade Twist: -0.140 rad -8.000 deg
Number of Blades: 5
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 280.48 m² 3019.2 ft²
Disc Loading: 29.18 kg/m² 5.977 lb/ft²
Solidity: 0.0781
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade: 4.38 m² 47.1 ft²
Tip Speed: 200.86 m/s 659.0 fps

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 3.15 m 10.33 ft
Configuration: Pusher
Direction of Rotation: Top blade aft
RPM: 1244 rpm 1244 rpm
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades: 5
Blade Construction:  
Blade Chord: 0.187 m 0.61 ft
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 7.79 m² 83.9 ft²
Solidity: 0.1885
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed: 205.15 m/s 673.1 fps
Blade Area (per blade): 0.294 m² 3.16 ft²

Related VFS Resources

Resources related to the S-61B (HSS-2), provided by the Vertical Flight Society.
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Related Public Resources

Resources related to the S-61B (HSS-2), provided by public sources across the internet.