Helio Courier

Twin Helio Courier

Twin Helio Courier 2

The Helio Twin Courier was a twin-engined version of the Helio Courier, with very few examples being produced. The model H-500 this STOL aircraft mounted twin Lycoming engines on top of the high-set wing, close to the fuselage. With the engines mounted in this manner, lateral and over-the-nose visibility were much improved while the propellers were kept clear of cabin doors and away from possible debris damage during rough field operations. This was a tail-wheel design, so the vertical component of propeller thrust assisted STOL take-off performance from rough fields. In 1967 or 68, work was started on a redesign of the Twin Courier in a tricycle-gear configuration for the commercial market, since many firms which desired STOL capability had regulations which required multi-engine aircraft. The company ran out of money and the project was terminated.

The aircraft structure of the Helio Stallion, a single-engine turboprop version of the more successful Helio Courier, was based on the design of the Twin Courier. The Twin Courier could seat six and first flew in April 1960, being awarded FAA certification on June 11, 1963. (The Twin Courier met FAA requirements marginally and was certificated to meet immediate needs for service in Vietnam, on the understanding that the design would not be marketed commercially. Thus, the redesign mentioned above.) Only seven examples were built, these receiving the United States Armed Forces designation U-5A. One was reported to have been evaluated by US Army Special Forces.

Fully automatic full-span, leading-edge slats were fitted along with high-lift flaps.

Specifications (U-5A Twin Courier)

 United States
 Data from Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1965-66

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 5 passengers
  • Length: 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)
  • Wingspan: 41 ft 0 in (12.50 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
  • Wing area: 242 sq ft (22.5 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,126 lb (1,418 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 5,850 lb (2,654 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming O-540-A2B or -C2C air-cooled flat-six, 250 hp (190 kW) each
  • Propellers: 2-bladed Hartzell, 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 185 mph (298 km/h; 161 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 166 mph (144 kn; 267 km/h) (econ cruise, 60% power) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
  • Range: 1,500 mi (1,303 nmi; 2,414 km) (max fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 19,500 ft (5,944 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,640 ft/min (8.3 m/s)

9 Responses to Helio Courier

  1. Jeneva says:

    Whoever edits and publishes these articles relaly knows what they’re doing.

  2. Awesome writing style!

  3. Daniel Cowee says:

    Love your blog!

  4. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of Helio Courier | JR HAFER AVIATION BLOG.COM . Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  5. mrhelio says:

    This article is misleading and some of the information is incorrect. The Twin Courier was flown in 1958. The Helio Stallion was built using the components from the H-500 Twin, about 75%. The first H-500 utilized the Lycoming O-540-A1A5 (250 HP). There were only 7 built all going to the CIA via Pakistan through Air Asia LTD. Helio Aircraft tried to get the airplane certified and by 1965 it was made available commercially through the Corporate office in Bedford, MA. The FAA refused to certify that airplane for numerous reasons including all company funds being directed towards the Stallion program.

    • Mr Helio I have been trying to find an authority on the Helio aircraft to write an article on this aircraft for a long time. Ever since I had the opportunity to meet Heinie Aderholt prior to his death and he told me so much about it. I would love for you to set the record straight if you are willing to do so and write an article about his beloved aircraft. Please contact me JRHaferAviationBlog@rocketmail.com and let’s discuss it. Thank you. JRH

  6. Doug Johnson says:

    c/n 1, s/n (59-5955) last known registry VT-DVE India, completion date 04/60, model H-500/AU-5A Twin, original registry N92860 experimental 10/62, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 11/63, research and compile performance data at high altitude, as equipped with the Standard STC approved configuration of the Riley Turbo-Superchargers and Alcor exhaust temperature mixture control indicators conv to AU-5B* 09/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL modified, with installation in middle seat area of a temporary 90 gal ferry fuel system 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable, (range ?) (LR 120 gal bladders wing nose bladder 37 gals = 157 gal range 810 miles), (ferry configuration U-5 tip tanks 104 gallons 1458 miles), 81.8 gallons ferry tank installed total fuel 323 gals range 2,500 miles, reg cancelled 04/66, for Export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 VT-DTE India

    c/n 2, s/n (59-5956) last known registry VT-DVC India, completion date 01/62, model H-500/AU-5A Twin, original registry N8745R experimental for flight test leading to certification given type certificate A2EA 07/63, sold 08/63, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC *install Rajay turbochargers AU-5B STC* install oxygen system, place on Fluidyne Wheelskis 04/65, Aviation sales & Engineering assoc MD 09/65, Marathon Aviation corp Fl install 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable and U-5 52 gal wing tip tank, reg cancelled 05/66 export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 VT-DVC India Aircraft was seen with marking “90336” thought to be fake tail # while being evaluated by “Army Special Forces”

