On November 1967, the HH-3F Pelican helicopter was acquired by the Coast Guard for the purpose of extending its offshore helicopter coverage to 300 miles. The HH-3F is developed for search and rescue, marine environmental protection, logistic and reconnaissance support, enforcement of laws and treaties, defense readiness and drug interdiction. The HH-3F Pelican can accommodate 17 passengers and its side hoist can lift 600 pounds. The significant features of HH-3F are as follows: suspension hoist, hydraulically operated eight foot ramp, computerized navigation system, weather search color radar and automatic flight control system.
The HH-3F set the standards for helicopters. Thus the medium range, twin engine amphibian carried sophisticated rotary wings avionics package, cruised at 120 knots and competent of reaching 142 knots. The usual crewmembers of a HH-3F are the pilot, the co pilot, the navigator, the flight mechanic and the passengers.
The HH-3F Pelican is also known as the Sikorsky S-61R. It was built under Augusta License as the AS-61R. The HH-3F Pelican served the United States Coast Guard. The US Coast Guard ordered the HH-3F for all weather water rescues. It has a water landing ability which made it a dependable workhorse from the late 1960s. Moreover, the HH-3F Pelican features a search radar with nose antenna random offset to port.
Congress mandated in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1984 that "The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall use such sums as are necessary, from amounts appropriated for the operational maintenance of the Coast Guard, to establish a helicopter rescue swimmer program for the purpose of training selected Coast Guard personnel in rescue swimming skills." This new capability obviated the need for water landings, and the Pelican was subsequently replaced by the non-amphibious HH-60 Jay Hawk. On 29 September 1986 Coast Guard officials signed the contract papers to acquire the H-60 series helicopter to replace the venerable Sikorsky HH-3F Pelicans.
The Coast Guard H-3 Pelican helicopters were retired in the early 1990s. On May 6, 1994 the last Sikorsky HH-3F "Pelican" helicopter was retired from Coast Guard service, marking the end of Coast Guard Aviation's "amphibious era." During its career, the Pelican saved 23,169 lives and assisted 65,377 others.
Length: 15.5", Wingspan 14.5"