Russia's newest light helicopter looks rather like an old Sikorsky design, once operated by the US Marine Corps
At this month’s Helirussia Expo in Moscow, Russian newcomer manufacturer AGAN Aircraft Group plans to introduce a new light single-engine helicopter, the Kasatka 505. Powered by a Lycoming O-540 piston engine, the four seat craft is said to incorporate the ‘propelling system’ of the seventy-year-old Sikorsky S-52, and incorporates a new allmetal fuselage, skid landing gear and modern avionics.
The Franklin-engined S-52 first flew in two-seat form in 1947, and was developed into the three/four-seat S-52-2. It was the first Us-built helicopter to have all-metal rotor blades. The S-52 set speed and altitude records, and in May 1949 became the first helicopter to perform loops, when test pilot ‘Tommy’ Thompson flew six consecutive loops solo, then four more with a passenger.
In military HO5S guise it served extensively with the US Marine Corps in medevac role during the Korean War, and domestically with the US Coast Guard. As the Hummingbird 260L it has been offered as a homebuilt kit by Vertical Aviation Technologies.
ABOVE: AGAN'S Kasatka 550 combines S-52 rotor system technology with a new fuselage design and modern avionics
The S-52 in military HO5S guise