Length: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Rotor diameter: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
Height: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Disc area: 1,924 ft² (179 m²)
Empty weight: 4132 lb (1874 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Continental R-975-46A radial, 550 hp (410 kW)
Maximum speed: 91 knots (105 mph, 169 km/h)
Cruise speed: 70 knots (80 mph, 129 km/h)
Range: 295 nmi (340 mi, 547 km)
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Rate of climb: 1000 ft/min (5.01 m/s)
Crew: 2 pilots
Capacity: 4 passengers
The HUP-2 Retriever holds a significant place in the history of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as a versatile utility helicopter. Developed by Piasecki Helicopter Corporation during the 1950s, the HUP-2 was designed to fulfill various roles such as search and rescue, medical evacuation, and general transport. Its introduction marked a pivotal advancement in the USMC's aviation capabilities, enabling them to extend their operational reach and enhance their effectiveness in a wide range of missions.
The HUP-2 Retriever played a crucial role during the Korean War and the early stages of the Vietnam War, where its adaptability and reliability proved invaluable. Serving as a dependable platform for casualty evacuation, the HUP-2 facilitated the rapid and efficient transport of wounded personnel from the frontlines to medical facilities, ultimately saving countless lives. Furthermore, its utility in search and rescue missions allowed the USMC to swiftly respond to downed aircraft and personnel in need of assistance, showcasing its pivotal role in enhancing overall mission success and troop safety.
Beyond its military applications, the HUP-2 Retriever also contributed to disaster relief efforts and humanitarian missions. Its ability to access remote or inaccessible locations, coupled with its capacity to transport essential supplies and personnel, made it a vital asset during natural disasters and other emergencies. By bridging the gap between military operations and humanitarian assistance, the HUP-2 demonstrated its versatility and adaptability in serving both the needs of the USMC and the broader civilian population.
In conclusion, the HUP-2 Retriever's historical significance to the United States Marine Corps is indisputable. Its multifaceted capabilities as a utility helicopter not only played a crucial role in military operations but also exemplified the USMC's commitment to service and their ability to respond to a variety of challenges. The aircraft's legacy serves as a reminder of the critical role that aviation assets play in modern warfare, disaster response, and humanitarian efforts, showcasing the enduring impact of the HUP-2 Retriever on the USMC's operational effectiveness and legacy of service.