Author Topic: Helio Stallion # 001  (Read 33909 times)

greatlakeshelio

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Helio Stallion # 001
« on: April 24, 2011, 11:17:15 AM »
Seen here coming head on, it clearly shows the aerodynamic cleanliness of the design which was borrowed form the Helio H-500 Twin and flown in July 1964


greatlakeshelio

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Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 01:16:14 PM »
Number One was later converted to the PT6A-34 (750) SHP which gives a max cruise of 188 KTAS, even at low torque factors it still provides 170 KTAS, try that with the Pilatus PC-6 Porter. Max weight is 5800 pounds. Take-off roll is 250 feet @ 4100 LBS.

JamesCaird

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 09:47:24 PM »
Hi Guys-  My father was production foreman for Helio at Canton Airport, Massachusetts, beginning in the 1950's and was there (and up to Bedford, MAss.) until his death in 1972.   In the 50's on a Saturday morning he would take my brother and I (no doubt a gift to my mother) over to the shop and turn us loose while he noodled out some setups for the next week's work there or we washed the car. There we poked around in all the corners of the hangar and shops and checked out the attic where there were some relics.  At the time I think the Helio prototype was hanging from  the overhead.  One day more like 1962 or 63 I was with him for a visit and he said, "Come on with me, I want to show you something."  I followed him over to another hangar and in there was the wooden mockup of the Stallion.  It was quite fabulous and large.  Not sure if there are any photos in the family archives but I have some of early Helios, testing and certification of the first Helio on floats, etc.  He made an 8mm film of those flight tests (takeoff and landing tests) along with a more conventional aircraft, maybe a Stinson.  I will try to locate the film.  I also remember the Twin there.    This is jogging my memory.......Kind regards and Cheers/Bob

Doug Johnson

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 02:34:50 PM »
James,
I for one would be delighted to see your old Helio History Photos. I am truly looking Forward to seeing  your posts.

Doug
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 10:12:56 AM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

JamesCaird

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 11:58:28 PM »
HI Doug-Thanks for the interest.  Sorry that I can't get those things up right away as they will take some time to dig out of family archives.  It may take a bit as some of the old photos reside with my mother still and my brother is caretaking some of her old memorabilia.  So it might take some time to get something new up on site.  The 8 mm film, for example is apt to be pretty fragile so
I may have to get some frames off it processed and see what happens.  By then-if of real interest I would be happy to share with the site.
Naturally I enjoy hearing the back stories.  I am a private pilot myself and have flown Couriers but have not owned one to have the full experience.  Last year I was working and travelling back and forth to Thailand several times.  I occasionally had some time for research and got it in my head to maybe get on the trail of the several Stallions lost somewhere in Cambodia.  In that process in the field I came upon some pretty interesting stuff but no Helios yet.  I am hoping to get back on that trail but that is another story....   Will keep you posted - By the way-is there a better place to put this if I do get some more info to post?  Cheers/Bob  (aka JamesCaird)

greatlakeshelio

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Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 05:49:06 AM »
I'm pretty sure most of the AU-24's that did not come back to the US ended up in China, recently their government asked for info on the Hartzell 101" prop and asked if they could make a new one.

I worked with Bruce Taylor in Michigan where he was a Helio dealer in the early to mid sixties, the first float equipped Helio was operated by Charlie Helin in Detroit 1956 N4100D.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 08:51:10 AM by greatlakeshelio »

Doug Johnson

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2011, 07:51:28 PM »
Stephen,

Half of what we buy seems to come from China and the way China is buying up aircraft technology maybe we'll be buying parts and helios from China instead of David Maytag and company.

That's really interesting the part about the prop, back in '93 when I was reassembling #1233 I spent 2 1/2 months in Greenville, SC right next door to Spartanburg and Laramont Aviation. I saw and visited with Larry Montgomery at least three time a week. I asked him about the Stallions. He told me that he was the factory rep when they were having the flyoff between Pilatus and the Stallion in Cambodia. Pilatus had 2 dozen or more support people and all kinds of parts  and they were constantly working on the Porters but there was just two, Him and a DER (I can't remember his name) to suupport the Stallion. Larry said that with just the two of them they had a better availability rate than Pilatus.

If I remember correctly 13 helios went to Cambodia 5 were shotdown/crashed some were salvaaged and used for parts and three came back to Alaska. He said the fuselage of one was being used as a shed out in some village. Larry said that he thought 5 or six  had been sold to, I thought he said Indochina but maybe it was India or China.

I happened to meet one of the 3 guys that  brought the 3 to Alaska. I was looking for chrome molly tubing to install crossmembers to mount 1400 series seats in my Helio. He was the owner of Wasilla Hardware. I mentioned that I was using the tubing in a Helio. He immeadiatly perked up and told me about bringing the three Stallions back he said he and his partners had tried to locate the other 9 Stallions they even knew the last place they were  when the Americans Had pulled out but they kept running into dead ends no one in the Cambodian goverment seemed to know where they had gone.

