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Hiller UH-12 / H-23 / HTE-1





Stanley Hiller Jr designed the Model 360 which has enjoyed considerable commercial success since its first flight in 1948. It was derived from the UH-5 which had proved very unstable during trials and had subsequently been fitted with a new stability system patented as the Hiller 'Rotormatic'. It entailed fitting the two-blade rotor with two small paddles which acted as a control rotor and were also connected to a hanging stick. This servo 'paddle control' system tilts the rotor head and actuates the cyclic pitch control.

The Hiller 360 received its FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval in October 1948 and a year later a production model designated Model 12 made the first transcontinental helicopter flight across the USA. At that time it still had an open cockpit, and the 178hp Franklin 6V4-178-B33 was in an open engine bay.


Known as the Hiller UH-12 as Hiller had become part of United Helicopters, the Hiller UH-12, incorporating a two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor on an upswept boom. The UH-12 had a framed 'bubble'-type cabin, no fuselage structure around the engine, skid undercarriage and a 175hp Franklin 6V4-178-B33 engine. Maximum takeoff weight was 1015kg.


In 1963 the US Army was buying 137 more Hiller OH-23 observation helicopters to meet its requirements until a five-way competition for a light helicopter was decided at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. In 1963 the British navy was adding seven UH-12E to the 14 bought in 1962. The Royal Navy used its 12E’s to train fleet pilots at Culdrose Naval Air Station in Cornwall. They were fitted for instrument flying. 12E were also in use with Canada’s army and air force, known as CH-112.

The UH-12A Raven production two-seat UH-12 with collective pitch ballast system and wooden rotor blades for civil and military customers had a takeoff gross weight of 1082kg. With an uprated engine and new UH-12A rotor blades, it was purchased by the US Army and Navy for battlefield evacuation and observation tasks, with the designation H-23 Raven, whilst the Navy ordered the same basic model as the HTE-1 for training.

The commercial UH-12A to UH-12D became the OH-23A to OH-23D Raven respectively for service with the US Army, and the US Navy acquired UH-12As as HTE-1 and HTE-2. 



The UH-12A successor, the H-23B, powered by a 200-210hp Franklin engine, was the first version used by the US Army as a trainer. 216 were assigned to the Primary Flying School at Fort Walters and another 237 were used for various tasks. The Hiller UH-12 was the US Army's primary trainer until 1965.

The UH-12B (and as the HT Mk.1 for the Royal Navy) normally had skid or flotation gear, but a wheeled undercarriage was fitted to a batch ordered by the US Navy (the HTE-2).

In 1955 the UH-12C, was basically a UH-1B. It retained the 200hp Franklin engine, but had all-metal rotor blades and a "goldfish bowl" cockpit canopy and three seats. From 1956, 145 were delivered to the US Army as the H-23C.




A purely military version, the UH-12D / OH-12D, flew on 3 April 1956 and 483 went to the US Army. The Franklin engine had been replaced by the more powerful 320hp Lycoming VO-540, and the transmission had also been changed to increase the service life of the helicopter.

The commonest version was the UH-12E which had a more powerful 305hp Textron Lycoming VO-540-A1A engine. The US Army replaced nearly all the OH-23Ds by Hiller 12Es, designated OH-23G 3-seat dual control trainer. In 1960 the Model E4 was developed from the Hiller 12E, with a longer cabin to seat four and an anhedral stabilizer on the tail boom. Twenty-two of these were acquired by the US Army as the OH-23F, for geodetic research.


Hiller UH-12E ZK-HFG


The UH-12EL was a UH-12E retro-fitted with Ham-Standard rotor stability augmentation system, stainless steel rotor blades and 1400kg TOGW.

UH-12E3 was the revised designation for Hiller Aircraft Corp production UH-12E with 3 seats, and UH-12E3T the Hiller Aircraft Corp UH-12ET.

