Museums Supported

    The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation is very proud to have helped provide assistance to the following museums in attaining flight manuals (so their aircraft can be maintained or restored), photographic and video archive packages, aircraft parts for their current displays and some even got completed and restored airframes!

    We have assisted in this effort in order to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Expand the knowledge base of the only American co-axial helicopter design to ever go into full production, that being the QH-50 series helicopter, 

  2. To increase the awareness of the history associated with the company and employees that built the QH-50; that being the Gyrodyne Company of America, St. James, Long Island, New York,

  3. To honor the United States Navy and its' past leaders for having the foresight in 1958, to initiate a major weapons program using an unmanned aircraft (the first time for any branch of service), called DASH, which led to the modification (called FRAM) of over 240 Naval destroyers, destroyer escorts and tenders which placed two QH-50 aircraft per ship and introduced for the first time, the helicopter to the destroyer. This effort was also a very first step in modern unmanned vertical takeoff and landing aviation.

    When you visit one of the following museums, please keep in mind all the above history and support these museums and the educational and historical legacy they are attempting to maintain. It isn't an inexpensive effort!

    The following list is organized from east of the United States to the west coast, in no real order. There is only one QH-50D outside the USA, that can be viewed - that is in Japan at their JMSDF Undersea Warfare Museum.


In the North Eastern United States

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151 USA  Info: 703-572-4118

     QH-50C, DS-1289 was delivered by the Gyrodyne Foundation to the Smithsonian on October 5, 2011. With that delivery came to an end, an effort that started when we picked up DS-1289 from the U.S. Army's Target Management Office (TMO) facility at White Sands Missile Range, NM on October 15, 2008. We then transported the aircraft to our shop in Reno Nevada where we disassembled the entire aircraft and rebuilt her, piece by piece, back to the way she was first delivered to the U.S. Navy; back on June 10, 1965.  Using OEM new-old-stock Gyrodyne parts and original paint along with completely restored wooden blades, DS-1289 is the most pristine and complete QH-50C, in the world.
DS-1289 is also fully flight-capable - she is no mock-up.

To match her uniqueness, DS-1289 carries the sole example of the original envisioned payload for the DASH weapon system: The Mk-57 Nuclear Depth Bomb. The Gyrodyne Foundation also restored that weapon working with Sandia National Labs to get the markings exactly as they would have been.    DS-1289 is in the Vietnam-Korean area of the Udvar-Hazy Center and stands as the most unique, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the world now gets the chance to see, that has been kept secret for so many years.

Photo by Dane A. Penland,
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Patuxent River Naval Aviation Museum
at Pegg Road and Route 235, Lexington Park, Maryland - Adjacent to GATE 1 at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD
Phone: (301) 863-7418
for Directions, click here

   The Patuxent River Naval Aviation Museum is home to the pristine QH-50D, DS-1679, which is the only ASW D-model on the east coast. The Gyrodyne Foundation provided Twin restored MK-44 Torpedoes with our own-MK-64 Suspension bands to be installed on DS-1679 in October 2011.  GHHF continues to support the volunteers in their restoration including the providing of gyros and a new floatation system. When you visit, tell them "Bravo Zulu" on a job well done!

The museum has great exhibits on the testing of systems and engines that has created our great Navy of today. The museum is open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm on Sundays and closed on Mondays.

   The American Helicopter Museum is home to QH-50C, DS-1190 (seen right). Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the Museum houses nearly fifty helicopters and exhibits that span the history of rotary wing flight. Click on their name above and it will take you to their site.

Bradley International Airport - Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Phone (860) 623-3305    FAX (860) 627-2820

   The New England Air Museum is home to QH-50C, DS-1320 (seen left). One of the "higher" number QH-50C's, it is an excellent example of the 1300 series of the QH-50C which were equipped with an all-weather electrical harness (from Bu No 1290 on). The Gyrodyne Foundation provided the NEAM all new-condition DECK CONTROL equipment and they in-turn created a  simulated deck to show it from - an outstanding accomplishment.  Gyrodyne Foundation also provided the twin MK-44 restored Torpedoes & Mk-64 suspension bands that were installed by a GHHF volunteer from St. Louis, Mo. on June 4, 2008.  The story of DS-1320 is rather interesting as it originated from Naval Air Rework Facility at Norfolk, VA in August of 1973 and has been on display for almost 40 years. Click on their name above and you will go to their site.

USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. DD-850 Destroyer Museum
at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts.
Phone: (508) 678 -1100

    The USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. is an example of a Gearing class destroyer, which were built during WW II and became the workhorses of the Cold War destroyer navy. USS JPK KENNEDY served with great distinction during the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and America's space program. DD-850 now proudly displays her colors as a museum ship to educate the public and serve as a memorial to those who sailed aboard destroyers and is also a National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Naval Ships Association. If you click on the picture of the Kennedy at right, you will go to their site!

   On July 16, 2001, crew from the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. museum were one of three museums that participated in an asset transfer conducted by the U.S. Army's PEO-STRI Target Management Office (TMO) at White Sands Missile Range, NM which Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Fndn was pleased to participate in. The TMO subsequently ended their use of the QH-50 system in 2006. 
    At right middle is the DASH hangar undergoing restoration. For that Hangar, KENNEDY received, QH-50C, DS-1284 which is seen at the lower right. Final restoration is set to be completed for the aircraft by Fall of 2007, but DS-1284 did get her twin MK-44 Torpedoes installed by Gyrodyne Volunteers on 14-Aug-2006, making that QH-50
loaded yet again!

        DS-1284 resides in the Hangar space that the 1960's FRAM program installed on KENNEDY. The USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. museum also attained much the of components to the ship-based AN/SRW-4C Target Control system (many in new condition) which will also be exhibited as part of the DASH system. When the crew of the Kennedy are finished with this restoration of the DASH equipment onboard the destroyer, the  USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. museum will be the only place in the world to show how ALL the DASH equipment worked together in a restored DASH hangar, to give the 1960's Navy destroyer a 22 mile stand-off capability in ASW and RECON capability.

Do you want to Help the USS J.P. KENNEDY JR? Click on the below destroyer icon and see a short movie on the challenges of keeping destroyers open as museums.



USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. DD-850 Destroyer Museum
at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts.
Phone: (508) 678 -1100

No, you aren't seeing double; but if you go visit the J.P. KENNEDY JR, you will: The USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850) is the only place in the world for you to see a QH-50D SNOOPY RECONNAISSANCE-Equipped DASH Drone.
    With no ASW mission for the destroyers operating off the coast of Vietnam, Adm Combs, USN, sought a way to utilize the QH-50s as surveillance platforms. Installing a Cohu daylight TV camera, tilt-mount with Microwave Associates TV Transmitter on a tray, shown below, close to 50 QH-50s were flown and lost over Vietnam doing such recon missions. The Gyrodyne Foundation took 5 years to scratch build a SNOOPY QH-50D that is 100% operational and authentic. The BuNo is DS-1543A and it replicates DS-1543 that was shot-down over Vietnam while operating from the destroyer, USS CHEVALIER (DD-805) on October 13, 1967, then flown by Bob McClure. The C-model was originally used for SNOOPY and if you click here, you can see a actual mission.

DS-1543A was delivered to Battleship Cove and the KENNEDY on May 15, 2009 and is one of a few operational D-models to survive to this day. Please go visit and support the ship which is the only DASH ship left, that has both her DASH QH-50 drones.


The "SNOOPY" SLED as the Men of DASH called it, converted a ASW Drone into a Surveillance Platform...Camera, mount and transmitters and this one was scratch-built from photographs from Gyrodyne Archives.

The QH-50D "Snoopy" and the Anti-Submarine (ASW) QH-50C share hangar space together in the KENNEDY's hangar. The SNOOPY QH-50D carries a A-37 Multiple-ejection rack (MER) that holds 6, MK-76 Smoke Bombs which is what SNOOPY QH-50s carried when they flew spotting missions over Vietnam.



