Published September 27, 2007
Vertol CH-21C-VL "Workhorse"
Engine: One Wright R-1820-103 radial; 1,425 hp
Rotor Diameter: 44 ft 0 in
Length: 52 ft 7 in
Height: 15 ft 4 in
Weight: 13,500 lbs max; USAF-set limit: 11,500 lbs
Speed: cruise: 90 mph; max: 132 mph
Range: 450 miles
Service Ceiling: 19,200 ft
This H-21 Workhorse was originally built as an H-21C-VL Shawnee, S/N 56-2142, by Vertol Aircraft Corporation in Morton, Pennsylvania, for service with the U.S. Army. After its retirement from military service, the aircraft was obtained by Aero Union Corporation of Chino, California. It was subsequently traded to the United States Air Force Museum System in June 1987 and assigned to Hill Aerospace Museum for static display. It arrived at the museum in July 1987 and was repainted to resemble H-21B-PH, S/N 54-4002, an aircraft that was once assigned to Hill AFB.
H-21B-PH, S/N 54-4002, was manufactured by Piasecki Helicopter Corporation in Morton, Pennsylvania, and delivered to the USAF on August 29, 1957. It was immediately assigned to the 20th Helicopter Squadron of the Tactical Air Command at Sewart AFB, Tennessee. While with that unit it was deployed briefly to Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina, and Havana, Cuba.
In January 1960 it was transferred to the 4510th Combat Training Wing (TAC) at Luke AFB, Arizona, and in May 1961 it passed to the Ogden Air Materiel Area at Hill AFB. Then, in July 1962, it was handed over to the 2849th Air Base Wing at Hill. The aircraft was redesignated CH-21B in 1962 and was operated in support of the Utah Test and Training Range until its retirement to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, in April 1971. That November it was dropped from the USAF inventory.
The aircraft's rotor blades were refurbished by members of the former 419th Combat Logistics Support Squadron (CLSS) from Hill AFB and reattached in May 2006. The museum deeply appreciates the devoted support of the men and women of the 419th CLSS over the years.