Canadian Warplanes 7: Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly helicopter

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly

(DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9604), coded OU 604, Canadian Joint Training Centre, RCAF Station Rivers, Manitoba, ca 1962.

Sikorsky S-51, RCAF H-5 Dragonfly Helicopter (7), (Serial Nos. 9601-9607).

Sikorsky S-51 H-5 Dragonfly

The S-51 was an early postwar development of the R-5. Although intended for the civilian market, most S-51s went into military service. They served with all the US military services as well as with the air forces of Australia, Britain, Canada and France. The seven RCAF S-51s were designated H-5. The first helicopters in the RCAF, they were used mainly for training and experimentation, although some did search-and-rescue work. All H-5s were retired by the mid-1960s. The United States built 214, and 165 were made in Britain.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390962)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9603), coded VC-BVU, 13 Jun 1950.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo,  MIKAN No. 3584128)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9603), 12 Feb 1948.

(Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 3584088 and 3584105)

Cockpit of Sikorsky H-5 Helicopter.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584106)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9601), coded CC-X.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584104)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9601), coded CC-X, 1947.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584089)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9603), 1947.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584090)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9603), 1947.

(RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly Helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9604), coded OU-604.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520193)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9603), 7 Apr 1949, Trenton, Ontario.

(RCAF Photo)

Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9606), coded OT-606, No. 121 S & R Flight.  It was later destroyed on 4 May 1954 in a hangar fire at Sea Island.

(DND Photo)

Nursing Sister "Parabelle" publicity shot, Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly (Serial No. 9602), No. 103 Rescue Unit, Greenwood, Nova Scotia, ca 1950s.

(Author Photo)

Sikorsky S-51/H-5 Dragonfly Helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9607), (Serial No. 51166), VC-GBC.

(JustSomePics Photo)

Sikorsky S-51/H-5 Dragonfly Helicopter (Serial No. 9601), (5118).

(Mike Kaehler Photo)

Sikorsky S-51/H-5 Dragonfly Helicopter (Serial No. 9601), (5118).  This helicopter is on loan from the CA&SM.  H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was taken on strength on 5 Apr 1947.  It was the first of the seven Dragonflies that were taken on by the RCAF.  It was originally assigned to Trenton for training duties, and then assigned to Edmonton, also for training.  In 1950, H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was sent back to Trenton for repair and overhaul.  When the overhaul was done, H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was sent to the Canadian Joint Air Training School in Rivers, Manitoba.  After three years in the Canadian Joint Air Training School, it was sent to Cold Lake, Alberta, to the Experimental and Proving Establishment for five years.  After that, it was sent to Chatham, New Brunswick, for five more years.  In January 1965, H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was retired from active service and sent to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

(RCAF Photos via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky S-51 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9606), coded VC-CJC, conducting landing trials on the RCAF vessel Songhee. This helicopter was later destroyed in a hangar fire at Sea Island on 4 May 1954.  The Songhee looks like it still exists today.  In 1944-1953 she was owned and operated by the RCAF.  In 1953 she was transferred to the RCN.  In 1991-1992 she was owned by J. & J. Salvage Co., Duncan, British Columbia.  In 1992-2004 she was owned by James N. Roome, Duncan, BC.  In 2011-2019 she was owned by Queen Charlotte Lodge Ltd., Richmond, BC.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Posed shot of litter patient being transferred from Sikorsky S-51 Dragonfly, RCAF (Serial No. 9603), to an ambulance at Rockcliffe, Ontario. This particular S-51 was taken on strength in 1947 and retired in 1964. After retirement it was with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology SAIT) in Calgary, Alberta, for a while and then went to the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Depending on when this photo was taken, the H-5 is from Training Command Communications Flight or later re-designated as Training Command Communications and Rescue Flight at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario. Depending on when this photo was taken, the H-5 is from Training Command Communications Flight or later re-designated as Training Command Communications and Rescue Flight at RCAF Station Trenton. (Chris Charland)