In the South Eastern United States

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40 Patriots Point Road
Mount Pleasant South Carolina 29464-4377

    While Patriots Point may be known for being the home of the aircraft carrier USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), (the Fighting Lady), right next to YORKTOWN is the Sumner class destroyer, USS LAFFEY (DD-724) and onboard her is QH-50C, DS-1347 (seen right). While her tail states "DS-1343" in actuality, it is DS-1347, manufactured on October 20,1965. While LAFFEY is a FRAM destroyer with hangar deck, the ship, after having its hull repaired, found that its pier was no longer safe and LAFFEY is currently NOT ACCESSIBLE to the public, pending a possible move.

LAFFEY UPDATE: During the 2nd week of January 2012, LAFFEY will return to Patriots Point but it wont be an easy move - The USS Laffey is going to be put where the Submarine Clamagore is now. They are putting the submarine where the Ingham was, and the LAFFEY will now be front and center for all to see. Please visit and support this historic ship.

Carolinas Aviation Museum
4108 Minuteman Way
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport 
Charlotte, North Carolina 28208
(704) 359-8442

   The Carolinas Aviation Museum is home to QH-50C, DS-1355 (seen before and after at left). This aircraft is still undergoing restoration which Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation is assisting with. In cooperation with the USS RADFORD museum, a tail and rotor blades were acquired for their use in 2001. Then, in 2002, two separate trips to White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) were conducted to attain parts for DS-1355. From the flotation gear to most of the ASW-20 automatic flight control systems, these items were acquired and shipped to the Carolina Aviation Museum. In 2003, Puliz Moving and Storage of Reno, NV cut all the vinyl graphics for the tail of this aircraft. As you can see their restoration team has done a fabulous job!.   Some history on DS-1355 is that it was manufactured on November 1, 1965, originally operated on the USS Massey (DD-778), a Allen M. Sumner class destroyer and is the only QH-50C with original ship's name/art work on its tank.



In the Mid-Western United States

USS Radford National Naval Museum

It is sad to report that with the death of Vane Scott, the USS RADFORD Museum has closed and is being merged with the USS ORLECK Museum.

The below is now just a remembrance of Vane's effort to save a QH-50.....

   On July 16, 2001, crew from the USS RADFORD museum (Barbara and Vane Scott)  was the second of three museums that participated in an asset transfer conducted by the U.S. Army PEO-STRI Target Management Office (TMO) at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM which Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation was pleased to participate in. The TMO is the only current user of the QH-50 drone.  While the QH-50C aircraft that RADFORD  received (seen right being loaded at WSMR) lacked an I.d. plate and the tails were for another aircraft, RADFORD has decided to restore the aircraft to be the one seen on the FRAM page of this web site, that being DS-1199 which was built on October 1, 1964. 

    Also, RADFORD got a new deck control, control monitor with stand as well as the transmitter control- all of the components a deck station would have.  RADFORD has begun to display their QH-50 helicopter as seen below, outside their museum. Currently, it is hoped that RADFORD as well as all participating museums can attain Mk-44 Demilitarized Torpedoes for their QH-50 displays.

Above, QH-50C, DS-1199, greets visitors to the USS RADFORD Museum


The ship-museum / destroyer ORLECK is open to visitors year-round as the USS ORLECK Naval Museum at 604 North Enterprise Blvd, Lake Charles, Louisiana. The ship is berthed on the Calcasieu River just six blocks north of IH-10, Exit 31A

   Now docked on the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles, Louisiana, just a few miles east of the shipyard of her birth in in Orange, Texas, the former U.S. naval destroyer USS ORLECK is the representative of so much:  

  1. The ship building heritage of the city of Orange itself, where over 400 vessels were built for the war effort of World War II alone by workers from Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas, some of whom are still with us and visit the ORLECK to share their experiences;

  2. The heritage of the company that built much of that shipping, that being the Consolidated Steel Corporation and of course,

  3. The ORLECK itself, (built by Consolidated Steel in Orange!) and its tremendous Naval History of earning four battle stars for service during the Korean Conflict, being a member of the famous Train Busters Club of Korea and being known as "Top Gun" of the Seventh Fleet in Vietnam. 