    c/n 3, s/n (Proto AF-1), last known registry VT-DVZ India, completion date ’59, model H-500/AU-5 Twin, original registry N10033 02/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC DC 05/64, Corsair Air Serv co FL *install Rajay turbochargers AU-5B STC*, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable and U-5 52 gal wing tip tanks, reg cancelled 11/65, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 10/65 VT-DVZ India

    c/n 4, s/n (63-8072) last known registry VT-DVM India, completion date 11/63, model H-500/AU-5B Twin, original registry N10034 04/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC *install Rajay turbochargers AU-5B STC*, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable and U-5 52 gal wing tip tank 04/64, Corsair Air Serv co FL 10/64, Air Ventures inc DC 07/66, Corsair Air Serv co FL 02/67, Tradewinds Cargo inc rereg N48130, reg cancelled 06/67, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 12/67 VT-DVM India, reportedly seen as N48130 in ’75 enroute to Davis Montham for disposal never verified

    c/n 5, s/n (AF-2 Proto), last known registry VT-DVY India, completion date ’59, model H-500/AU-5 Twin, original registry N10035 06/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 06/64, Continental Air co FL *install Rajay turbochargers STC*, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable and U-5 52 gal wing tip tanks 06/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL, reg cancelled 08/65, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? ,10/65 VT-DTY Airfoil (slotted Naca 4418) of 10” chord between engines for limited center section

    c/n 6, s/n (63-8073), last known registry VT-DVL India, completion date 04/64, model H-500/AU-5B Twin, original registry N10036 04/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 06/64, Marathon Aviation corp FL *install Rajay turbochargers STC*, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable and U-5 52 gal wing tip tanks, 06/64, reg cancelled 04/66, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 VT-DVL India boundary layer control and lift at low speeds, and high altitude landings

    c/n 7, s/n (63-8074), last known registry VT-DVD India, completion date 06/64, model H-500/AU-5B Twin, original registry N10037 06/64 Factory installs Wing tip tanks in accordance with installation used on military U-5, tip tanks must be removed for standard configuration, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 06/64, Continental Air co FL *install Rajay
    turbochargers AU-5B STC*, install oxygen system 07/64, Air Ventures inc NY 01/65, Continental Air co FL 06/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL installs 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable, reg cancelled 04/66 export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 VT-DVD India

    c/n 8, model H-500 built ’64, factory never completed, possibly N10038 was painted on, it was used to build N10038 HS-1 stallion prototype no. 1

    c/n 9, model H-500 built ’64, factory never completed, possibly N10039 was painted on, it was used to build N10039 HS-2 stallion prototype no. 2