The UH-12E4 featured inverted rear tail planes and lengthened cabin to accommodate pilot plus rear bench seat for 3 pax. All new helicopters now have these features and they can be retrofitted on Model 12Es. Designated UH-12E4T when fitted with Soloy conversion to 400shp Allison 250-C20B turboshaft. This engine conversion was jointly developed with Soloy Conversions of Chehalis, Washington who began work on it in 1976.

The UH-12ET was the UH-12E fitted with Soloy conversion to 400shp Allison 250-C20B turboshaft.
UH-12E5 was the UH-12E4 fitted with five seats and 340hp Textron Lycoming VO-540 piston engine. A prototype was flown but no further development was undertaken.
The Korean War gave an added impetus to improvements and when the Hiller 12E appeared in 1959 it came either as the L3 with a 305hp Lycoming VO-540-C2A or as the SL3 with a supercharged 315hp TIVO-540-A2A engine.
The UH-12SL was the UH-12E with supercharged Textron Lycoming TIVO-540 engine and 'L' series rotor head with gyro-controlled stability augmentation system.
UH-12L was UH-12SL with unsupercharged VO-540 engine.

Civil versions with uprated powerplant included the UH-12E variants suffixed L3, L4, SL3 and SL4. The last civil variant, which appeared in 1963, was the Hiller 12L4 which was also used as a test-bed for a PT6 turbine, but the project was taken no further.
Total sales of the Hiller 12E family exceeded 2000. Over 1,600 UH-12s went to the US Army and were used in Korea and Vietnam.
At the height of UH-12/OH-23 production Hiller was taken over by the Fairchild Corporation, but in 1973 a new company, Hiller Aviation, acquired design rights and production tooling for the UH-12E, and for some years provided support for the world-wide fleet of UH-12 variants.
UH-12E5T was a proposed turbine-powered UH-12E5 with Allison 250-C20B. Not built.
UH-12J-3 was an unofficial designation for Soloy-converted UH-12E.
UH-12SL4 was the UH-12L with the E4 four-seat cabin.

The Canadian army acquired OH-23Gs which it operated with the designation CH-112 Nomad, and the Royal Navy used a number of ex-US Navy HTE-2s under the designation Hiller HT.Mk 2.
In April 1984 Hiller became a subsidiary of Rogerson Aircraft of Port Angeles, Washington. Renamed Hiller Helicopters and later Rogerson Helicopters, the company, now known as Rogerson Hiller, relaunched the piston-engined UH-12E in 1991 as the Hauler, and a number have been exported. The company is also proposing the Allison turbine-powered UH-12ET development for the US Army's NHT (New Training Helicopter) requirement.
The Model 12 has the usual equipment for helicopter safety and civil work, but can also be fitted with a night-lighting kit, a 454kg capacity cargo hook, twin heavy duty cargo racks, and auxiliary fuel tanks. Equipped with extra tanks the 12E has a maximum range of 676km. Production of both the 12E and 12E-4 is ran at about five a month.

A number were fitted with an Allison 250-C20 turbine as Soloy UH12E-SCL conversions. The 400shp Allison (derated to 305 shp) is mounted slanting backwards from the adaptor gearbox, leaving a large uncluttered area where the previous engine was.