    The ORLECK is an example of a GEARING class destroyer which did receive the FRAM-1 modification which put DASH on board. Former ORLECK Executive officer Phil King actually came up with the SNOOPY program (camera on a QH-50 vs. torpedoes) to gather intelligence over Vietnam. Records indicate that over 30 ships used SNOOPY- the first time a unmanned helicopter was used for combat surveillance; the first and only time. 

    The USS ORLECK museum was the third of 3 museums to participate in an asset transfer conducted by the U.S. Army PEO-STRI's Target Management Office (TMO) at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM on July 16, 2001, which Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Fndn was pleased to help coordinate. Currently, research is being conducted as to the identity of the ORLECK's QH-50C. Barely visible on the tank was the title "USS" but no ship name. At lower left, at WSMR picking up their QH-50C, from left to right: Glenda Dyer, ORLECK's curator; Tom Depwe, president of the Southeast Texas War Memorial and Heritage Foundation; Alex Papadakos, Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation and Penn Johnson, technical advisor and co-owner of Penn Engineering.

Pima Air & Space Museum
       Tucson, ArizonaPima Air & Space Museum
6000 East Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
Phone (520) 574-0462

"Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight."

    The Pima Air & Space Museum opened to the public in May 1976 with 75 aircraft on display. Since then the museum collection has grown to over 250 aircraft occupying 80 acres of land. The entire museum property covers about 150 acres.

   Pima is also the home of QH-50C, DS-1045, the earliest known example of QH-50 to exist. Its recent move from hanging from the ceiling in their big hangar to the floor is so that DS-1045 could be re-armed with inert MK-44 Homing Torpedoes - something the Gyrodyne Foundation provided on October 12, 2013. The GHHF had already provided a complete DASH DECK station's worth of equipment so the Pima folks could create a nice display showing DS-1045's original condition, completeness and authenticity; it is excellent, as is most of the collection at Pima. 



On the West Coast of the United States

The Hawthorne Ordnance Museum
Highway 95 in Downtown Hawthorne, Nevada

    The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation placed its own QH-50D, DS-1914, on loan to the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum, on November 24, 2003. The Hawthorne Ordnance Museum is run by members and volunteers of the Ordnance Museum as part of a revitalization program to bring to the public the rich history of the Hawthorne Army Ordnance Depot .
    Access to DS-1914 is excellent as the aircraft is in a glass-show room with normal business hours at the Hawthorne Museum.

   As for DS-1914:  From its very beginning, DS-1914 was built as a tribute to the late founder of Gyrodyne, Mr. Peter James Papadakos, taking the year of his birth as the serial number for the helicopter. DS-1914 represents more than a static display as the aircraft is not only fully functional, but is complemented with all the components to test its systems including  a deck control with control monitor, CIC and transmitter controller as well as a ASM-103 system test set.

Also located next to DS-1914 is a complete SRM test system designed to calibrate the URW-14A radio transmitters used on-ship to send the command signals to the QH-50D.

    As seen at right upon its delivery to Hawthorne, the folks around the QH-50D, DS-1914, from left to right, Herman Millsap (board member of the Museum), Peter and Alex Papadakos of the Gyrodyne Foundation, Larry Mortensen and Fred Inman both board members as well.

     Some short information on the Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD)- It is the largest industrial activity in the State of Nevada and the largest Depot in the world. Established in 1927, the Depot drove the town of Hawthorne's population and by 1930 it stood at 680 people. By 1945, the population had reached 5,625 with the base encompassing some 147,000 acres having 178 buildings and 2,427 above and below ground bunkers for ammunition storage. By 1980, the Depot was converted to a "contractor-operated" facility with a total employment of around 500.