  7. Doug Johnson says:

    errors in my above post

    The “H-500 and H-500B Twin Courier” was developed to add twin engine reliability to the Courier line. The H-500 Twin prototypes 1 and 2, Military models 2 U-5As and 3 U-5Bs were
    completed all were bought by the CIA the earlier models were upgraded to U-5B configuration. 7 built, 2 incomplete U-5 twins were used to make H-550 Stallion prototypes 1 and 2.
    “1
    prototype
    (AF-1)
    ” VT-DVE “04/60
    prototype
    H-500 Twin
    cnvrt AU-5/B” Charbatia Air Base, India N92860 H-500 Prototype no. 1 placed in experimental category for flight testing for type certification A2EA built with Lyc O-540-A2B sold 08/62, as experimental s/n AF-1 model AU-5 to King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 11/63, *conv to AU-5B configuration install Lyc IO-540-C2C and Rajay/Riley turbochargers and Alcor exhaust temperature mixture control indicators STC* stayed as experimental for research and to compile high altitude performance data, the summer of 1965 Cap. William R. Andresevic (Air America contractor) took it to Potosi, Bolivia for “assessment by the U.S. Embassy and atmospheric type tests” until 09/65, Marathon Aviation corp (CIA) FL modified, with installation in middle seat area of a temporary 90 gal ferry fuel system 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable, 120 gal bladders wing, LR optional nose bladder 37 gals, XLR removable wing tip tanks of 52 gals x 2, total fuel 221 gal (range 2,500 miles ?), reg cancelled 04/66, for Export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 reg VT-DVE India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border
    “2
    prototype
    (AF-2)
    ” VT-DVC “01/62
    prototype
    H-500 Twin
    cnvrt AU-5/B
    ” Charbatia Air Base, India N8745R H-500 Prototype no. 2 placed in experimental category for flight test leading to certification given type certificate A2EA built with Lyc O-540-A2B 07/63, sold 08/63 as s/n AF-2 model AU-5 to King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC, 01/64 placed in experimental category *conv to AU-5B configuration install Lyc IO-540-C2C and Rajay/Riley turbochargers STC 04/64*, install oxygen system, place on Fluidyne wheel-skis 04/65, Aviation sales & Engineering Assoc MD until 09/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL install 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable and removable 52 gal wing tip tank, 10/65 Issued ferry permit export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, reg cancelled as dismantled 05/66, 02/67 reg VT-DVC India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border
    “3
    (59-5955)” VT-DTZ “12/63
    AU-5A/B
    ” Charbatia Air Base, India N10033 s/n (59-5955) built for USAF struck off charge released 02/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 05/64, Corsair Air Serv co FL *conv to AU-5B configuration install Lyc IO-540-C2C and Rajay turbochargers STC *, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable and removable 52 gal wing tip tanks, reg cancelled 11/65, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, 10/65 reg VT-DTZ India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on border Tibet
    “4
    (59-5956)” VT-DVM “01/64
    AU-5A/B” Charbatia Air Base, India “N10034 s/n (59-5956) built for USAF struck off charge released 04/64 , King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC *conv to AU-5B configuration install Lyc IO-540-C2C and Rajay/Riley turbochargers STC *, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gals usable 62.1 allowable and removable 52 gal wing tip tank 04/64, Corsair Air Serv co FL 10/64, Air Ventures inc DC 07/66, Corsair Air Serv co FL 02/67, Tradewinds Cargo inc rereg N48130, reg cancelled 06/67, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, 12/67 reg VT-DVM India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border
    Aircraft was seen with marking “90336” a fake tail # while being evaluated by “Army Special
    Forces at Hulbert Fld. FL”, because t/n “90336” was a USAF Cessna T-37B C/N 40498
    reportedly seen as N48130 in ’75 enroute to Davis Montham for surplus disposal ?”
    “5
    (63-8072)” VT-DTY “04/64
    AU-5B ” Charbatia Air Base, India N10035 s/n (63-8072) built for USAF struck off charge released 06/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC until 06/64, Continental Air co FL *install Rajay/Riley turbochargers STC*, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable and removable 52 gal wing tip tanks 06/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL, reg cancelled 08/65, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, 10/65 VT-DTY India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border
    6 (63-8073) VT-DVL “04/64
    AU-5B
    ” Charbatia Air Base, India N10036 s/n (63-8073) built for USAF struck off charge released 04/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC until 06/64, Marathon Aviation corp FL *install Lyc IO-540-C2C and Rajay/Riley turbochargers STC*, install oxygen system & 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable and removable 52 gal wing tip tanks 06/64, reg cancelled 04/66, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, 02/67 reg VT-DVL India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border
    “7
    (63-8074)” VT-DVD “06/64
    AU-5B” Charbatia Air Base, India “N10037 s/n (63-8074) built for USAF Factory installs removable wing tip tanks in accordance with installation used on military AU-24A, (restricted category) tip tanks must be removed to place in standard airworthiness category, struck off charge released 06/64, King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC until 06/64, Continental Air co FL *install Lyc IO-540-C2C and Rajay/Riley turbochargers AU-5B STC*, install oxygen system 07/64, Air Ventures inc NY 01/65, Continental Air co FL 06/65, Marathon Aviation corp FL installs 90 gal ferry tank in middle seat position with 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable, reg cancelled 04/66, export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ?, 02/67 reg VT-DVD India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border
    *The H-500B model upgrade consisted of two 290hp Lycoming TIO-540-A1A engines
    (ceiling 30,000 ft) none built , the U-5B model used STC SA305SO (Installation of Lycoming
    IO-540-C2C engines, with two 31A10 Rajay/Riley turbochargers and modified fuel system)
    for intended high altitude operation. The slotted 10” chord naca 4418 airfoil seen between
    the engines gave limited center section boundary layer control and some additional lift at low
    speeds in landing configuration especially at high altitude fields, and at it’s attached angle
    probably gave no lift in cruise atitude much like a fixed canard. With four 30 gal bladders in wing
    when removable optional 37 gal bladder in nose and the removable 52 gal wing tip fuel tanks were
    installed for extended range and longer endurance, the total was 261 gals. Range (no reserves),
    785 miles (standard tanks),, 1,470 miles (with tip tanks), 2,500 miles (ferry range)When tip tanks
    were installed it operated in the restricted category 8.
    They were ferried with an additional 90 gallon ferry tank 81 usable in middle seat position also
    over-gross category 8.”
    8 possibly N10038 ntu “?/64
    AU-5B” “Factory
    Norwood, MA
    incomplete ” (N10038 ntu) incomplete crash-cage/fuselage, empanage, wings and tail assembly used to build N10038 HS-1 Stallion prototype no. 1
    9 possibly N10039 ntu “?/64
    AU-5B” “Factory
    Norwood, MA
    incomplete ” (N10039 ntu) incomplete crash-cage/fuselage, empanage, wings and tail assembly used to build N10039 HS-2 Stallion prototype no. 2

  8. Doug Johnson says:

    oh well It really needs to be edited but unable to do that maybe you can figure it out good luck

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