Wednesday, February 8

Test build of ICM's new Tarhe in 35th scale betrays its massive size...

We have photos of ICM's test build of their new Ch-54 Tarhe in 1/35th scale. The true size of this monster really comes out once built. It will attract as many as it puts off we think, as size does matter! Check it out in our preview...

Test build of ICM's new Tarhe in 35th scale betrays its massive size...

Sikorsky Ch-54A Tarhe US Heavy Helicopter
From ICM 
Kit No #53054 
1/35th scale
Price: $217USD from Hobbylink Japan
The two large scale Ch-54 Tarhe's that were announced early last year in the 2022 catalogue announcement have, for a simple reason been delayed this year. However, it seems like that in February 2023 the first of the two lated (that we know of) Ch-54A's in 35th scale will be released.

The Subject: The Ch-54A Tarhe
9 May 1962: The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, N325Y, prototype of a heavy-lift helicopter, made its first flight at Stratford, Connecticut. The Skycrane was a turbine-powered evolution of the piston-engined S-60. The United States Army bought six S-64s for evaluation, and then ordered 54 production aircraft, designated CH-54A Tarhe, and 35 CH-54Bs. Sikorsky produced 12 S-64E and Fs for the commercial helicopter market.
The Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe is a large single-main-rotor/tail rotor helicopter, specifically designed to carry large external loads. In U.S. Army service, it had a crew of five: pilot, co-pilot, third pilot and two mechanics. The third pilot was in a rear-facing cockpit position and flew the helicopter while it was hovering to pick up or position an external load.

Vietnam War. A US Army Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe heavy-lift cargo helicopter picks up a USN PBR.
The CH-54A is 88 feet, 5.9 inches (26.972 meters) long and 25 feet, 4.7 inches (7.739 meters) high. The main rotor has six blades and turns counter-clockwise, seen from above. (The advancing blade is on the helicopter’s right side.) The main rotor has a diameter of 72 feet (21.946 meters). The main rotor blades have a chord of 1.97 feet (0.601 meters) and incorporate a twist of -13°. The tail rotor has four blades and is placed on the left side of a vertical pylon in a pusher configuration. The tail rotor turns clockwise, as seen from the helicopters left side. (The advancing blade is below the axis of rotation.) The diameter of the tail rotor is 16 feet (4.877 meters). The chord of the tail rotor blade is 1.28 feet (0.390 meters).

An airlift operation of a damaged Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk aircraft. The aircraft was struck by lightning while parked on the flight line.
The helicopter has an empty weight of 19,120 pounds (8,673 kilograms) a design gross weight of 38,000 pounds (17,237 kilograms) and overload gross weight of 42,000 pounds (19,051 kilograms).

US Army heavy lift helicopter (CH-54) lifting a tank during the Vietnam war, mid 1960s.
The CH-54A is powered by two Pratt & Whitney JFTD12A-4A (T73-P-1) turboshaft engines, each rated at 4,000 shaft horsepower at 9,000 r.p.m. (N2) maximum continuous power at Sea Level, and 4,500 shaft horsepower at 9,500 r.p.m. (N2) for takeoff, 5-minute limit, or 30 minutes, with one engine inoperative (OEI). The maximum gas generator speed (N1) is 16,700 r.p.m. The T73-P-1 is an axial-flow free-turbine turboshaft engine with a 9-stage compressor section, 8 combustion chambers and a 4-stage turbine section (2-stage gas generator and 2-stage free turbine). It is 107.0 inches (2.718 meters) long, 30.0 inches (0.762 meters) in diameter, and weighs 966 pounds (438 kilograms). The helicopter’s main transmission is limited to a maximum 6,600 horsepower.
The CH-54A has a maximum cruise speed of 115 knots (132 miles per hour, 213 kilometres per hour). It’s range is 217 nautical miles (250 miles,  402 kilometres). The CH-54A has a hover ceiling in ground effect (HIGE) of 10,600 feet (3,231 meters) and its service ceiling is 13,000 feet (3,962 meters).

Sky Crane CH-54A helicopter, 1st Cav. Div. (Airmobile) with a detachable compartment which can carry men, supplies or equipment. An Khe, Vietnam. 1965.
The United States Army has a tradition of using Native American names for its aircraft. Tarhe (pronounced tar-HAY) was a famous chief, or sachem, of the Wyandot People of North America, who lived from 1742–1818. He was very tall and the French settlers called it “The Crane.”

A sequence showing a Sikorsky S-64 Sky crane using a 16,200 lb BLU-82B "Daisy Cutter". The S-64 used BLU-82Bs extensively to create helicopter landing zones in the jungles of Vietnam. 

ICM's new cranes - The 1/35 Sikorsky Ch-54A Tarhe 
Two boxings were announced in 2022s catalogue from ICM. This first version of the #53054 1/35 Sikorsky Ch-54A Tarhe US Heavy Helicopter. 
Also, this - a future release, the "slightly" up-armed kit no #53055 1/35th scale Sikorsky Ch-54A Tarhe With Blu-82/B Daisy Cutter Bomb.
The one thing we are pretty sure of, ICM WILL maximise this mould, and we might even see some more modern Sky-Cranes with firefighting equipment yet!

CADS of the new kit were all we had until this test build was undertaken...

Test Build:
The people at ICM have taken the time to build the kit to show us how it looks, and the true size of the model once completed.

The dimensions of the kit are 62.7cm rotor span, 18cm high and 77cm long from tip to tail.
You can see more of the detail afforded to the rotor, engine and cockpit in this test build.
Up on a build jig, you can see the pose of the helicopter in flight. It will be a structural genius that shows this kit in this scale actually hovering off the ground. Challenge to you guys!
Th ekit even sits on its own wheels without coming apart! We are sure it is pretty sturdy once built. A real head turner at any modelling table or competition, we would think!
This kit will be available from ICM's distributors soon or from the links above.