  Today, an example of the ordnance stored at Hawthorne can be seen at the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum on display from huge 1000 lb bombs to small rockets and missiles as seen below.

    Please visit this historic place and give some thought to all the logistics required in keeping our nation free!









3200 Freedom Park Drive
McClellan, CA 95652
Phone: 916.643.3192

Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm

On April 13, 2009, when the Gyrodyne Foundation selected QH-50D, DS-1660 from the surviving 20+ aircraft that survived the DASH deployment (1961-1972) to the ARMY-target-simulation flights in New Mexico of 1970 to 2006, it was for a California-based museum that would have to restore her to her previous NAVY-appearance.

However, DS-1660 had a different plan and by October 2010 the Gyrodyne Foundation was picking up DS-1660 from the Aerospace Museum of California (outside Sacramento) and would become a complete rebuild project for us that would transform the aircraft at upper-right, into a pristine and working D-model for the museum to be proud of. Named "Mary Ann" by one of her crew, she was delivered back to the museum on April 22, 2011, and DS-1660 is now having the former crews (like Bill O'Sullivan - LOWRY) of the ships she flew from (USS LOWRY and USS STORMES) visit her at the museum (seen lower right). It is for those Gyrodyne Helicopter employees, NAVY crews and their families, why the Gyrodyne Foundation restores these aircraft to pristine condition - so they can be appreciated for the years to come.



The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation Mission:

"To foster better understanding and expand the knowledge base of the DASH Weapon System and principally the Gyrodyne Helicopter Company's participation in that program as well as the other mission derivatives of Gyrodyne's QH-50 helicopter and of Gyrodyne's history overall ."

     Finally, The Foundation would like to publicly THANK all the personnel involved in the "Asset Recovery" of the Gyrodyne manufactured equipment, archives and weapon systems (like the two special gentlemen at right) for the Museums we support, as shown on this page. Without their assistance, none of these exhibits would be as complete as they are or in most cases, even possible. They are individuals in the:


 U.S. Army's Systems, Training and Instrument Command - Target Management Office (US ARMY PEO-STRI TMO)


Former Gyrodyne Helicopter Company employees


U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Keyport


U.S. Naval Inactive Ships Program Office


Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot - Command Staff


Day-Zimmerman Hawthorne Contractor Staff


U.S. Maritime Administration- Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet


Puliz Moving and Storage, Reno, Nevada

     While security concerns prevent us from naming these dedicated persons, they have acted to insure the preservation of this Nation's historical artifacts and aircraft are preserved for future generations to appreciate and admire. 

To all of you, many thanks for your past and continued support of these QH-50 Museums!

Loose ends

Currently, QH-50C, DS-1287, located at the Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, Washington is Off-Display...but here she is in the back room! Thanks to Dave Hood and Arnie Hoffman for the photo!

NOTE: The QH-50C at Seattle's Museum of Flight, owned by the Museum of Naval Aviation, was transferred to The American Helicopter Museum; that being DS-1190

NOTE: QH-50C, DS-1261, Last seen at Warner-Robbins Air Force Museum is presently, "Missing" and is being moved, we believe to Pensacola for the Museum of Naval Aviation.

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Helicopter Historical Foundation
P.O. Box 3838, Reno, Nevada USA 89505

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The name "Gyrodyne" in its stylized form above, is the Trademark of and owned by the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation; unauthorized use is PROHIBITED by Federal Law.

All Photographs, technical specifications, and content are herein copyrighted and owned exclusively by Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation, unless otherwise stated.  All Rights Reserved 2013.

The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) is a private foundation incorporated in the State of Nevada as a Non-profit organization. 

GHHF is dedicated to the advancement of the education and preservation of the history of the Ships, the Men and the Company that built, operated and flew the U.S. Navy's QH-50 Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) System and to the preservation of the history of the U.S. Army's past use of DASH.
Your support will allow for that work to continue.