The Gyrodyne Helicopter
Historical Foundation is very proud to have helped provide
assistance to the following museums in attaining flight manuals (so their
aircraft can be maintained or restored), photographic and video archive
packages, aircraft parts for their current displays and some even got completed
and restored airframes!
We have assisted in this effort in order to accomplish
the following goals:
Expand the knowledge base of the only American co-axial helicopter
design to ever go into full production, that being the QH-50 series
To increase the awareness of the history associated with the company and
employees that built the QH-50; that being the Gyrodyne Company of America,
St. James, Long Island, New York,
To honor the United States Navy and its' past leaders for having the
foresight in 1958, to initiate a major weapons program using an unmanned
aircraft (the first time for any branch of service), called
DASH, which led to the modification (called
FRAM) of over 240 Naval destroyers, destroyer escorts and tenders which
placed two QH-50 aircraft per ship and introduced for the first time, the
helicopter to the destroyer. This effort was also a very first step in
modern unmanned vertical takeoff and landing aviation.
When you visit one of the following museums, please keep
in mind all the above history and support these museums and the educational and
historical legacy they are attempting to maintain. It isn't an inexpensive
The following list is organized from east of the United
States to the west coast, in no real order. There is only one QH-50D outside the
USA, that can be viewed - that is in Japan at their JMSDF Undersea Warfare
In the North Eastern United States
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151 USA Info: 703-572-4118
DS-1289 was delivered by the Gyrodyne Foundation to the Smithsonian on
October 5, 2011. With that delivery came to an end, an effort that started
when we picked up DS-1289 from the U.S. Army's Target Management Office
(TMO) facility at White Sands Missile Range, NM on October 15, 2008. We then
transported the aircraft to our shop in Reno Nevada where we disassembled
the entire aircraft and rebuilt her, piece by piece, back to the way she was
first delivered to the U.S. Navy; back on June 10, 1965. Using OEM
new-old-stock Gyrodyne parts and original paint along with completely
restored wooden blades, DS-1289 is the most pristine and complete QH-50C, in
DS-1289 is also fully flight-capable - she is no mock-up.
To match her uniqueness, DS-1289 carries the
sole example of the original envisioned payload for the DASH weapon system:
The Mk-57 Nuclear Depth Bomb. The Gyrodyne Foundation also restored that
weapon working with Sandia National Labs to get the markings exactly as they
would have been. DS-1289 is in the Vietnam-Korean area of
the Udvar-Hazy Center and stands as the most unique, Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle, the world now gets the chance to see, that has been kept secret for
so many years.
Photo by Dane A. Penland,
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Patuxent River Naval Aviation Museum
at Pegg Road and Route 235,
Lexington Park, Maryland - Adjacent to GATE 1 at the Naval Air Station
Patuxent River, MD
Phone: (301) 863-7418
for Directions, click here
The Patuxent River Naval Aviation Museum is
home to the pristine QH-50D, DS-1679, which is the only
ASW D-model on
the east coast. The Gyrodyne Foundation provided Twin restored MK-44
Torpedoes with our own-MK-64 Suspension bands to be installed on DS-1679
in October 2011. GHHF continues to support the volunteers in their
restoration including the providing of gyros and a new floatation system.
When you visit, tell them "Bravo Zulu" on a job well done!
The museum has great exhibits on the testing of systems
and engines that has created our great Navy of today. The museum is open
10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm on Sundays and closed on
The American Helicopter Museum is home to
QH-50C, DS-1190 (seen right). Located in West
Chester, Pennsylvania, the Museum houses nearly fifty helicopters and
exhibits that span the history of rotary wing flight. Click on their name
above and it will take you to their site.
Bradley International Airport -
Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Phone (860) 623-3305 FAX (860) 627-2820
The New England Air Museum
is home to QH-50C, DS-1320 (seen left). One
of the "higher" number QH-50C's, it is an excellent example of
the 1300 series of the QH-50C which were equipped with an all-weather
electrical harness (from Bu No 1290 on). The Gyrodyne Foundation provided
the NEAM all new-condition DECK CONTROL equipment and they in-turn created
a simulated deck to show it from - an outstanding accomplishment.
