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Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly 1

Serial No: KL110
Period: WWII
Reference: 66/A/765
Museum: London
Location: Hangars 3 and 4
On Display: Yes

Though only 133 Hoverfly 1s were built, the type holds a significant place in the history of both the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force.

The Hoverfly was the first operational helicopter to be developed by the Americans and saw widespread use in the closing months of the war in the Pacific. The type was also the first helicopter used by the Royal Air Force and entered service with the Helicopter Training Flight at Andover and one was used for Radar Calibration by No.529 Squadron in 1945.

Although the first practical allied helicopter, the Hoverfly 1 had an inadequate load carrying capability and was used by the Royal Air Force mainly to prove the concept.
What makes this a milestone aircraft?

This is the first truly capable Allied helicopter. Whilst relatively underpowered it could do all the basic tasks carried out as a matter of course by modern helicopters.

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