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1960's Coaxial (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) - Gyrodyne QH-50

(click pic to enlarge)    QH-50 drone helicopter at the Carolinas Aviation Museum

 I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina for my step-daughters wedding tomorrow, and I found out this morning that there's a small aviation museum over at the Charlotte/Douglas Int'l Airport, so I stopped by to check it out. It's the Carolinas Aviation Museum, which is home to a beautiful DC-3 in Piedmont colors (more on that in another post) along with several military aircraft as well as a handful of other classic airplanes. But the unique flying machine that really caught my eye was the turbine powered Gyrodyne QH-50C coaxial DASH (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) that was put into service with the U.S. Navy in the early 60's.

 It's really interesting to see that 50 years ago we had an unmanned, remotely piloted vehicle that not only effectively used coaxial rotors, but was even designed to deliver submarine destroying torpedoes. The QH-50 was small, with just a 20' rotor diameter, but it was full of forward-thinking ideas. You can expect a more detailed post in the future on this unique 'old-school' UAV, but til then, check out this really short video below to get an idea of how the QH-50 operated. Very cool stuff.



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Reader Comments (3)

They were fun to fly. Very agile. My two birds were called "Flotsam" and "Jetsam." We flew formation once with 'angels' off the Enterprise. Those pilots seemed to appreciate the maneuverability, but I'm not sure we were ever welcome in the space owned by the naval aviators.

Paul- Thanx for the feedback on the DASH... it's great to info from those who have actual experience! Interesting to know that they were fun to fly as well : )

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

I was the Aviation Mech assigned to the DASH crew in USS John R Craig (DD885) 1962-1964. Made the 1st westpac deployment along with USS Blue carrying DASH"s in 63-64. We made the 1st, at least in the pacific, ship to ship transfer using DASH in March 64. A fun machine to work on but did have some significant problems with the electronic brains of the unit which caused some really visual crashes and led to I believe the demise of the program. Crew was made up of one each Aviation Machinist, Engineman, Electronic Tech and an Aviation Electronic Tech. One Officer, the Pilot/Controller and a couple junior seaman types from the Ships company. Fifty years WOW

January 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Kitsch

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