Gyrodyne Foundation also provided the twin MK-44 restored Torpedoes &
Mk-64 suspension bands that were installed by a GHHF volunteer from St.
Louis, Mo. on June 4, 2008. The
story of DS-1320 is rather interesting as it originated from Naval Air
Rework Facility at Norfolk, VA in August of 1973 and has been on display
for almost 40 years. Click on their name above and you will go to their site.
The USS Joseph P. Kennedy
Jr. is an example of a Gearing class destroyer, which were built during WW
II and became the workhorses of the Cold War destroyer navy.
KENNEDY served with great distinction during the Korean War, the Cuban
Missile Crisis, and America's space program. DD-850 now proudly displays
her colors as a museum ship to educate the public and serve as a memorial
to those who sailed aboard destroyers and is also a National Historic
Landmark and member of the Historic Naval Ships Association. If
you click on the picture of the Kennedy at right, you will go to their
On July 16, 2001, crew from the USS
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. museum were one of three museums that participated
in an asset transfer conducted by the U.S. Army's PEO-STRI Target
Management Office (TMO) at White Sands Missile Range, NM which Gyrodyne
Helicopter Historical Fndn was pleased to participate in. The TMO
subsequently ended their use of the QH-50 system in 2006.
At right middle is the DASH hangar undergoing
restoration. For that Hangar, KENNEDY received, QH-50C, DS-1284
which is seen at the lower right. Final restoration is set to be completed
for the aircraft by Fall of 2007, but DS-1284 did get her twin MK-44
Torpedoes installed by Gyrodyne Volunteers on 14-Aug-2006, making that
QH-50 loaded yet again!
DS-1284 resides in the Hangar space that the 1960's FRAM
program installed on KENNEDY. The USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. museum
also attained much the of components to the ship-based AN/SRW-4C Target
Control system (many in new condition) which will also be exhibited as part of the DASH system.
When the crew of the Kennedy are finished with this restoration of the
DASH equipment onboard the destroyer, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
museum will be the only place in the world to show how ALL the DASH
equipment worked together in a restored DASH hangar, to give the 1960's
Navy destroyer a 22 mile
stand-off capability in ASW and RECON capability.
Do you want to Help the USS J.P. KENNEDY JR?
Click on the below
destroyer icon and see a short movie on the challenges of keeping
destroyers open as museums.
USS Joseph P.
Kennedy Jr. DD-850 Destroyer Museum
at Battleship Cove, Fall River,
Phone: (508) 678 -1100
No, you aren't
seeing double; but if you go visit the J.P. KENNEDY JR, you will: The USS
JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850) is the only place in the world for you to see
a QH-50D SNOOPY RECONNAISSANCE-Equipped DASH Drone.
With no ASW mission for the destroyers operating off the coast of Vietnam,
Adm Combs, USN, sought a way to utilize the QH-50s as surveillance
platforms. Installing a Cohu daylight TV camera, tilt-mount with Microwave
Associates TV Transmitter on a tray, shown below, close to 50 QH-50s were
flown and lost over Vietnam doing such recon missions. The Gyrodyne
Foundation took 5 years to scratch build a SNOOPY QH-50D that is 100%
operational and authentic. The BuNo is DS-1543A and it replicates DS-1543
that was shot-down over Vietnam while operating from the destroyer, USS
CHEVALIER (DD-805) on October 13, 1967, then flown by Bob McClure. The
C-model was originally used for SNOOPY and if you
click here, you can
see a actual mission.
DS-1543A was delivered to Battleship Cove and the KENNEDY on May 15,
2009 and is one of a few operational D-models to survive to this day. Please
go visit and support the ship which is the only DASH ship left, that has
both her DASH QH-50 drones.
