Home Forum Shop Alumni

Aircraft Stats:

Powerplant: 1 x 550 hp Alvis Leonides 50
Speed: 166 kph, 103mph mph
Range: 483km, 300miles
Length: 12.45m, 40ft 10in
Span: 14.94m, 0ft
Period of Service: 1948 - 1968

None specified

None specified

2 incidents recorded


Status: Retired
Manufacturer: Sikorsky
Country of Manufacture: United States
Role: Utility

Four-seat utility helicopter.

The S-51 was the first helicopter to enter SAAF service when three aircraft (A1, A2 and A3) entered service in 1948 with 12 Squadron for the purpose of spraying Tsetse Fly in Zululand, together with a number of Ansons.

A3 crashed near Hluhluwe on 20 April 1951, while A2 also crashed near Hluhluwe on 11 September 1952.

A1 crashed at Mtubatuba in October 1950, but was then transferred to 17 Squadron at Ysterplaat in December 1957. It was sold in 1964 as ZS-HBT and scrapped some years later. A scrap yard in Cape Town offered the aircraft to the SAAF Museum in 1976, whereupon it was restored to static display.


S51 A-1 of 12 sqn at Stamford Hill Durban. S-51 A1. S-51 A1 of the SAAF Museum Historic Flight in 2004. S-51 A1 cockpit in 2004. S-51 A1 of the SAAF Museum Historic Flight in 2007.