I can't remember his Name but he wrote down my name and phone number and said he'd give me a call and we'd get together and he would show me a bunch of photographs that he'd taken of the Stallions he also had a list of the 14 Stallions and their registration numbers. My understanding was there was a lot of repair work to be done and they had to be demiltarized. He said they had a factory DER working with them, I asked if it was Clarence Brent , he said it wasn't. I don't remember that name either. He also said it was so much work that he didn't beleive he'd do it again.

He never did get back with me. Does anyone know If He's still alive or if other two guys are.  If those photgraphs could be found it would definitely be interesting.

Doug
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 01:07:50 AM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

greatlakeshelio

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Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2011, 09:14:02 PM »
Hi Doug,

You might be thinking of Paul Davis who was a contract tech rep for Helio and went over to Cambodia for the Stallion program. Those Stallions accumulated 18,000 hours of flying time from the day they arrived by ship in containers. The Stallion was supposed to go to Lon Nol to defeat the communist regime of Pol Pot. They were flown by Royal Thai and Cambodian Air Force personnel. This was in conjunction through Heine Aderholt was commander of the 5th ACS Air Commando's that also flew T-28's, L-19's, and On Mark B-26K Counter Invader's. All the missions were flown in Laos as part of "PAVE COIN".. Both Stallion and the Porter were built by Fairchild in Hagerstown, MD not at the Pittsburgh, KS facility as some seem to believe. The Air Force decided that due the secretive nature of the program would be best served with both airplanes departing from the same location (Black Ops)..

15 of each airplane were ordered after much persuasion on the part of Lynn Bollinger in a letter to Robert S. McNamara in 1968. The AU-23 Peacemaker was the crate the Stallion came in. Air America had flown the Porter with TPE-331 and had numerous problems. I saw them in Phu Bai..The Stallions were sent over in 1972 and remained there until 1975 when we bailed out.

Doug Johnson

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 04:10:46 PM »
Stephen
I looked in my box of heliostuff and found some notes that I had written down it was Davis that was with Larry Montgomery during the flyoff between Helio and Pilatus.

I also found that it was a John or Gene Reed that brought the three Stallions back. He owned Reeds Hardware in Palmer Alaska. I don't know who the factory guy was that helped Mr. Reed.

I have c/n 002, 004, 006, & 007 in my notes. I don't know why I have 4 c/n's written down? I called up to Alaska and found that Mr. Reed passed away and the store was sold 10 years ago. A son Johnny is still living in Palmer, I may try to contact him it would be interesting to see some pictures.

I also found a bunch of pictures but they're stuck together I dont know if they are salvageable.

Doug
 
Doug

Doug Johnson

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2011, 03:12:29 PM »
While looking for stallion pictures I found the Khmer Air force site maybe I should ask them if they have Helio stories.
Doug

Doug Johnson

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 07:22:28 PM »
This is s/n 72-1324 c/n 009 it didn't go to the Khmer AF in Cambodia it was reportedly scrapped at Davis-Montham USAFB ref Dr. Leeker university of Texas
Doug

Doug Johnson

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 05:00:12 PM »
I'm posting a couple pictures that John Seibold owner Grand Canyon Airlines www.valleairport.com , sent me that are of N550HE Just before it went to the Phillipine Islands. I put the rest of the photos in the Gallery.

The very first thing I noticed is The sticks when was c/n 001 converted to yokes?

Looks almost like two different airplanes, but as far as I know one went to the Phillipines and only one came back.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 07:55:12 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

greatlakeshelio

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Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 08:49:43 AM »
The Stallion program bankrupted General Aircraft Corp. and Helio Aircraft Co. That merger happened around late 1967-early 68. There are two Stallion prototypes, HST-550 and HST-550A the latter was certified in August of 1969 and billed as the fastest single-engine STOL fixed gear airplane. Helio insisted on getting into the military procurement business and the Stallion was it's demise. 15 Stallions were built with one for training at Eglin AFB. The Credible Chase program was met with limited success. Flying the Stallion is like sitting on top of a football and trying to fly it. I flew with Larry Montgomery in 1971 in N9550A and accumulated 25 hours, my arms were sore after man-handling this beast in slow-flight @ minimum speeds, we achieved AOA in excess of 35 degrees at low torgue settings which provided near auto-rotation like performance. You had better figure on 75 hours to get this thing under control and survive.

  On another note: Maytag bought the type certificates only to take possession of the Stallion, as far as all the other nonsense since acquisition of Helio, it is a scam. There was never any intention of producing the airplane or it's parts for the already existing fleet for operators in the field. I personally have 4 times the history of Helio Aircraft than the current owners have. So where does that leave everyone now? About 150 airplanes that need customer support that for whatever reason will never get..

Louis

Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2011, 04:49:50 PM »
What happened to the one that was on a rebuilding program in New Orleans ?  May be 10 years ago.  In a hangar.  Something was different, like a tubing tail, or to the contrary, a sheet metal tail.  don't remember.  It was quite complete with a lot of spare parts.  No motor if i remember.  The owner had a 391 too.

Louis

greatlakeshelio

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Re: Helio Stallion # 001
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2011, 08:53:04 PM »
That one got flooded by Hurricane Katrina ans damaged by salt water and it was a total loss.