Engine: 175hp Franklin 6V4-178-B33
TOGW: 1015kg
Undercarriage: skid
Engine: 200hp Franklin 6V4-200-C33 or Franklin 6V-335-B, 210 hp
TOGW: 1082kg
UH-12B / HT Mk.1
Engine: 200hp Franklin 6V4-200-C33 or Franklin 6V-335-B, 210 hp
TOGW: 1128kg
Engine: 200 h.p. Franklin
Rotor dia.: 35 ft
Weight: 2,500 lb
Max. Speed: 84 mph
Seats: 3
Engine: 200hp Franklin 6V4-200-C33
UH-12D / OH-23D Raven
Engine: 241kW / 250hp Textron Lycoming VO-435-A1C
Main rotor diameter: 10.82m
Length: 8.53m
Height: 2.97m
Empty weight: 824kg
TOGW: 1240kg
Max speed: 153km/h
Cruising speed: 132km/h
Service ceiling: 4025m
Range: 330km
UH-12E / OH-23G
Engine: 305hp Textron Lycoming VO-540-A1A / Lycoming VO-540-C2A, 305 hp.
TBO: 1200 hrs.
Main rotor: 10.8 m / 35.3 ft.
Seats: 3.
Length: 40.7 ft.
Height: 10.1 ft.
Max ramp weight: 3100 lbs.
Max takeoff weight: 3100 lb / 1410 kg.
Standard empty weight: 1759 lbs.
Max useful load: 610 kg / 1341 lbs.
Max landing weight: 3100 lbs.
Max sling load: 1000 lbs.
Disc loading: 3.2 lbs/sq.ft.
Power loading: 10.2 lbs/hp.
Max usable fuel: 516 lbs.
Max rate of climb: 993 fpm.
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft.
Hover in ground effect: 10,400 ft.
Hover out of ground effect: 6800 ft.
Max speed: 83 kts.
Normal cruise @ 3000 ft: 51 kts.
Max cruise: 80 kts
Fuel flow @ normal cruise: 125 pph.
Endurance @ normal cruise: 3.9 hr.
Max range: 390 km.
Seats: 3.
Engine: 305hp Textron Lycoming VO-540-A1A
TOGW: 1400 kg
Seats: 3
UH12E Soloy
Engine: Allison 250-C20 turbine, 400 shp
UH-12E3T / UH-12ET
Seats: 3
Engine: Allison 250
Engine: Soloy 400shp Allison 250-C20B turboshaft
Hiller 12E4 
Engine: Lycoming VO-540-C2A, 305 hp.
Seats: 4.
Disc loading: 2.84 lb/sq.ft.
Pwr loading: 9.18 lb/hp.
Max TO wt: 2800 lb.
Empty wt: 1890 lb.
Equipped useful load: 886 lb.
Payload max fuel: 370 lb.
Range max fuel/ cruise: 274 nm/ 3.2 hr.
Range max fuel / range: 312 nm/ 4.7 hr.
Service ceiling: 16,200 ft.
Max cruise: 83 kt.
Max range cruise: 67 kt.
ROC: 1290 fpm.
HIGE: 10,800 ft.
HOGE: 7200 ft.
Max sling load: 1000 lb.
Fuel cap: 276/516 lb
Seats: 4
Engine:Soloy 400shp Allison 250-C20B turboshaft
Engine: 340hp Textron Lycoming VO-540
Seats: 5
Engine: Lycoming VO-540-C2B, 305 hp
Main rotor diameter: 35 ft 5 in / 10.80 m
Empty weight: 1759 lb / 798 kg
Normal TO weight: 2800 lb / 1270 kg
Max overload weight: 3100 lb / 1405 kg
Max cruise SL: 78 kt / 90 mph / 145 kph
Max ROC SL: 1290 fpm / 393 m/min
Service ceiling: 15,200 ft / 4630 m
Range w/aux fuel, 2800lb/1270kg: 379 nm / 437 mi / 703 km
Seats: 3
Baggage capacity: 125 lb / 57 kg
Cabin length: 5 ft 0 in / 1.52 m
Cabin width: 4 ft 11 in / 1.50 m
Cabin height: 4 ft 5 in / 1.35 m
Engine: supercharged Textron Lycoming TIVO-540
Engine: Textron Lycoming VO-540 engine.
UH-12 L3
Engine: 305hp Lycoming VO-540-C2A
UH-12 SL3
Engine: supercharged 315hp TIVO-540-A2A
Engine: Allison 250-C20 turbine, 305 shp.
Vne: 96 mph.
MAUW: 3100 lbs.
Empty wt: 1650 lbs.
Useful load: 1450 lbs.
Endurance(@ 90 mph, 22 gal/hr): 2:05 hr.
Range (@90mph): 188 sm.
Max ROC: 1706 fpm.
Max vertical ROC: 1463 fpm.




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