AMP Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 “Huskie”

Introduction:

Well once again the evil owner of Skyway Model Shop has figured out a way to get more of my retirement fund. Just when I think it’s safe to drop by just for some glue and some Microbrushes there’s something new and tantalizing on the shelf. I’m not normally a whirly bird kinda guy but I’ve always found the Huskie interesting and I’m glad to see someone has finally done the machine justice with a quality scale kit.  Well done, AMP.


Background:

The Kaman HH-43 Huskie was a helicopter with intermeshing rotors used by the United States Air Force, United States Navy, and the United States Marine Corps from the 1950s till the 1970s. It was primarily used for aircraft firefighting and rescue in the close vicinity of air bases, but was later used as a short-range overland search and rescue aircraft during the Vietnam War.

Under the aircraft designation system used by the U.S. Navy pre-1962, Navy and U.S. Marine Corps versions were originally designated as the HTK, HOK, or HUK, for their use as training, observation or utility aircraft, respectively.


Design and Development

In 1947 Anton Flettner, a German aviation engineer, was brought to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip. He was the developer of Germany’s Flettner Fl 282 “Kolibri” (Hummingbird), a helicopter employing the “synchropter” principle of intermeshing rotors, a unique design principle that dispenses with the need for a tail rotor. Flettner settled in the U.S. and became the chief designer of the Kaman company, where he designed new helicopters using the synchropter principle. (For a review on the MiniArt Flettner 282 here)

The Huskie had an unusual intermeshing contra-rotating twin-rotor arrangement with control affected by servo-flaps. The first prototype flew in 1947 and was adopted by the US Navy with a piston engine. In 1954, in an experiment by Kaman and the US Navy, one HTK-1 was modified and flew with its piston engine replaced by two turbine engines, becoming the world’s first twin-turbine helicopter. The Air Force later adopted a version with one turboshaft engine: HH-43B and F versions.

Operational history

This aircraft saw use in the Vietnam War with several detachments of the Pacific Air Rescue Center, the 33d, 36th, 37th, and 38th Air Rescue Squadrons, and the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, where the aircraft was known by its call sign moniker “Pedro”. During the war, the two-pilot HH-43 Huskie flew more rescue missions than all other aircraft combined, because of its unique hovering capability. By the early 1970’t The HH-43 was replaced by newer aircraft.

Variants

K-240: Company designation from HTK-1/TH-43E

XHTK-1: Two two-seat aircraft for evaluation

HTK-1: Three-seat production version for the United States Navy, later became TH-43E, 29 built

XHTK-1G: One example for evaluation by the United States Coast Guard

HTK-1K: One example for static tests as a drone

XHOK-1: Prototype of United States Marine Corps version, two built

HOK-1: United States Marine Corps version powered by a 600 hp R-1340-48 Wasp radial piston engine; later became OH-43D, 81 built

HUK-1: United States Navy version of the HOK-1 with R-1340-52 radial piston engine; later became UH-43C, 24 built

H-43A: USAF version of the HOK-1; later became the HH-43A, 18 built

HH-43A: Post-1962 designation of the H-43A

H-43B: H-43A powered by an 860 shp Lycoming T-53-L-1B turboshaft engine, three-seats and full rescue equipment; later became HH-43B, 200-built

HH-43B: Post-1962 designation of the H-43B

UH-43C: Post-1962 designation of the HUK-1

OH-43D: Post-1962 designation of the HOK-1

TH-43E: Post-1962 designation of the HTK-1

HH-43F: HH-43B powered by an 825 shp T-53-L-11A turboshaft engine with reduced diameter rotors, 42 built and conversions from HH-43B

QH-43G: One OH-43D converted to drone configuration


In the Box:

 

The initial impression is one of complexity. There are a lot of small parts in this box and a fair number (46) are PE. Close examination of the injected parts reveals a high level of detail with nicely inscribed details and little flash.

 

 

Harder-Steenbeck Evolution Silverline Solo:

-0.20mm Tip

-Lever-Limiting Tail Piece

-Free Shipping

Free Mix Kit-101

1.0 mm Wide Lines Right Out of the Box!

          $154.30 Delivered

 

The parts layout and engineering are conventional. There are many (many) sub-assemblies; each comprised multiple parts. This is not going to be a weekend build with most (all?) of the sub-assemblies requiring painting.

Surface detail is inscribed and in relief where appropriate. Most of the inscribed details are crisp and scale appropriate however some areas will require refreshing.

 

 

 

 

As usual, assembly begins with the cockpit where there is ample detail provided. The beautifully molded, multi-part instrument panel is augmented with PE levers. Likewise, PE belts are provided for the multi-part pilot and co-pilot seats. The nicely detailed twin rudder pedal assemblies and lower bulkhead, complete with multiple PE stiffeners, will make the cockpit look very busy. There is a lot of detail here that will be clearly seen through the large, prominent canopy. More so if the sliding cockpit side doors are posed open which appears to be an option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harder-Steenbeck Infinity Solo:

-0.15mm Tip

Lever-Limiting Tail Piece w/ Memory

-Free Shipping

Free Mix Kit-101

0.5mm Wide Lines Right Out of the Box!

          $237.85 Delivered

The completed cockpit is then trapped between the fuselage halves and the tail fins are added to the tail boom. The multiple tube supports and stiffeners around the tail fins will look impressive when assembled.

 

 

Next up is the engine and exhaust assemblies, which incorporate multiple, nicely cast, white resin parts. The engine/exhausts could serve as a model by itself. There’s a lot of room for super detailing here, as the assembly will be very visible on the completed model. The addition of the four nicely molded gear legs completes the main assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The clear parts in my example are well cast but suffer from small scratches and cloudiness. A few minutes with a tissue and some Novus plastic polish revealed both issues are easily fixed. The main canopy is comprised of two-pieces glued down the middle. Care will have to be taken to ensure proper fit and alignment as well as a damage-free installation. Fortunately, a PE strip is provided that runs along the resulting seem and will go a long way to making the assembly clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, there you have it. I don’t see any big issues laying in wait nor do I anticipate a lot of time will be required for parts clean up; there’s very little flash. I do see a model that will most likely require a lot of test fitting and patience in order to get the most out of what’s in the box.  


Color and Markings:

The decals, by AMP, are crisply printed with good registration, hue, and color density. The white-colored markings on the sheet are best seen in the provided magnification. Markings for 2 airframes are provided as follows:

 

 

 

 

1: HOK-1, U.S. Marines, VS-8

 

2: HUK-1, U.S. Navy, Atsugi Rescue

Conclusion:

This kit scores mighty high on the novel scale. The details are abundant and scale appropriate and the results will be clearly seen both externally (engine/exhausts) and through the large prominent canopy. The parts count isn’t low and there will be a lot of test fitting required but the result will surely be a head-turner not often seen at the local model show.

Highly Recommended!

Now I’ve gotta go paint something,

–John                                                                                         Review kit provided by my wallet.

More AMP Huskie Pics Below↓

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Happy Modeling!

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