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N212W Hiller UH-12A Raven c/n 237 - US ARMY - Diepholz airfield in Germany - 22 May 2022 Flugplatz Diepholz (ETDN)

The Hiller UH-12A is a three-seat dual-control light utility and observation helicopter. The Hiller OH-23C Raven, is powered by a single 305 hp Franklin O-355-5D six-cylinder air-cooled piston engine. With the beginning of the Korean War in June 1950, the military became interested in using helicopters for medical evacuation. In September 1950, the Army began tests of a UH-12A with enclosed side-mounted litter carriers and fitted with military radios, giving the type the designation "YH-23". The type went into production as the H-23A 'Raven'. The Hiller OH-23C is a further development of the Hiller UH-12, derived from the Model 360 two-seater of 1947. The Hiller OH-23C appeared in 1955 and had all-metal rotor blades and a "goldfish bowl" cockpit canopy. From 1956, 145 were delivered to the US Army as the H-23C Raven. Over 2300 Hiller UH-12s in various models, including the OH-12C/H-23C, were built by Hiller Helicopters, Fairchild Hiller, Rogerson Hiller and subsequently the Hiller Aircraft Corporation.

The 1951-built Hiller H-23A-UH Raven s/n 237 was one of 105 H-23A helicopters produced for the US Army and USAF in 1950-1951 by United Helicopters Inc. at Palo Alto, Califonia, and entered service with the US Army as 51-4015. In 1952, United Helicopters Inc. became Hiller Helicopters Corp., as before at Palo Alto, California. Little is known about the the military service of the 51-4015: although the present owner stated that the present colors were used by the 51-4015 in service as a Coast Guard helicopter, there is no history known of an US Army Hiller as an USCG helicopter, but it is known that the US Army used the helicopters for medical evacuation. On 27 August 1971, after being withdrawn from military service, the helicopter was purchased as a military surplus aircraft and was issued an FAA standard airworthiness certificate as an Hiller UH-12A on that date. On 16 September 1988, the Hiller was registered N212W to Matney Merrell, Arizona. In 1997, the N212W was registered to Hiller Flyers Inc, Florida; the same year the N212W was registered with Lungrin Flying Service, Florida. On 11 September 1999, Hiller UH-12A N212W was substantially damaged whem it collided with the ground while on approach to land in Sataria, Mississippi. The pilot had decided to land in an open area due to a physical urgency. During the approach, a loud noise occurred and the helicopter became uncontrollable. Upon impact, the helicopter rolled onto its right side, sustaining damage to the main rotor blades, the tail boom, the skids, and the fuselage. Examination of the helicopter disclosed that the forward engine/transmission mounts had separated from the airframe. During the examination of the accident site, all helicopter parts and components were confined to a 91 meter radius of the main wreckage. In July 2002, registration N212W was cancelled. Despite the damage, it was worth to rebuilt the helicopter and in November 2002, registration N212W was restored. On 18 April 2005, the N212W was registered to Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc Trustee and shipped to the UK, where it was seen stored at Henstridge in January 2006. Sale was reported on 6 May 2010, with registration pending then from the 11 May 2010. The N212W was still at Henstridge in the UK. On 28 October 2011, Hiller UH-12A N212W was registered to International Air Service Inc. Trustee, Nevada. Today, Hiller UH-12A N212W is based at Hannover Langenhagen airport in Germany.
On 22 May 2022, Hiller UH-12A N212W was seen at Flugplatz Diepholz-Dümmerland (ETND) in US Army colors during the 2022 Fly-in.

page last updated: 23-05-2022
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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