Sikorsky HH-53C Super Jolly Green Giant. Model features fully detailed interior and exterior, rotating main and tail rotors with adjustable blade pitch, the main rotor is on a simulated cyclic with motion in two axis, the blades and tail rotor fold for storage, opening main ramp with upper door, opening side crew door, three positionable minigun emplacements, and retractable landing gear.
About this creation
The HH-53B was essentially an interim type, with production quickly moving on to the modestly improved Air Force HH-53C CSAR variant. The most visible difference between the HH-53B and HH-53C was that the HH-53C dispensed with the fuel-tank bracing struts. Experience with the HH-53B showed that the original tank was too big, adversely affecting performance when they were fully fueled, and so a smaller 450 US gal (1,703 L) tank was adopted in its place. Other changes included more armor and a more comprehensive suite of radios to improve communications with C-130 tankers, attack aircraft supporting CSAR actions, and aircrews awaiting rescue on the ground. The HH-53C was otherwise much like the HH-53B, with the more powerful T64-GE-7 engines.
A total of 44 HH-53Cs were built, with introduction to service in August 1968. Late in the war they were fitted with countermeasures pods to deal with heat-seeking missiles. As with the HH-53B, the HH-53C was also used for covert operations and snagging reentry capsules, as well as snagging reconnaissance drones. A few were assigned to support the Apollo space program, standing by to recover an Apollo capsule in case of a launchpad abort, though such an accident never happened.
In addition to the HH-53Cs, the Air Force obtained 20 CH-53C helicopters for more general transport work. The CH-53C was apparently very similar to the HH-53C, even retaining the rescue hoist, the most visible difference being that the CH-53C did not have an in-flight refueling probe. Since CH-53Cs were used for covert operations, they were armed and armored like HH-53Cs. A good number of Super Jollies were converted into Pave Low special-operations helicopters. PAVE or Pave is an Air Force code name for a number of weapons systems using advanced electronics.
The front right minigun is mounted on the backside of the side crew door. It can pivot up and down, and swivel to provide full articulation. When removed it allows the door to still open, with the upper half of the door swinging down into place. Above the minigun on the outside of the fuselage is the rescue hoist.
Looking into the rear fuselage you can just see the aft minigun. It is pintle mounted and has articulation in two axis. The ammo belt feeds from the left side of the fuselage from the ammo bin stored there. In the foreground is the tailskid that prevents tail rotor damage.
Interior of the Jolly Green. There are multiple folding troop benches, as well as the three mingun emplacements, the avionics racks, and the emergency raft (the orange canister just visible at the aft left rear of the fuselage, mounted above the windows).
Cockpit of the Jolly Green. The cyclic, collective, and anti-torque pedals have all been modeled.
Forward view of the interior showing the avionics racks and forward minigun emplacements. The green cylinders are fire extinguishers, always on hand in case of inflight emergency.
Troops disembark from the rear ramp of an HH-53C while the rear gunner provides cover with his minigun.
Quoting Matt Bace
Great build! I love the folding blades and the detailed interior.
This one is definitely my "beast" of a build. Although it's not the largest I have done (that would be a tie between either my Imperial Shuttle or SR-71A Blackbird), it was the most challenging as far as getting everything right, inside and out, and maintaining all the functional aspects. It started off as the Pave Low III model, but is being used as the basis for the entire H-53 family.