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H-34 Choctaw Helicopter

The H-34 Choctaw Helicopter on the field at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. It is painted in the scheme of the 36th Transportation Group, circa 1960’s.
H-34 Choctaw helicopter sitting in front of a hangar. Several people are climbing on it and standing around it, as they are folding the rotors for storage.
This Choctaw flew with the CIA's infamous "Air America" airline during the Vietnam War. We have no information about its roles or missions, but if you know anything about it, please let us know!
H-34 Choctaw helicopter sitting on an airport ramp in preparation for the Wings Over Wine Country Air Show.
The first flight of the H-34 was on March 8th, 1954. Ours was manufactured in 1956.
Close-up of the nose of the H-34 Choctaw helicopter. The engine compartment door is open, showing the nine-cylinder engine inside.
Now extensively restored, the PCAM Choctaw even has an authentic nine-cylinder radial engine in its bulbous nose. After the H-34, all large helicopters were equipped with turbine engines because of their greater power and easier maintenance.
H-34 Choctaw helicopter being towed backward by a tow tractor.
The H-34 was used by the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force, as well as many other countries. They have also been used for lifting heavy loads by logging and construction companies, and as fire-fighting aircraft. Many are still in use today around the world.
H-34 Choctaw helicopter receiving climb-aboard visitors at the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show.
This photo gives you an idea of just how tall the H-34 is. The pilots sat way up on top, above the cargo hold / troop compartment, and above the engine.
  • Country of origin:


  • Manufacturer:


  • B/N or Serial #::


  • Type:

    Single engine, single main rotor, and vertical anti-torque tail rotor

  • Ownership:

    Pacific Coast Air Museum

H-34 Choctaw Helicopter History

The first flight of the H-34 was on March 8th, 1954. The one shown was manufactured in 1956. We have no history of this specific helicopter other than its number has been listed as one used by Air America during the Vietnam era. It is outfitted in the color and markings of the 36th Transportation Group that was active in Germany and Italy during the 50’s and 60’s. The US Army used the Choctaw into the 70’s. The helicopter was originally designed as sub-chaser. That is why the tail section (pylon) and the mail rotor blades fold to reduce its length by 28ft 9.32in. This allows the unit to take less storage space aboard ship. The unit was used by the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force as well as many other countries.

If you would like more specific infofmation on the history of the Choctaw you may visit the following web site:

H-34 Choctaw Helicopter Specifications


56 ft 8.5 in (17.28 m)

Rotor diameter

56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)


15 ft 11 in (4.85 m)

Disc area

2,463 ft² (228.85 m²)

Empty weight

7,900 lb (3,583 kg)

Max. takeoff weight

14,000 lb (6,350 kg)

Pilot, Observer (co-pilot), 12 to 18 troops/passengers or eight litters

Maximum forward speed

123 mph

Maximum rate of climb at sea level

1100 ft per min

Hover with ground effect

4900 ft

Hover without ground effect

2400 ft

Wright model R-1820-84 radial air cooled engine.

Armament depended upon the mission. As gunship it carried two M60 general purpose machine guns or two 19 2.75 in. rocket pods with 19 rockets each.

Bob Stratos

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