the home of the U.S. Navy's QH-50 DASH Weapon System (Drone Anti-Submarine
Helicopter) built and managed by the Gyrodyne Company of New York.
Although additional DASH procurement was cancelled by the
Navy in September 1969, DASH continued to fly with the Navy until 1995,
operating at China Lake Naval Aviation Weapon Center, California - 35 years
after original deployment! Further, DASH drones were acquired by the U.S. ARMY
as DASH came off ship and sent to fly in the desert of New Mexico where they
continue to this day; flying missions no one hears about.
To give you a better understanding on this truly unique vehicle and
weapon system, one which has never been duplicated by any military organization
in the world, this site is divided into 5 specific areas. Either click on the
picture or the underlined text to go to the area of interest, and thank you for
Seeking a better way to give
Destroyers longer-range stand-off (operating at a greater distance
from the enemy) weapons delivery capability, the Navy embarked on the
development of using a droned co-axial helicopter to deliver torpedoes
that was currently used in a manned configuration by the U.S. Marine Corp
for scouting purposes. Built by a small firm in New York, the Gyrodyne
Company was selected as prime contractor for this effort. From their first
gasoline, Porsche powered DSN-1 to the turbine-engined QH-50D helicopter
(seen left), Gyrodyne built and then managed the
DASH Weapon System as one of the key "new
weapon systems" installed during the Navy's efforts to revitalize
their destroyers under the FRAM program.
As part of the Educational mission of the
Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF), we present the complete curriculum
required to learn how to operate a QH-50D Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter
(DASH) at the DASH
At this site, you will be
introduced to 10 sections that introduce and educate you to the SRW-4B
Target Control system that controlled DASH as well as the specifics of the
Engine, Rotor System, Electronic systems and Procedures of how to operate
the system and its controls from both DECK and CIC stations. This section
is what Drone controllers of DASH use to this day, and is therefore
technical in nature but is the only place where you will learn how the
only mass deployed UAV system in the history of modern warfare operated
from Navy destroyers.
On the DASH MEMORIES page,
we celebrate the remembrances of DASH Officers, crew and civilian
personnel who share with the rest of us, what it was to fly DASH, keep it
operating and Navy experiences with it. Some good and some
This is our newest page and we ask all that have a story to tell, to
please submit your article and picture to
So, if you were the commander of a FRAM destroyer, Drone controller or Gyrodyne
company employee associated with the DASH program, let us hear from you so
your story can be told!
On the DASH WALL of
HONOR page, we pay
tribute to a selection of ships whose crew nominated their ship to be
placed there. We also examine the artwork of the ship's plaques that were
created at the time, some showing a DASH lineage!
served on a Naval vessel not listed and have a unique connection to DASH, please advise us at
and include the ships patch or banner and we will try to accommodate you.
The Story of DASH would not be complete without a bit of background on
the weapon it carried- The MK-44
Homing Torpedo. As this Torpedo is still in use by some other
governments, information and additional specifications will be released as
it becomes available!
Originally built to deliver a single
Nuclear Depth bomb (with W 44 warhead) outside the kill-radius of the Soviet
fast-attack submarines of the time and therefore not survive the resulting
blast, the QH-50 DASH was originally built as "a single-shot
After DASH was deployed, however, only then did the Navy learn
of the expensive safety measures required to secure the MK-17/ W 44 weapon
on-ship and the combination was dropped. Then, with a stroke of a pen,
DASH was declared "re-usable" by the Navy and reverted to
carrying dual MK-44 homing torpedoes. However, this was not enough for democrat
Congressman Sidney R. Yates of Illinois. He stated in 1969 DASH didn't work. He
disclosed a GAO investigation! The findings?
Read here about how the Navy failed DASH
by acquiescing to political "hay-making" by Congressman Yates, a
leading figure in the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities.
By the way, DASH flies to this day, operated by the U.S. Army!