22-Feb-2010 Source: Canadian Air & Space Museum
The Canadian Air & Space Museum of Toronto, Ontario Canada has launched a fundraising campaign to acquire a rare Sikorsky S-58T helicopter that had a remarkable 48-year flying career in Canada and the United States. The Museum’s immediate goal is to raise $35,000 U.S. to complete the purchase of the S-58T helicopter and all associated spare parts for static display, as well as arrange the helicopter’s transportation by truck from the U.S to Toronto. A web site describing the history of the S-58 helicopter and the fundraising objectives is now on-line: http://www.aeromediacommunications.com/Aeromedia/S-58_Fundraiser.html
“The contributions of the helicopter and the helicopter industry have touched many lives,” said Kenneth Swartz, Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Air & Space Museum. “This is the last civilian heavy lift helicopter in existence from the pioneering era of the Canadian helicopter industry. All the others were worn out or scrapped.”
“The Museum’s goal is to make this helicopter the centre piece of a permanent exhibit on the innovations and achievements of the helicopter industry. In this role, the helicopter will become a platform to tell exciting stories about what the pioneers accomplished with their early machines”
The Sikorsky S-58, CF-OHA, was originally purchased Ontario Hydro and Power Authority (Hydro One) in 1961 to build and repair electric transmission across Canada’s largest province.
At the time, the S-58 was the largest civilian helicopter in service in the world. Sikorsky built 1,820 S-58s, and additional examples were built under licence in France and in the UK (as the Westland Wessex).
Between 1961 and 1992, the Toronto-based S-58 was a regular silhouette in Ontario’s skies, chopping weeks and even months off the time work crews required to build, repair and maintain the province’s growing electrical network.
Hydro One celebrated 60 years of continuous helicopter operations in May 2009 with a major reunion of 250 helicopter pioneers and the largest helicopter fly-in in Canadian history. A second helicopter fly-in will be held at the Museum’s 6th annual Wings & Wheels Heritage Festival on May 29-30, 2010 at Downsview Airport in central Toronto. The Museum’s goal is to complete the purchase and have the S-58 trucked to Toronto in time for display at the Festival.
Sikorsky S-58 CF-OHA has the additional distinction of being one of first twin-turbine heavy lift helicopters in utility service in North America. In the early 1970s, Sikorsky decided to re-engine the S-58 with a new turbine helicopter engine developed by Pratt & Whitney Canada, with the prototype S-58T flying on August 19 1970. Canadian aviation history was made on January 10, 1972 when CF-OHA made its its first turbine flight as many of the P&WC’s engine designers looking on. This was the first time a Canadian-owned helicopter was flown in Canada with a Canadian-designed engine. More than 150 S-58Ts were completed. The PT6T Twin-Pac created the foundation for Pratt & Whitney Canada’s success in the global helicopter market, with a heritage that is second to none. Sikorsky S-58T CF-OHA has accumulated 18,000 flying hours during its 48-year flying career, the last 16 of which were flown in the United States. While working in the U.S. as N1078T, the hard working S-58T logged timber in the Pacific Northwest and then supported hundreds of construction projects across the entire eastern USA. In August 2005, the helicopter was â€œcalled into actionâ€ to rescue almost 1,000 patents and staff from Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The S-58T made its last flight withSt. Louis Helicopter, LLC on February 9, 2008.
The Canadian Air & Space Museum is seeking donations and offers of assistance to purchase and transport the helicopter from the US to Toronto. If you’ like to help, please contact the co-chairs of the museum’s Sikorsky S-58 acquisition campaign: – Kenneth Swartz, Vice Chairman, Canadian Air & Museum – firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 281-217-8410 (during HeliExpo 2010) or tel. 1-416-836-7094 – John Bosomworth, Chief Pilot, Hydro One Networks – email@example.com or tel. 1-705-794-2789 The Museum is a registered, non-profit Canadian charity. All donations are tax deductible.
The Canadian Air & Space Museum is located in Canada’s oldest aircraft factory established by The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd at Downsview in 1929. The Museum’s heritage building in what is now central Toronto is the birthplace of the famous DHC-2 Beaver bush plane in 1947 and where Canada’s first satellite was assembled which when launched established Canada as the third nation in space.