Sikorsky S-61

(Photo owned by Gary Watts )

The Sikorsky S-61

This beautiful ship was designed from the Sikorsky SH-3 “Sea King”. Back in the late 50s Sikorsky won a development contract for an amphibious anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter capable of detecting and attacking submarines. Which turned into the SH-3, from there Sikorsky developed a commercial version, the S-61, which first flew on 2 November 1961, and was 4 ft 3 in (1.30 m) longer than the SH-3. The S-61 had a greater pay load to carry both freight and passengers, initially the production S-61Ls were powered by two 1350shp GE CT58-140 turboshafts, the civil version of the T58. The S-61L features a modified landing gear without float stabilizers.
Los Angeles Airway was the first to start operating the S-61L as a passenger helicopter on 11 March 1962, Just a random fact, when LA Airways bought them, they were priced for 650,000$ today the US is selling them for 500,000$ which can be found here at the GSA Auctions. PIA began operating the S-61s in 1962, The helicopter route to Khulna reduced the 21-hour journey overland to 37 minutes by air. 20 towns and cities covered by the network. The average price of a ticket was 25 rupees (which is about 2$ today)

On 7 August 1962, the S-61N made its first flight. Otherwise identical to the S-61L, this version is optimized for over-water operations, particularly oil rig support, by retaining the SH-3’s floats. Both the S-61L and S-61N were subsequently updated to Mk II standard with improvements including more powerful CT58-110 engines giving better hot and high performance, vibration damping and other detail refinements.

The latest version is the modernized S-61T helicopter. The United States Department of State has signed a purchase agreement for up to 110 modernized S-61T aircraft for passenger and cargo transport missions in support of its worldwide operations. The first two modernized S-61 aircraft will support missions for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan.

Variants of the S-61

Non-amphibious civil transport version. It can seat up to 30 passengers

S-61L Mk II
Improved version of the S-61L helicopter, equipped with cargo bins.

Amphibious civil transport version

S-61T Triton
S-61 modernized upgrade by Sikorsky and Carson; Upgrades include composite main rotor blades, full airframe structural refurbishment, conversion of folding rotor head to non-folding, new modular wiring harness, and Cobham glass cockpit avionics; initial models converted were S-61N

Over the years the S-61 has been operated by a lot of different operators, here is a list that I could find.

Operators of the S-61

From Argentina:
Comando De la Aviacion Naval
Fuerza Aerea Argentina
Helicopteros Marinos

From Brunei:
Brunei Shell Petroleum

From Brazil
Aeroleo Taxi Aereo
Omni Taxi Aereo

From Canada:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Coast Guard
Canadian Helicopters Ltd
Coulson Aircrane
Cougar Helicopters
Hayes Forest Services
Helicopter Transport Services Canada
Okanagan Helicopters
Royal Canadian Navy
VIH Helicopters

From Denmark:
Royal Danish Air Force

From Greenland:
Air Greenland

From Ireland:
Irish Air Corp
Irish Coast Guard

From India:
Indian Navy

From Lebanon:
Akhdar Dayem

From Malaysia:
MHS Aviation
Malaysian Army
Royal Malaysian Air Force

From Netherlands:
KLM Helikopters

From Pakistan:
Pakistan International Airlines

From Peru:
Peru Navy

From Spain:
Maritime Safety Agency
Spanish Navy

From South Africa:
Court Helicopter

From Tunisia:
Tunisian Air Force

From the United Kingdom:
British Airway Helicopters
British Caledonian Helicopter
British European Airways
British International
Brintel Helicopter
Bristow Helicopters
Her Royal Majesty Coast Guard

From the United States:
AAR Corp
Brown Helicopter Inc
Carson Helicopters
Chicago Helicopters
Croman Corp
EP Aviation
Evergreen Helicopters
Los Angeles Airways
New York Airways
Siller Brothers
Sky Cats
State of California
US Navy
US Marines
US Air Force
US Coast Guard
US State Department

General info of the S-61

Crew: two pilots
Capacity: up to 30 passengers
Length: 58 ft 11 in
Rotor diameter: 62 ft
Height: 17 ft 6 in
Empty weight: 12,336 lb
Loaded weight: 16,164 lb
Max. takeoff weight: 19,000 lb
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CT58-140 [turboshafts, 1,500 shp1,120 kW each
Maximum speed: 160 knots
Cruise speed: 120 knots
Range: 450 NM
Service ceiling: 12,500 ft
Rate of climb: 1,310–2,220 ft/min

Why do I think we need the S-61?

The S-61 has a huge impact in commercial passenger service through out the history. Flying people from Airport to Airport, delivering mail, VIPS, I think this historical helicopter would be a great fit. Virtual Airlines like British Airways, AF-KLM group could open new doors and a new way to fly. The several other operations the S-61 did this allows new styles of Virtual Airlines, everything from Search and Rescue, to Off Site operations, not only does this work in the civilian market, this also works in the Virtual Military market, it allows Virtual Militarizes like the Global Air Force, United States Air Force Virtual to allow new way of transporting their crews and staff.

I hope this is a start of an interest to people wanting a new style of flying!

No. IF isn’t a helicopter simulator. X-plane has that. This would be far to complicated to implement considering its on a mobile platform


IF is a Flight Sim, so… Helicopters Fly…

I don’t think so since Laura has said she’s tested helicopters in the past and it’s worked. To add on if X planes mobile has a S-76, how is it to complicated for another Mobile app?


Infinite Flight Is a Flight simulator meaning anything that can fly can be added and it’s not just about planes can also be helicopters mate it’s literally called Infinite Flight


They added in a space shuttle before…


I do agree with this statement. i saw it on Live stream. but my concern is, trolling around the surroundings of an airports. Flying or blocking the Runways and imagine those other scenarious. i think there will be some rules about this.


We see it with other aircraft too, training and casual server is a good place to see these things take place at.


old boiiii! Honestly IF will be another level better with Helicopters


I freed up a vote for a heli. It’s time. A training helicopter would be nice too. Gotta start somewhere…


Personally I’d like see this before a R22, in real life those who fly an R22 can fly anything but they’re so touchy lol

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Beautiful definitely freeing up a vote for a helicopter


Thanks for your vote!!


Completely agree with the need to have some rotary wing aircraft added. Are they a little more complex? They certainly are! Is the flight profile more complicated? Yes Sir! Is it worth it to add some helicopters? You better believe it! As a retired Apache aviator, I fully support this endeavor!!


Warrant or Commissioned?

Warrant. Retired as a CW2. Didn’t get through flight school until I had 12 years in.


Best rank in the Military!

Unfortunately Infinite Flight probably wouldn’t be adding helicopters anytime soon. That’s a nice chopper though.

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Rotorguy, you just need to invite the IF staff to come for a visit. That should seal the deal 😉


You never know. They could.

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Ughhh. Please do not mention, the egg around here.