20 August 2016: A Rare Vistor at Aviodrome

The Wright Cyclone engine being started

The Wright Cyclone engine being started

During a week-end event at the Aviodrome Museum at Lelystad Airport (called ‘Rescue Heroes’) we could see a very rare visitor: a flying Sikorsky S-58 helicopter.

D-HAUK in front of Aviodrome's T2 hangar

D-HAUK in front of Aviodrome’s T2 hangar

It is registered D-HAUK and it is owned and operated by Meravo Luftrederei based at Oedheim in Germany. At the moment there seem to be only two airworthy helicopters of this type and D-HAUK is the only one in Europe.

D-HAUK started its life as a civil helicopter from Chicago Helicopter Airways carrying the registration N869. It was used from 1958 to 1963.

Fly-by of the S-58

Fly-by of the S-58

It was sold to the Belgian SABENA where it flew as OO-SHP in the sixties. In 1967 it was acquired by the Belgian Air Force, where it flew with military markings B15/OT-ZKP. It was used until 1975. After being stored at Brussel-Zaventem for some time it was in 1978 sold to the German based Meravo Luftrederei at Oedheim. Here it was made airworthy again.

D-HAUK being guided to the T2 platform

D-HAUK being guided to the T2 platform

It was used for a number of movie scenes carrying various colour schemes. At present it is painted in a Luftwaffe scheme carrying the registration PJ-366. The squadron emblem on the fuselage is from a Royal Navy helicopter squadron!

Back at the platform after its demonstration flight.

Back at the platform after its demonstration flight.

D-HAUK is powered by a Wright R-1820 Cyclone of 1525 hp that gives an impressing and characteristic sound when fired up!

Nico Braas