Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave
The Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave (company designation S-56) was an American large heavy-lift helicopter of the 1950s.
At the time of delivery, the CH-37 was the largest helicopter in the Western world and it was Sikorsky's first twin-engined helicopter. Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines were mounted in outboard pods that also contained the retractable landing gear. This left the fuselage free for cargo, which could be loaded and unloaded through large clamshell doors in the nose. The early models could carry a payload of either three M422 Mighty Mite (a lightweight jeep-like vehicle) or 26 troops. For storage, the main rotor blades folded back on the fuselage and the tail rotor mast folded forward on the fuselage.
The CH-37 was one of the last heavy helicopters to use piston engines, which were larger, heavier and less powerful than the turboshaft engines subsequently employed in later military helicopters. This accounted for the type's fairly short service life, all being withdrawn from service by the late 1960s, replaced in Army service by the distantly related CH-54 Tarhe and in the Marine Corps by the CH-53 Sea Stallion.
Four CH-37Bs were deployed to Vietnam in 1963 to assist in the recovery of downed U.S. aircraft. They were very successful at this role, recovering over US$7.5 million worth of equipment, some of which was retrieved from behind enemy lines. The CH-37 was also used to recover spy satellite film capsules descending from space by parachute.