The Sikorsky H-5 was one of the first helicopters and was designed during the Second World War with first flight in 1943 and ready for delivery beginning 1945. It was improved and the S-51 got an different configurtaion with also a larger rotor diameter. In December 1946, a license agreement was signed with Westland Aircraft in the U.K and the type became known as the Dragonfly. There were military and also a few civil operators and the S-51 was also used during the Korean War. About 300 were manufactured.

s 51 profile

S-51  MLD

The S-51 was the first helicopter type used in The Netherlands as a Dutch Foundation in 1947 purchased one to gain experience with this new form of transport. The single S-51 later went to the Royal Netherlands Navy flying service (MLD) and was tested on board the Dutch carrier Hr.Ms Karel Doorman. The helicopter was used during the flood disaster in The Netherlands February 1953. It first had a dark blue and later a yellow paint scheme with the MLD and called the "Jezebel".

NOTE: this is not the original "Jezebel" but a Dragonfly HR.5 (WG752) obtained in 1991 from the Imperial War Museum and painted in the yellow MLD scheme. It is kept in good museum condition at the Aviodrome museum at Lelystad airport, The Netherlands.

Photographed summer 2014 and 2017, by Meindert de Vreeze (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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A few plastic scale models exist of the S-51 / Dragonfly. In 1/48 scale AMP / Micro-Mir have a kit as well as BelcherBits and Fonderie. In 1/72 scale there were vacuforms but later a MPM came with a reasonable kit, a short run kit is from MACH2 and LF Models. Also WhirlyBird has an excellent 1/72 kit.


Enthusiasts and historians find more MLD S-51 info on our Nedmil pages....


This walk around page was first published September 2017 by M. de Vreeze