The "SNOOPY" SLED as the Men of
DASH called it, converted a ASW Drone into a Surveillance
Platform...Camera, mount and transmitters and this one was scratch-built
from photographs from Gyrodyne Archives.
The QH-50D "Snoopy" and the Anti-Submarine (ASW) QH-50C
share hangar space together in the KENNEDY's hangar. The SNOOPY QH-50D
carries a A-37 Multiple-ejection rack (MER) that holds 6, MK-76 Smoke Bombs
which is what SNOOPY QH-50s carried when they flew spotting missions over
In the South Eastern United States
40 Patriots Point Road
Mount Pleasant South Carolina 29464-4377
While Patriots Point may be known for being the home of the
aircraft carrier USS
YORKTOWN (CV-10), (the Fighting Lady), right next to YORKTOWN
is the Sumner class destroyer, USS
LAFFEY (DD-724) and onboard her is QH-50C, DS-1347
(seen right). While
her tail states "DS-1343" in actuality, it is DS-1347,
manufactured on October 20,1965. While LAFFEY is a FRAM destroyer with
hangar deck, the ship, after having its hull repaired, found that its pier
was no longer safe and LAFFEY is currently NOT ACCESSIBLE to the public,
pending a possible move.
LAFFEY UPDATE: During the 2nd week of
January 2012, LAFFEY will return to Patriots Point but it wont be an easy
move - The USS Laffey is going to be put where the Submarine Clamagore is
now. They are putting the submarine where the Ingham was, and the LAFFEY
will now be front and center for all to see. Please visit and support this
4108 Minuteman Way
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
Charlotte, North Carolina 28208
The Carolinas Aviation Museum is home to
QH-50C, DS-1355 (seen before and after at left). This aircraft is
restoration which Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation is assisting with. In cooperation with the USS
RADFORD museum, a tail and rotor blades were acquired for their use in
2001. Then, in 2002, two separate trips to White Sands Missile Range
(WSMR) were conducted to attain parts for DS-1355. From the flotation gear
to most of the ASW-20 automatic flight control systems, these items were
acquired and shipped to the Carolina Aviation Museum. In 2003, Puliz
Moving and Storage of Reno, NV cut all the vinyl graphics for the tail of
this aircraft. As you can see their restoration team has done a fabulous
job!. Some history on DS-1355 is that it was manufactured on November 1, 1965, originally operated on the USS
Massey (DD-778), a Allen M. Sumner class destroyer and is the only QH-50C
with original ship's name/art work on its tank.
In the Mid-Western United States
USS Radford National Naval Museum
It is sad to report that
with the death of Vane Scott, the USS RADFORD Museum has closed and is
being merged with the USS ORLECK Museum.
The below is now just a remembrance of Vane's
effort to save a QH-50.....
On July 16, 2001,
crew from the USS RADFORD museum (Barbara
and Vane Scott) was the second of three museums that
participated in an asset transfer conducted by the U.S. Army PEO-STRI
Target Management Office (TMO) at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM
which Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation was pleased to participate in.
The TMO is the only current user of the QH-50 drone. While the
QH-50C aircraft that RADFORD received (seen right being loaded at
WSMR) lacked an I.d. plate and the tails were for another aircraft,
RADFORD has decided to restore the aircraft to be the one seen on the FRAM
page of this web site, that being DS-1199 which was built on October
Also, RADFORD got a new deck control, control monitor with stand
as well as the transmitter control- all of the components a deck station
would have. RADFORD has begun to display their QH-50 helicopter as
seen below, outside their museum. Currently, it is hoped that RADFORD as
well as all participating museums can attain Mk-44 Demilitarized Torpedoes
for their QH-50 displays.
