SIKORSKY R6-A "Hoverfly"

The Sikorsky designed R-6A "Hoverfly, two-seat observation helicopter was a refined version of the R-4, the first Air Force helicopter to serve in a combat zone (May 1944). First flown in October 1943, the R-6A used the same rotor and transmission system as the R-4, but had a more powerful engine. The fuselage was completely redesigned to reduce air resistance and provide improved pilot visibility; therefore, the R-6A bore little resemblance to its boxy-looking predecessor. Sikorsky built the first six of the helicopters (one XR-6 and five XR-6As), but

another 219 R-6As were produced in 1944 and 1945 by Nash-Kelvinator under a Sikorsky License.

Source:  US Air Force Museum

Although primarily an observation and liaison helicopter, many R-6As also were equipped with capsules on each side of the fuselage to carry litters for medical evacuation. If necessary, the R-6A could be equipped with floats for operation from water.

The Sikorsky (model S-49) R-6 (British name Hoverfly MK II) was first flown on October 15, 1943. A refinement of the R-4, the R-6 (VS-316B) featured a larger, improved, streamlined metal fuselage with improved pilot visibility. This was a joint U.S. Army/U.S. Navy program. It had the same rotor and transmission as the R-4, but a more powerful 245 hp Franklin O-405-9 engine. It had a crew of two, seated side-by-side. It was equipped with a high-frequency radio. In the MedEvac role it could be equipped with two external capsules to carry litters. The R-6A could also be equipped with pontoons for use over water. The R-6A was the first USAAF helicopter to serve in combat in May 1944. The initial XR-6 and all five XR-6As were produced by Sikorsky. All R-6As were produced in 1944 and 1945 by Nash-Kelvinator under license to Sikorsky. The R-6A was used primarily by the U.S. Navy (as the HOS-1) and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as the Royal Navy (as the Hoverfly MK II). Models A thru C were powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-5 450 hp engine. The D model was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 600 hp engine.

The specifications are: Main Rotor diameter: 38 Feet | Overall Length - 33 Feet 8 Inches | Height: 11 Feet 7 Inches | Weight: 2,590 Lbs Max | Armament: 650 Lb. Bombs | Service Ceiling: 13,200 Feet | Engine: Franklin 0-405-9 | Horsepower: 235 | Maximum Speed: 96 MPH | Crusing Speed: 69 MPH | Range: 305 Miles 

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