The United States Coast Guard has added 96 short range HH-65A helicopters to its fleet to replace the HH-52A Sikorsky Sea Guard.The twin-engine Dolphins operate up to 150 miles off shore and will fly comfortably at 120 knots for three hours.
Though normally stationed ashore, the Dolphins can be carried on board medium and high endurance Coast Guard Cutters. They assist in the missions of search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, including drug interdiction, polar ice breaking, marine environmental protection including pollution control, and military readiness. Helicopters stationed aboard icebreakers are the ship's eyes to find thinner and more navigable ice channels. They also airlift supplies to ships and to villages isolated by winter.
The HH-65A minimum equipment requirements exceed anything previously packaged into one helicopter weighing in at less than 10,000 pounds. HH-65As are made of corrosion-resistant, composite-structure materials. The shrouded tail rotor is unique to the Dolphin. Also a unique feature of the Dolphin is its computerized flight management system which integrates state-of-the-art communications and navigation equipment. This system provides automatic flight control. At the pilot's direction, the system will bring the aircraft to a stable hover 50 feet above a selected object. This is an important safety feature in darkness or inclement weather. Selected search patterns can be flown automatically, freeing the pilot and copilot to concentrate on sighting the search object.
The Dolphin is manufactured by Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation in Grand Praire, Texas. Textron Lycoming builds the LTS-101 750B-2 turboshaft engines in Williamport, Pennsylvania and Rockwell International, Collins Avionics Group manufactures the electronics system in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
|Mission|| Short range recovery (SRR) helicopter
Replaced aging HH-52A fleet
|Maximum Gross Weight||9,200 lbs|
|Empty Mission Weight||6,092 lbs|
|Maximum Range||400 NM|
|Fuel Capacity||291 gallons|
|Overall Length||38 ft.|
|Cargo Sling Capacity||2000 lbs|
|Overall Height||13 ft.|
|Rescue Hoist Capacity||600 lbs|
|Rotor Diameter||39 ft.|
|Maximum Speed||165 knots|
|Cruising Speed||120 knots|
|Max Endurance||3.5 hours|
|Powerplants||Two Lycoming LTS-101-750B-2 engines rated at 742 Shaft HP each|
|number in service||96|