Photo courtesy of Sikorsky
The Royal Malaysian Air Force has been operating the Sikorsky S-61 for 50 years, Sikorsky said. The five decades of continuous service was celebrated Sunday.
In late 1967, the first S-61 was delivered to Malaysia. The initial order was for 10 aircraft. Since it began its service, the Nuri has performed a variety of missions, including transport and search and rescue. The Nuris are based in Butterworth, which is in western Malaysia, and Kuching, which is in eastern Malaysia. The fleet recently received an upgrade, including avionics and glass cockpit.
Sikorsky said that pilots have flown more than 24 million flight hours in S-61 aircraft around the world. It is used for both military and civilian service.
The S-61, according to the manufacturer, marked the end of reciprocating engine installations at the company, and marked the beginning of the era of the lighter, more compact turbine engines. The aircraft served all branches of the U.S. military, and flew with commercial airlines. However, it was first designed for anti-submarine warfare for the U.S. Navy. Starting in 1959, Sikorsky said it produced 794 aircraft based on the original S-61.