Please the join the Museum Foundation as it begins a journey to restore historic army aircraft back to their former glory. Currently, many of the museum’s treasures sit in storage, awaiting their turn to tell the story of Army Aviation.
The museum houses over 160 historic aircraft with only 50 of those restored and on display in the main gallery. In conjunction with the massive museum expansion, the Foundation is seeking to restore the remainder of the aircraft in the collection in order to display them in the new gallery.
Each aircraft will undergo an extensive restoration by stripping away years of wear and tear, down to the smallest screw and rivet. Only after a thorough cleaning, re-fabricating, rebuilding, and repainting will the aircraft be ready for display. Countless hours will go into each aircraft.
Below are just a handful of the aircraft currently under restoration or awaiting restoration. If you are interested in supporting the Foundation’s restoration project, or would like more information, please contact the Army Aviation Museum Foundation, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-Army-Avn.
The XH-51 series were design test vehicles for the ridged rotor concept. The ridged rotor design eliminated the need for a complex rotor system and allowed for greater speeds than helicopters of the day were capable of. This model has a thrusting engine (opposite side) and a counter-balance weight. Both models of the XH-51 were stepping stones for the Cheyenne program to follow.
Beginning in 1948 the McCulloch Aircraft Corporation produced the MC-4 helicopter, and only a small number were ever built. It was intended for sale to the Navy as the HUM-1, and to the US Army as the YH-30. Due to its limited cargo capacity and short range neither service purchased them for use and the few that were built were sold on the civilian market. This example is the only remaining survivor of the three that the Army evaluated.
XV-1 (Circa 1953)
The XV-1 aircraft is a compound aircraft, having a 3-bladed main rotor for vertical flight and limited speed forward flight, wings with a “pusher”propeller for conventional fixed wing forward flight. Each of the 3 blades of the rotor is powered by a McDonnell pressure-jet at the blade tip. A 550 hp Continental R-975-19 radial piston engine drives two compressors to supply air to the jet units and drives the 6’5” Met-L-prop located on the rear of the 2-blade propeller. There is a small anti-torque rotor aft of each of the two rudders. The horizontal stabilizer and elevator reaches between the twin tail booms opposite the two vertical stabilizers. The cabin is designed to carry a pilot plus 2 stretcher patients and 1 attendant or pilot, co-pilot sitting in tandem and two passengers.
Better known as the “ABC” Advancing Blade Concept, incorporated a coaxial rotor system allowing for greater speed. This aircraft was designed and built in the late 70’s and flew in the early 80’s and reached speeds above 260 knots. It had two thrusting P&W J60-P-3A’s and a single P&W PT6T-3 turbo shafted engine. The counter-rotating rotors cancel out the desemitry of lift or the stalled are on each others blade affording great speed. The concept is alive and well in Sikorsky’s new “Raider” design.
Also known as the Model 45, was a 1940s American experimental helicopter built by the Firestone Aircraft Company for the United States Army Air Forces. Only two (the military XR-9B and one civilian Model 45 example) were built. The XR-9B is a tandem two-seat helicopter powered by an Avco Lycoming O-290-7 engine and two-bladed rotor. It was later re-designated the XH-9B. The aircraft in the museum collection is the only remaining example.
XH-26 American Helicopter Company 300 Lbs. Observation No Engine or Transmission, only tip jets. A small all metal helicopter with tricycle landing gear, a single 2-bladed metal main rotor, a 1-bladed wooden counter-weighted tail rotor with two pulse jets attached to the ends of the two main rotor blades. The tail rotor is attached to the left side of the slim tubular tail boom at the extreme points rounded with the main rotor mast protruding from the apex. The two pulse jets, developed by American, are rated at 48 hp each (36 lbs. thrust) and will run on gasoline, diesel, or kerosene.