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H-41 Seneca

The Cessna H-41 Seneca was a small aircraft with a nose-mounted engine and a cabin similar to that of the Cessna monoplanes. A total of 29 were built between 1954 and 1962, including a number of CH-1s for the US Army. Cessna soon decided to abandon the helicopter business.

Destined for obscurity, the prototype CH-1 had a Continental FSO-470 engine rated at 260 h.p. at 3200 rpm equipped with a belt driven supercharger and belt driven cooling fans. The 3,000 lb. gross weight CH-1 received C.A.A. type certification, 3H10, on June 9, 1955; the new helicopter had the highest never-exceed-speed of any certificated helicopter, 122 mph (although at a reduced gross weight), and a maximum gross weight hover ceiling of 11,000 feet, exceptional numbers for the time. Work commenced on the CH-1B during 1955, really a design change aimed at the military, using a Continental FSO-526 engine (derated to 270 h.p.) with a gear driven supercharger and a newly designed horizontal, gear driven cooling fan. The CH-1B was certificated in July 1957. The CH-1B was the basis for the YH-41. The Army evaluation tests did not result in any further military contracts. The CH-1B/YH-41 had stability and control deficiencies.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:32:37 ZULU