Cessna CH-1

Cessna CH-1 is the name of the only helicopter series of Cessna Aircraft Company. The special feature was the front-side arrangement of the engine.


Cessna acquired the patents and proprietary rights of the Seibel Helicopter Company and Charlie Seibel himself became the head of the helicopter department at Cessna.

The CH- 1 had a two-bladed main rotor and a tail rotor. The piston engine was installed in the helicopter front before the pilot's seat to give the helicopter an average center of gravity. The semi-monocoque cell is similar to the way light aircraft from Cessna. Designers of the CH-1 were Richard Ten Eyck and Charlie Seibel. The first flight took place in 1953, the market began in 1956.

The CH -1 prototype was equipped with a turbocharged Continental FSO -470 six-cylinder engine with 260 hp (190 kW) at 3,200 revolutions per minute. Transmission, booster and engine cooling fan were driven by belts.

The CH -1 was under the name Skyhook for the civil market, similar to the marketing name of the single-engine airplane series, such as Skyhawk, Skylane and Skywagon sold. The United States Army designated the models YH -41 and UH -41 " Seneca ".

The CH -1A was the first helicopter on the Pikes Peak at an altitude of 14,110 feet ( 4,300 m) landed on 15 September 1955.

The Cessna CH-1 series reached several records and one world record, but never commercial success for Cessna, after which the helicopter construction was abandoned in December 1962.

Variants of the CH-1

  • CH 1-1: test machine without lining ( only lattice frame ), for the first hover and flight tests
  • CH-1, this prototype was a two-seat version, and was of a Continental FSO -470 engine.
  • CH -1A, four- seater version of the CH-1
  • CH -1B was introduced in 1955, it was the version to secure the Army contract. 1B had a Continental FSO -526 engine with 270 hp (200 kW) at 3000 revolutions per minute. The special feature was an automatic pitch adjustment in the event of an engine failure
  • CH -1Bs, designation of the U.S. Army YH- 41A
  • CH- 1C designation in the military version of the UH- 41A Seneca. 15 pieces of UH -41A were purchased by the U.S. government for their "Military Assistance Program " (MAP)
  • CH -1D was a CH -1C with modified version with Continental " Whirlaway " engine

Special version with gas turbine

  • CH-4 was built specifically for the Light Observation Helicopter program, the U.S. Army CH -1C version. The gas turbine Allison 250 was first installed in this model behind the pilot's seat.

Military user

  • Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana - four UH -41A
  • Armed Forces of Iran - five UH -41A
  • United States Army - 15 YH- 41A