Sikorsky HNS-1 “Hoverfly” (1943)

Sikorsky HNS-1 "Hoverfly" It was the Army that first recognized the potential of the Sikorsky Helicopter. The YR-4A could not carry much more than the pilot and one other person. However the HNS-1, the Navy designation for the R4 was built to train pilots. Operational missions would be handled by later aircraft that were coming up on the production line. ADM Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations issued a directive that placed the responsibility for the seagoing development of the helicopter with the U.S. Coast Guard. In November 1943, a helicopter pilot training program was begun at Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn, CDR Frank Erickson Commanding. Erickson trained a total of 102 helicopter pilots and 225 mechanics during the war, including personnel from the Army Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and the British Army, Royal Air Force and Navy. He went on to develop equipment such as the power hoist, rescue slings and baskets, floats that permitted helicopters to land on [...]