QH-50C, DS-1199, greets visitors to the USS RADFORD Museum
The ship-museum / destroyer ORLECK is open to visitors year-round as the
USS ORLECK Naval Museum at 604 North Enterprise Blvd, Lake Charles,
Louisiana. The ship is berthed on the Calcasieu River just six blocks
north of IH-10, Exit 31A
Now docked on the
Calcasieu River in Lake Charles, Louisiana, just a few miles east of the
shipyard of her birth in in Orange, Texas, the former U.S. naval destroyer
USS ORLECK is the representative of so much:
The ship building heritage of the
city of Orange itself, where over 400 vessels were built for the war
effort of World War II alone by workers from Southwest Louisiana and
Southeast Texas, some of whom are still with us and visit the ORLECK
to share their experiences;
The heritage of the company that built much of that
shipping, that being the Consolidated Steel Corporation and of course,
ORLECK itself, (built by Consolidated Steel in Orange!) and its
tremendous Naval History of earning four battle stars for
service during the Korean Conflict, being a member of the famous Train
Busters Club of Korea and being known as "Top Gun" of the
Seventh Fleet in Vietnam.
The ORLECK is an
example of a GEARING class destroyer which did receive the FRAM-1
modification which put DASH on board. Former ORLECK Executive officer Phil
King actually came up with the SNOOPY program (camera on a QH-50 vs.
torpedoes) to gather intelligence over Vietnam. Records indicate that over
30 ships used SNOOPY- the first time a unmanned helicopter was used for
combat surveillance; the first and only time.
ORLECK museum was the third of 3 museums to participate in an asset
transfer conducted by the U.S. Army PEO-STRI's Target Management Office
(TMO) at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM on July 16, 2001, which Gyrodyne Helicopter
Historical Fndn was pleased to help coordinate. Currently, research is being conducted
as to the identity of the ORLECK's QH-50C. Barely visible on the tank was
the title "USS" but no ship name. At lower left, at WSMR picking
up their QH-50C, from left to right: Glenda Dyer, ORLECK's curator; Tom Depwe, president of the Southeast Texas
War Memorial and Heritage Foundation; Alex Papadakos, Gyrodyne Helicopter
Historical Foundation and Penn Johnson, technical advisor and
co-owner of Penn Engineering.
Air & Space Museum
6000 East Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
Phone (520) 574-0462
"Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace
education through the preservation and presentation of the history of
The Pima Air &
Space Museum opened to the public in May 1976 with 75 aircraft on display.
Since then the museum collection has grown to over 250 aircraft occupying
80 acres of land. The entire museum property covers about 150 acres.
Pima is also the home of
QH-50C, DS-1045, the earliest known example of QH-50 to exist.
Its recent move from hanging from the ceiling in their big hangar to the
floor is so that DS-1045 could be re-armed with inert MK-44 Homing Torpedoes
- something the Gyrodyne Foundation provided on October 12, 2013. The
GHHF had already provided a complete DASH DECK station's worth of equipment so
the Pima folks could create a nice display showing DS-1045's original condition, completeness and authenticity;
it is excellent, as is
most of the collection at Pima.
On the West Coast of the United States
Highway 95 in Downtown Hawthorne, Nevada
Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation placed its own
on loan to the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum, on November 24, 2003. The
Hawthorne Ordnance Museum is run by members and volunteers of the
Ordnance Museum as part of a revitalization program to bring to the
public the rich history of the Hawthorne Army Ordnance Depot .
DS-1914 is excellent as the aircraft is in a glass-show room
with normal business hours at the Hawthorne Museum.
As for DS-1914: From
its very beginning, DS-1914 was built as a
tribute to the late founder of Gyrodyne, Mr.
Peter James Papadakos, taking the year of his birth as the serial
number for the helicopter. DS-1914
represents more than a static display as the aircraft is not only fully
functional, but is complemented with all the
to test its systems including a deck control with control monitor,
CIC and transmitter controller as well as a ASM-103 system test set.
Also located next to DS-1914 is a
complete SRM test system designed to calibrate the URW-14A radio
transmitters used on-ship to send the command signals to the QH-50D.
