Sikorsky S-51 (H-5A) 'Executive Transport'
First flown in 1946 and produced until 1951, the S-51 was Sikorsky's first commercial helicopter. It entered military service as the R-5 as the first practical military helicopter and was used for spotting and communications work. The R-5 designation, used under the U. S. Army Air Force, was changed in 1948 to H-5 under the new U. S. Air Force naming system. Models also served with the U. S. Navy, Coast Guard and even the U. S. Post Office Department. It distinguished itself in the Korean Conflict in search and rescue missions. Westland acquired a license to build the S-51 in Britain. While primarily planned for the civilian market, it was the first British-built helicopter to enter RAF service and was given the nickname “Dragonfly.”
This example was built in 1947 in Stratford, CT, and was originally used by the Royal Canadian Air Force. Declared surplus in 1968, it was registered in this country as a civilian aircraft. No. 5219 was completely restored by a volunteer group of Sikorsky retirees and is finished in the colors of a Sikorsky executive transport.