SH-2F Seasprite Helicopter

This series of images is of the SH-2F airframe (BuNo. 149026) being used as a ‘gate guard’ at NAS Norfolk, Virginia.  Most were taken in 2013 though the more ‘colorful’ paint scheme was from a couple of years earlier.  Keep in mind, this is a derelict bird, missing many minor parts (such as the hydraulic brake lines leading from the fuselage to the landing gear) but still the pictures are useful for structural details.  I have tried to note any detail issues the best I might but here are some general notes:

  • The landing gear are missing a lot of parts including the brake rotors, calipers & pressure lines.  Also missing are all the sensors and associated wiring.
  • All original stenciling was not applied to this gate guard.
  • No interior pictures are available since all the windows were painted black.
  • Wheel well images require careful examination; image labels describe the locations.

Many of the images show a folding ruler as a dimensional reference.  A few show an adhoc reference in the form of my 3-7/8″ long by 2-0″ wide LG Shine phone.  Look for a further walkaround for the generally similar HH-2D held at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center in West Chester, Pennsylvania (click HERE.)  (To see images full size, right-click and select “View image” or equivalent for your browser type.)

port drop tank fwd filler cap

Port drop tank fuel filler cap – normally painted red

port gear fairing frm frnt and pitot 2

Port side gear fairing – note the marker smoke float ‘clips’ behind the red strobe light

starbd drop tank aft end

Starboard drop tank aft end – note missing connections to tank level sensor

port drop tank closeup 3

Port drop tank aft end – note the non-skid ‘step patch’

port doppler ant mount

Port side doppler altimeter antenna fairing

nose cone landing lite

Note typical use of ‘potting compound’ sealant – applied liberally throughout the airframe to prevent corrosion

mainrotor frm strbd aft

Starboard side view showing a couple of the hand holds used by aircrew to clamber up top for preflight and maintenance

MAD gear pylon frm fwd

Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) gear pylon – only on starboard side and separate from the fuselage hardpoint

MAD bird metal drag cone rear

Obviously the drag ring is damaged – this is a metal version, there was also a version made of expanded styrene foam

MAD gear pylon inside frm aft 2

The rod protruding about midway along the MAD ‘bird’ is hooked when it is reeled up and locked. The reel & winch is inside the fairing, which includes a ‘cut gun’ device to cut the cable in case the bird hits something (like the ocean!)


These stickers were placed by the ‘paint crew’ when the airframe was painted in its colorful scheme – unfortunately, I failed to take a picture of the location

cargo hook frm port

The hook ‘faces’ forward, which is to the left in this image

aft trans deck and TR fairing

Another view of the transmission fairing. Underneath is the combining ‘box’ that takes the power from both engines and the splits it to both the main & tail rotor. Note how the tail rotor (mounted externally to the fuselage under its cover) comes out offset to the port side.

aft fuse and tail strut mount

Being relatively compact, the ‘Hookie Took’ (who-key two-kuh) did not have a folding tail. Note the fairly ‘rugged’ finish of the skin which is not entirely due to the plane’s ‘gate guard’ status. The small hole near bottom right side is missing the flexible plug & retaining flap as visible on the port near the top right. These are where the rotor blade gear struts mounted when the blades were folded.

vert tail surface frm aft

This view shows the retractable foot pegs used along with the upper hand-hold to conduct preflight inspections of the tail rotor and the TR shaft gearboxes, which are visible through the screen mesh panels. Again note the tail’s asymmetry so typical of much of the Seasprite.

vert tail strbd ECM mount frm aft

Good view of the tail ECM antennas. These provided data to the pilot regarding emissions of “interest” illuminating the helicopter.

tailrotor_frm port fwd

Four bladed tail rotor; control inputs were applied via a rod through the hollow drive shaft.

tailrotor fairing vent

One of the two types of vents found on the tail rotor cover that helped provide cooling airflow to the shaft bearings. Note the small ‘slide’ catches (along the port side only) that allowed for preflight inspection of the shaft and bearings when the hinged cover sections were opened to starboard.

tailrotor fairing vent 2

The other type of vent (plus more catches.)

port pilot door fwd corner and track

View shows the port side slide and latch at the forward bottom of the pilot’s door. The nose transparency has been replaced with a black painted metal panel.

port horizontal tail tip

Tip of the port horizontal tail surface. These were not moving surfaces and didn’t fold though they could be removed if necessary.

port hardpoint

Port stores hard-point which was of a standard configuration for carriage of drop tanks, torps or other ordnance.

