The Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican is a rescue helicopter with an extensive history and has been in operation for the past 50 years. The aircraft was introduced to the public as a prototype in 1963 and has since 1967 been used primarily by the US Coast Guard.

Sikorsky Helicopter
United States
1967 to: 1994
US$19 million
2x 2 × General Electric T58-10 turboshafts
1,500 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
143 knots
265 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
Travel range:
780 Nautical Miles
1,445 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
0.63 nautical mile / gallon
0.308 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling:
21,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
2220 feet / minute
11.28metre / second
Take Off Distance:
Landing Distance:
Max Take Off Weight:
10,002 Kg
22,050 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
3,630 Kg
8,003 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
1,075 gallon
4,069 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
28 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
1.82 metre - 5.97 feet
Cabin Width:
2.0 metre - 6.56 feet
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
22.3 metre - 73.16 feet
Tail height:
5.51 metre - 18.08 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
2.4 metre - 7.87 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
19 metre - 62.34 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets

The Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican is the United States Coast Guard’s primary heavy-lift helicopter and has been in service since 1974. The aircraft was designed by a Sikorsky team led by Igor Sikorsky, who had also designed and manufactured the first commercial American helicopter in 1939.

It shares many design features of other Sikorsky aircraft including the S-64 Skycrane, which was developed as a heavy lifter to be used for logging operations. The HH-3F Pelican is powered by two General Electric T58 turboshaft engines, capable of producing up to 1,650 shaft horsepower each.

While it can hold up to 40 people total with crew members included, it typically carries 12-14 passengers on board at once, including crew members or patients being moved from one location to another.

Since it was designed primarily for search and rescue missions, it features multiple winches that allow it to lift heavy loads while hovering over water or ground-based obstacles like trees or buildings.

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