Vintage helicopter finds home at Classic Rotors Rare & Vintage Rotorcraft Museum in Ramona

Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

LONG HAUL—Buddy Chapman, who specializes in transporting aircraft, rounds the corner of Main Street and Montecito Road, hauling a 90-foot trailer that carries a dismantled H-37 Mojave helicopter for renovation at the Classic Rotors Rare and Vintage Rotorcraft Museum at Ramona Airport.

Mark DiCiero and Dave Popp tackle the job from atop the copter. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Getting the craft, reported to be the largest military helicopter built in the United States, off the trailer proved more of a challenge than the eight-hour drive from Marana, Ariz. It took about two hours for a crew of rotorcraft buffs with forklifts and ingenuity, to move the copter to its new home, where Classic Rotors Rare and Vintage Rotorcraft Museum volunteers will restore it.

The Army helicopter, used in the 1950s and during the Vietnam War, had two 2,100-horsepower piston engines and is 88 feet long.

More about the H-37 Mojave and other vintage rotorcraft is at the museum at 2690 Montecito Road. Open to the public, museum hours are Tuesday, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, leave a message at 760-650-9257.

Howard Northrup, driving forklift, and Dale St. Clair work to get the H-37 Mojave off the trailer. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Kevin Riedy works from another angle. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Howard Northrup and Mark DiCiero. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Joe Gwizdak videos the action. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Related posts:

  1. Vietnam helicopter pilots take to the skies over Ramona
  2. Freedom tour brings rare aircraft to Ramona
  3. Airport Open House features aerial displays, vintage fighter planes, ‘Big Jimmy’ and more
  4. Archer’s home
  5. Crews clear scene of non-injury accident at 10th and B in Ramona

Short URL:

Posted by Maureen Robertson on Jul 27 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Local Spotlight, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Comments for “Vintage helicopter finds home at Classic Rotors Rare & Vintage Rotorcraft Museum in Ramona”

  1. Mike White

    I went to aircraft electrical school at Fort Eustis on these aircraft back in 1970. The aircraft was replaced by the CH47 just before I arrived in Korea. Very interesting aircraft to work on since it was powered by a big reciprocating engines. I would have like to have had some technical time in the field with this aircraft but the Chinook was much more changeling for electrical. Good luck on your venture.

  2. George

    A few weeks beyond my 21st birthday I,as a Naval Aviator, was assigned to an H-37 squadron. I was disillusioned, disappointed and crushed at being assigned to fly this horribly ugly, ungainly, unreliable atrocity. I was copilot in an H-37 in 1960 when the tail rotor and tail rotor gearbox separated while straight and level at 700 feet. An unusual descent and touchdown ensued. The a/c had a terrible time with the short shaft. Our problem was a pitch change control rod not built to specifications by Sikorsky. I, in 1960, said farewell to the H-37 and have not been in one since. I am now 75 years old.

    • John Telles

      Hey George, I can relate! I joined HMH-462 at Santa Ana, CA in 1963 …. coming out of a Westpac tour in F8 Crusaders!!!! Had to transition in the H-34 and learned the Heavy Hauler trade painfully!! But made HAC ok. John Telles Also 75.

  3. Ralph Jackson

    I flew H-37s at Ft Knox in '59 – '61. While it could not carry an impressive load, I loved flying it. Loved flying instruments in it. Loved the R2800's and their roar.
    Ralph Jackson

    • Dayle Elsesser

      Are you the Ralph Jackson who was in Fort Bragg@ 1955? You Vera, and daughter Phyllis Dean lived next to Maj. Richard Donofrio,my father, a dentist? My brother Dickie and I have been searching for you for years. PLEASE if you are Ralph, please respond to this e-mail. I pray we have found you.
      Dayle Donofrio Elsesser
      48 Gaylord Road
      Gaylordsville, CT -06755 tel:860 354-7192 email

Leave a Reply