port windshield wiper

A somewhat awkward angle…

port gear fairing frm frnt and pitot port drop tank closeup port drop tank closeup 2 port drop tank aft end port doppler ant mount 2 pitot nose cone port hinge nose cone frm strbd nose cone frm front nose cone frm front 2 MAD gear pylon inside frm aft MAD gear pylon inside frm aft 4 MAD bird body closeup tailrotor_frm strd aft tailrotor frm below aft tailrotor frm below aft 2 tailrotor blade tip port pilot door fwd corner and track 2 port horizontal tail frm fwd below port horizontal tail frm aft port gear well roof overall port gear well roof lookng fwd frm inside port gear well roof frm fwd below inside port gear well roof frm below aft port gear well overall frm side port gear well overall frm below port gear well lower frm side port gear well lookng fwd frm inside port gear well looking to starbd port gear well looking to starbd and up port gear well looking to starbd and fwd port gear well interior from below port gear well fwd bulkhead port gear well aft roof anterior port gear fairing fwd w pitot and strobeport_gear shockstrut rear underside port_gear shockstrut rear closeup port_gear drag strut port_gear drag strut fwd top attachment port wheel frm top port wheel frm side port wheel frm frnt port wheel 3a port wheel 3 port wheel 2 port wheel 1 port tail footstep and TD shackle port sonobouy cvr w fake holes 2 port smoke launcher box port side vert tail ECM gear mount port side vert tail ECM gear mount 2 port pilot door track

port_gear strut frm aft

As noted, all the hydraulic lines, electrical wiring, etc. has been stripped from this example’s landing gear. This does provide an uncluttered view, however. The function of the bracket with two bolts hanging from the lower fuselage mount point is unknown and may be non standard for an airworthy aircraft.

port_gear strut aft closeup 3

Again, the function of this hanging bracket is unknown

tail wheel frm strbd side

Tail wheel tire was looking better in 2013… the tail gear castored but could be locked in fore & aft position by the spring ‘wrapped’ rod at its forward top section.

strbd old hoist mount fwd gear fairing

This old fitting at the front of the starboard gear fairing is left over from the early single engine versions. It is where a hoist boom was mounted so the second pilot could operate the hoist. The rescue hoist was moved to a position about the starboard crew door on the twin engine versions because now an aircrewman was available to run the hoist.


The colorful ‘gate guard’ paint scheme. Note the black non skid areas are more visible than the later ‘all grey’ scheme. The ‘bump’ below the star-n-bar is where a static pressure port is located (above the little ‘shelf’.)

strbd mirror

Mirror was used to observe the hoist operation – not to ‘check six’!

strbd hardpoint bomb shackle

Stores hard point is missing a cover panel

strbd fuel filler necks less caps

Fuel filler necks used for ‘gravity feed’ filling of tanks. Missing the fuel caps.

strbd cabin door track

This latch mechanism is ‘busted’. Doors and tracks were a maintenance headache at times…

strbd aft fuse overview

The foot steps are visible here, covered with screwed plates to prevent visitors from clambering up topside.

strbd aft fuel filler cap

This is the single-point pressure refueling port – with its cap – located on the starboard side aft of the twin filler ports. This was used for ‘hot refueling’ (fueling with the engines running.)

rotorhead cowl frm aft port

The prominent vertical ‘seam’ visible in the cowling just below the rotor is typical. The fairing was in two halves that hinged open to the sides to allow access to the aft of the main rotor transmission.

radar dome frm strbd gear well

Search radar dome from starboard side wheel well – note ‘notch’ for landing gear retraction clearance. This was due to dome being offset to starboard.

radar dome asymmetrical mount

Front view shows how the radome is offset to starboard of the centerline.

port_gear wheels

SH-2 ties were highly pressurized with nitrogen and actually were an explosive hazard. They were inspected carefully…

port_gear wheel closeup 7 port_gear wheel closeup 6 port_gear wheel closeup 5 port_gear wheel closeup 4 port_gear wheel closeup 3 port_gear wheel closeup 2 port_gear strut top frm side port_gear strut top frm side 2 port_gear strut closeup frm top port_gear strut aft frm side port_gear strut aft closeup port_gear strut aft closeup 2 port_gear shockstrut rear
sonobuoy cover w_fake holes tailrotor blade tip 2 tail wheel frm strbd tail wheel frm port aft tail wheel frm aft strbd_fuse_aft strbd hardpoint MAD gear strbd hardpoint bomb shackle frm outside aft strbd gear well roof lookng fwd strbd gear well roof fwd frm side strbd gear well roof fwd frm side 2 strbd gear well lookng fwd and up strbd gear well lkg fwd from side strbd gear well lkg fwd from inside strbd gear well lkg aft from inside strbd gear fairing overall radar dome frm strbd gear well 2 port_gear wheel closeup port_gear wheel closeup tiedown port_gear wheel closeup inner faces port_gear wheel closeup inner faces 4 port_gear wheel closeup inner faces 3 port_gear wheel closeup inner faces 2 port_gear wheel closeup 10 port_gear wheel closeup 9 port_gear wheel closeup 8

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4 Responses to SH-2F Seasprite Helicopter

  1. Scott Fitzpatrick says:

    HSL-31 and HSL-37

  2. Jef Mayes says:

    Great photos. After FRAMP at 30, I was at 34 from 89-91.
    Have you seen the HSL-34 Facebook page?
    Lots of guys from many different years.

  3. Scott A. Fitzpatrick says:

    Awesome pictures! I was an AW and have 1800 hours in the SH-2F and HH-2D.

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