The President’s Helicopter Fleet - Featured: VH-3D . Featured Here: the Sikorsky VH-3D .
The Early Fleet
The Sikorsky VH-3A entered service as Marine One in 1961, then upgraded in 1978 to the model VH-3D (pictured above) which is still flying today. The VH-3D had just one predecessor (pictured below) flying from 1958 to 1961, based on the Sikorsky S-58 Choctaw; the President’s version is referred to as the VH-34D:
My 'Choctaw' model below bears the olive-green color to recognize the US Army as the original operators; later the US Marines took over and the aircraft livery became dark green with white top. My simple MOC sports an external winch pylon and sling in recognition that many of these aircraft frequently served in rescue operations. As with the real aircraft, the tail folds for transport.
About the VH-3D
The VH-3D is a customized airframe of the model known as the Sikorsky S-61 Sea King (SH-3), which is among the top-25 most-produced helicopters in the world, having some 1300+ produced and known collectively as the S-61 family to include the numerous variants.
About this VH-3D MOC
This is my second MOCPAGES version of the VH-3A Marine One; being of fewer than 250 parts, that earlier MOC is simple and less realistic (at a time my Lego modeling skills were limited). In real life, the main and tail rotors have 5 blades, but this model has 6 blades. My experimental 5-blade design solution had rotors very stick-like and fragile, so this version is sturdier by having 1-piece main rotor blades. At this scale (1:39), a 5-blade tail rotor is too difficult for me to achieve so I opted for 4 blades.
In the scene below Barack Obama heads for the forward door of the helicopter.
In the scene below, President Obama exits Marine One while the pilot sits in the cabin completing post-flights procedures. The Presidential Seal can be seen next to the top stair-step and the American flag adorns the roof; these effects (along with words seen on the tail boom) were added using the PartsDesigner software.
Besides rotors and wheels, the working elements include the two portside doors and a tail that folds forward for shipping the helicopter. The roof is removable in one piece. The helicopter alone is just over 700 pieces, designed at 1:39 scale (or 1 foot= 1 stud). For this MOC as with all my other models, I designed it to ‘playable’ if built with real life bricks, in part relying upon Studio’s “stability check” function to assure the pieces would stay intact. In bricks, the model’s body is 17 inches long and has a 19 inch rotor diameter. The model’s height would be about 5 inches tall.
About Other ‘Marine One’ Models
In recent months I posted on MOCPAGES two other ‘Marine One’ models, which are included in the main photo along with the VH-3D and the VH-34D. You can see and learn more about these other models by clicking on their names that follow. First, the VH-60N:
Second, Sikorsky is producing the next version of Marine One, the Sikorsky VH-92A. This aircraft may begin service in 2020; Sikorsky will continue its 60+ year history as the exclusive producer of these presidential helicopters!
Other Models - My ‘Best Stuff’ – Click here to see a gallery with thumbnail images of classic seaplanes plus other older, unusual aircraft models.
To understand my modeling goals and past projects, visit my homepage! Thanks for looking, comments are welcome.