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Why are helicopters called "ships"?


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I'm wondering how helicopters came to be called "ships". I know the big Pan Am Clippers were called ships and each had a name. Boeing 747's have also been called ships and had names painted on the nose, same for the Goodyear Blimp.

 

Also, what are some of the nicknames different model helicopters have been given??

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A nickname for a helicopter can be whatever is desired. The nickname isn't directly related to the model of helicopter in any way. It is rare to see it in the civilian world, though I know Erickson Skycrane paints the nicknames of their helicopters on the nose of the aircraft. I'm sure there is a company here and there that does that in the civilian side. I've seen a few military units do that with their helicopters as well.

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I'm wondering how helicopters came to be called "ships". I know the big Pan Am Clippers were called ships and each had a name. Boeing 747's have also been called ships and had names painted on the nose, same for the Goodyear Blimp.

 

Also, what are some of the nicknames different model helicopters have been given??

 

I don't really know why helos AND airplanes are called 'ships'. A fair bit of the 'rules of the road', as it were, for aviation are similar to nautical. Nav lights, for instance.

 

'Huey' is a twist on HU-1, the original Army designation. Also called a 'Slick' if not tarted up with rocket tubes, machine guns and other rude noise makers.

'Snakes' are, of course, AH-1 'Cobras', in the vernacular. They look like Cobras, too.

'Loach' is 'LOH' kinda, sorta phonetic, like 'Huey' for HU-1. LOH, I think, originally indicated the aircraft type used in the Scout profile, Light Observation Helicopter- cheap and disposable aircraft to carry crazy guys around as they looked for trouble, up close and personal.

'Mattel Messerschmit' for TH-55.

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After cruising the web on helicopter history I've learned they have a long maritime history, beginning with the US Coast Guard. On June 29, 1942, USCG Lt.Commander F.A. Erickson inspected the Sikorsky VS-300 and recommended helicopters be obtained for anti-submarine convoy duty and life saving ops. Thus began a long history of naval service. The term "ship-to-shore" operation which covers everything from loading cargo, evacuation to hospital ships, to assault missions took on new meaning with the advent of large amphibious helicopters. Finally, the 1970's created the Huey "gunships". In April 1962 the first Heuys were used in Vietnam as medevacs, but by October 1962 the first armed Heuys went into service. At the peak, March 1970, some 3,900 helicopters were in service, of which 2/3 were Hueys.

 

The folks at Goodyear Aircraft Corp. also tried to get into the helicopter business. First flight of their Goodyear GA-400R "Gizmo" was in May 1954. I think only 3 were ever built. Now, Gizmo, is a very old nautical name for any unidentified thing or gadget. "Gadget" is the nautical term for any handy little contraption you've forgotten the name of. I guess "blimp" is the name for a really large contraption you don't know the name of.

 

All in all,I think the Sikorsky S-58 and S-62 are truly deserving of the name "ship".

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Haha, it doesn't bother me but I know some people who are driven absolutely crazy by this deliberate carryover from the nautical world. So far I haven't heard much complaint about measuring distance in NM or airspeed in KIAS though!! :P

 

Now "chopper" and "driver" on the other hand, those I could happily live without :D

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