THE world’s largest transport helicopter and America’s first twin-engined tandem whirlybird transport is the Piasecki YH-16. An important feature of its tandem design is that cargo can be loaded quickly without too much regard for weight balance. The craft’s rotors are connected by a shaft to permit single engine operation and its all-metal blades, 82 feet in diameter, are the biggest shaft-driven rotors in existence at the present time.

  1. Firebrand38 says: April 20, 20097:10 am

    Now for the rest of the story…

    Piasecki is of course still in business…

    Turns out the original requirement was to pick up Strategic Air Command bomber crews on one and a half way missions. Amazing.

  2. Steve says: April 20, 20098:22 am

    Why is it that you only ever hear about WhirlyBIRDS? Aren’t there any whirlycats, whirlydogs or other whirly animals out there?

  3. Don says: April 20, 200911:10 am

    Steve – Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they don’t . . . uhhhh . . . FLY?

    How ’bout a “whirlybat”? (Or to stretch a bit: “whirlysquirrel” ;^)

  4. Tracy B. says: April 20, 20094:00 pm

    The H-16 was the grand-daddy of the CH-47 Chinook.

  5. MrG says: April 21, 20092:28 pm

    The current Piasecki company (Frank Piasecki died just last year) was an offshoot of the original. Frank got bought / thrown out of the original company in the late 1950s, with the original company becoming “Vertol” and then (on being bought out by Boeing) “Boeing Vertol” and then just “Boeing”
    in Philadelphia. The “new” Piasecki did subcontract work and experimentals — look up up the Speedhawk.

  6. xoxoxoBruce says: May 2, 20097:57 am

    Piasecki didn’t get thrown out. He wanted to experiment with new ideas and wanted no part of the production end of helicopters, so he sold out and went off on his own to play.

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