The CH-54 Tarhe helicopter was developed by Sikorsky Aircraft, a company founded by the prominent Ukrainian aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky. The first flight of the helicopter (originally named S-64) took place on May 9, 1962.
The helicopter was built on a modular principle, which simplified its maintenance and repair. It had a tall three-post landing gear with a front support, which allowed a tractor with a trailer approach its fuselage freely.
The helicopter’s powerful winches allowed it to pick up cargo in a hover mode, without the need to land on the ground. During the Vietnam War it evacuated damaged airplanes and various helicopters, transported artillery pieces, cars, tanks and even combat boats on an external sling.
It was also used to drop high-powered bombs to clear the forest for an airfield. This helicopter set 10 world records for its class, including lifting a 15-ton cargo to 3307 meters. The civilian version of the helicopter (Erickson S-64 Aircrane) is still in successful operation today.