As seen at right upon
its delivery to Hawthorne, the folks around the QH-50D, DS-1914, from left
to right, Herman Millsap (board member of the Museum), Peter and Alex Papadakos
of the Gyrodyne Foundation, Larry Mortensen and Fred Inman both board
members as well.
information on the Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD)- It is the largest industrial
activity in the State of Nevada and the largest Depot in the world.
Established in 1927, the Depot drove the town of Hawthorne's population
and by 1930 it stood at 680 people. By 1945, the population had reached
5,625 with the base encompassing some 147,000 acres having 178 buildings
and 2,427 above and below ground bunkers for ammunition storage. By 1980,
the Depot was converted to a "contractor-operated" facility with a total
employment of around 500.
Today, an example of the
ordnance stored at Hawthorne can be seen at the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum
on display from huge 1000 lb bombs to small rockets and missiles as seen below.
Please visit this historic place and give some
thought to all the logistics required in keeping our nation free!
3200 Freedom Park Drive
McClellan, CA 95652
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
On April 13, 2009, when the Gyrodyne Foundation
selected QH-50D, DS-1660 from the surviving 20+ aircraft that survived the
DASH deployment (1961-1972) to the ARMY-target-simulation flights in New
Mexico of 1970 to 2006, it was for a California-based museum that would
have to restore her to her previous NAVY-appearance.
However, DS-1660 had a different plan and by October
2010 the Gyrodyne Foundation was picking up DS-1660 from the Aerospace
Museum of California (outside Sacramento) and would become a complete
rebuild project for us that would transform the aircraft at upper-right,
into a pristine and working D-model for the museum to be proud of. Named
"Mary Ann" by one of her crew, she was delivered back to the museum on
April 22, 2011, and DS-1660 is now having the former crews (like Bill
O'Sullivan - LOWRY) of the ships she flew from (USS LOWRY and USS STORMES)
visit her at the museum (seen lower right). It is for those Gyrodyne
Helicopter employees, NAVY crews and their families, why the Gyrodyne
Foundation restores these aircraft to pristine condition - so they can be
appreciated for the years to come.
The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation Mission:
"To foster better understanding and expand the
knowledge base of the DASH Weapon System and principally the Gyrodyne
Helicopter Company's participation in that program as well as the other
mission derivatives of Gyrodyne's QH-50 helicopter and of Gyrodyne's
history overall ."
Foundation would like to publicly THANK all the personnel involved in the
"Asset Recovery" of the Gyrodyne manufactured equipment, archives
and weapon systems (like the two special gentlemen at right)
for the Museums we support, as shown on this page. Without their
assistance, none of these exhibits would be as complete as they are or in
most cases, even possible. They are individuals in the:
U.S. Army's Systems, Training
and Instrument Command - Target Management Office (US ARMY PEO-STRI
Former Gyrodyne Helicopter Company employees
U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Keyport
U.S. Naval Inactive Ships Program
Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot -
Day-Zimmerman Hawthorne Contractor
U.S. Maritime Administration-
Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet
Puliz Moving and Storage, Reno,
concerns prevent us from naming these dedicated persons, they have acted
to insure the preservation of this Nation's historical artifacts and
aircraft are preserved for future generations to appreciate and
To all of you, many thanks for your
past and continued support of these QH-50 Museums!
Currently, QH-50C, DS-1287, located at the Naval Undersea Museum,
Keyport, Washington is Off-Display...but here she is in the back room!
Thanks to Dave Hood and Arnie Hoffman for the photo!
NOTE: The QH-50C at Seattle's Museum of Flight, owned by
the Museum of Naval Aviation, was transferred to The American Helicopter
Museum; that being DS-1190
NOTE: QH-50C, DS-1261, Last seen at Warner-Robbins Air
Force Museum is presently, "Missing" and is being moved, we
believe to Pensacola for the Museum of Naval Aviation.