Aviation Historian 10
B.Taghvaee, G.-R.Rahbaryan - The Shah's Skyhooks
Hamid Bayat (right) was the IIGAU chief mechanic and is seen here with one of the UH-41As at Shiraz Airport in 1967. In the background is a Douglas C-47 of Iranian airline Air Taxi Co, which began operations in 1958, becoming part of Pars Air in 1970 before the company’s name was changed to Iran-Aseman Airlines in 1980.
Following the retirement of the IIGAU’s UH-41As, Gholam-Reza Rahbariyan went on to fly Agusta-Bell 206 JetRangers and Bell UH-1Hs for the Gendarmerie. From having only one rotary-wing pilot at the beginning of the 1960s, Iran now makes great use of helicopters, such as these Iranian Police Aviation Bell UH-1H and UH-1Ns.
Rahbariyan poses proudly with a US Army Sikorsky H-19D at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he moved after having completed his primary helicopter training course at Camp Wolters in August 1962. Rahbariyan was the only Iranian on the course at Fort Rucker, and was asked to stay on as an instructor.
Gholam-Reza Rahbariyan at the controls of a Hiller H-23D Raven during training at Camp Wolters in Texas in 1961. The US Army Primary Helicopter School was run by Southern Airways, which was responsible for rotary­wing flight training from classroom to certification, as well as the maintenance of the school’s Army helicopters.
Cessna’s sole venture into the rotary-wing market, the CH-1 Skyhook was conceived as a predominantly civil four-seat aircraft capable of delivering businessmen into the heart of the city. Ten examples entered service with the US Army as the YH-41 Seneca during 1957-58; the Iranian MAP examples were designated as UH-41As.
1st Lt Gholam-Reza Rahbariyan (furthest left) helps unload supplies from Cessna UH-41A “201” during a Red Lion and Sun Society flood-relief operation at Gorgan and Gonbad-e Kavus in 1964.
Gholam-Reza Rahbariyan supervises the changing of the main rotor of UH-41A "203” while standing in the cockpit. The UH-41A was powered by a 270 h.p. Continental FSO-526A horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine mounted in the nose.
The majority of the photographs from Col Rahbariyan’s personal albums accompanying this feature are previously unpublished, images of the float-equipped IIGAU UH-41A having been particularly elusive up until now. Only one IIGAU example, “205”, was fitted with the floats, which must have considerably degraded performance.
1st Lt Rahbariyan (right) and a Gendarmerie colleague during Red Lion and Sun Society flood-relief operations in 1964. The Skyhook was the first helicopter to be certificated for flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) conditions, although the IIGAU UH-41As were seldom called on to do so.
Gholam-Reza Rahbariyan (centre) beside one of the UH-41 As with a Dutch royal reporter (right) and photographer at Shiraz, the capital of the Fars Province, during a visit to the ruins at Persepolis by Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands in October 1963.