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H5 web

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Tail #:  9601
Dimensions:  Rotor Diameter: 14.9m, Length: 17.6m, Height: 3.9m
Max Weight: 2 495 kg
Max Speed:  166 km/h
Role:  Training, Search & Rescue
In service:  1947-1965
with the museum since 2012

The H-5 Dragonfly was the RCAF’s first helicopter. Only seven H-5s were taken on by the RCAF, and they were used to give RCAF personnel experience in the flying and maintenance of helicopters. They taught the capabilities and restrictions of this new type of aircraft. One important part of the H-5’s service in Canada was to study and understand their performance under Canadian winter conditions. Due to the nature of the service, the H-5s spent most of their service in training or experiential units, although there was some search and rescue work done as well.

H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was taken on strength on April 5, 1947. It was the first of the seven Dragonflies that were taken on by the RCAF. It was originally assigned to Trenton for training duties, and then assigned to Edmonton, also for training. In 1950, H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was sent back to Trenton for repair and overhaul. When the overhaul was done, H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was sent to the Canadian Joint Air Training School in Rivers, Manitoba. After three years in the Canadian Joint Air Training School, it was sent to Cold Lake, Alberta, to the Experimental and Proving Establishment for five years. After that, it was sent to Chatham, New Brunswick, for five more years. On January 1965, H-5 Dragonfly 9601 was retired from active service and sent to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.