Piasecki Helicopter Corp., Morton, PA
First Flight 1951
Restored by Boeing Management Association Gold Card volunteers
Acquisition Source: Peter Wright Donation
The HUP series of helicopters was evolved at Piasecki Helicopter Corporation to serve aboard aircraft carriers and other large warships of the U.S. Navy. They would primarily be used for search and rescue, plane guard and general transportation duties. The prototype aircraft for the HUP series was the Piasecki XHJP‑1 The HJP designation was changed to HUP in 1949 when U was substituted for J in aircraft and squadron designations. In the fleet the HUP was known as the "hup‑mobile" or "shoe" (because of its shape).
This was the first helicopter to have overlapping rotor blades (37% overlap) that reduced the size of the helicopter to facilitate shipboard operation. The HUP could fit on aircraft carrier elevators without folding its blades, and on most cruiser elevators with blades folded. The pilot and copilot sat in the nose, below the forward rotor; behind the cockpit the cabin could accommodate four passengers or three stretchers, with the single Continental engine mounted aft. The tubular, metal‑covered fuselage rested on a fixed undercarriage. The Navy ordered 32 HUP‑1 variants for shipboard operation. These had all‑weather instrumentation, and some had AN/AQS‑4 dipping sonar fitted for ASW operations (designated HUP‑2s). A hatch in the bottom of the fuselage permitted personnel to be hoisted directly up into the cabin.
The Marines flew 13 of the Navy HUPs. The Army procured 70 helicopters similar to the HUP‑2, designated H‑25A. These were too small for Army requirements and 50 were transferred to the Navy as HUP‑3s. The Navy HUP‑2/3 survivors were redesignated UH‑25B/C, respectively, in 1962. Another 15 HUP‑2s went to the French Navy and 3 HUP‑3s went to the Canadian Navy.
The HUP‑2 Retriever was outfitted with an autopilot that permitted "hands‑off" flying and made the aircraft extremely stable. A large rectangular rescue hatch was located in the belly of aircraft. adjacent to the pilot seat, through which a rescue hoist inside the cabin could lift up to 4001b at a time. The HUP Retriever is credited with savings hundreds of lives. During Lt. Colonel John Glenn's history making orbital space flight in 1963, an HUP‑2 airlifted him from the pick‑up ship and transported him to the carrier U.S.S. Randolph.