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Sikorsky CH-3E Jolly Green Giant

History of the CH-3E, nicknamed the “Jolly Green Giant”

The CH-3E was manufactured in 1966 and equipped to carry either twenty-five, fully-equipped troops, fifteen patients on stretchers or 5,000 pounds of cargo for use during the Vietnam War. Many CH-3E aircraft were later converted to the HH-3E, a titanium-armored version for combat rescue of downed pilots, dubbed the “Jolly Green Giant.”

Sikorsky CH-3E Jolly Green Giant

Serial Number: 65-12790

Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Crew: Three

Engines: Two General Electric T58-GE-5 turboshaft engines; 1,500 horsepower each

Wingspan: 62 feet

Length: 73 feet

Height: 18 feet 1 inch

Weight: 13,255 pounds (empty); 22,050 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 154 mph (cruising); 177 mph (maximum)

Range: 779 miles with external fuel tanks

Service Ceiling: 21,000 feet

Armament: Provisions for two .50-caliber machine guns

Cost: $796,000 (approximate)

The CH-3E Jolly Green Giant at Hill Air Force Base

In 1973, CH-3E helicopters were assigned to Hill Air Force Base to train all United States Air Force (USAF) combat helicopter crews. In the late 1970s, two helicopter simulators were used by Hill Air Force Base to train over 2,000 US and foreign students in flying proficiency for the Jolly Green Giant and Super Jolly helicopters. The CH-3E on display was manufactured in 1966 and served in Southeast Asia. In 1976, it was transferred to Hill Air Force Base and fitted with a Mid-Air Recovery System to safely recover drones. In 1991, the aircraft was put on display at Hill Aerospace Museum.

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