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Aircraft of the World
The Harbin SH-5

By Farmboyzim
Since I just did the review for the fscloud9 "Fly the Lakes" Scenery Package, my interest was sparked again concerning seaplanes and floatplanes.  This installment of AOW we'll be talking about the Harbin SH-5, a large, four engined, amphibious flying boat/ bomber that was developed by the Harbin factory, located in Manchuria, in cooperation with the national Seaplane Institute.  The prototype was completed in December of 1973, but did not fly until April of 1976

After a decade of further development, the aircraft finally entered service in September of 1986, with four further models having been developed since then.  The aircraft is an unpressurized turboprop powered amphib, and had been tasked with anti-submarine and anti-surface shipping operations, patrol, surveillance, mine laying, search and rescue and cargo carrying.  Versatile, to say the least!  A water bomber version has also been tested.  A crew of eight comprises the pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, radio operator, and three systems equipment operators.  The western designation for this aircraft is PS-5.

The SH-5 is powered by four 3,150 hp (2,349-kW) Dongan WJ-5A turboprop engines, with a maximum speed of 345 mph (555 km/h).  Its range with max fuel onboard is 2,951 miles (4,750 km), and has a service ceiling of 22,965 feet (7,000 m).  Max take off weight is 99,208 lbs (45000 kg).  A fairly large craft with a length of 127 feet (38.9 m) and a wingspan of 118 feet (36 m).

When in the anti-shipping/sub mode, it can carry a two-gun dorsal turret plus four underwing hardpoints for anti-shipping missles or torpedoes, with three at each pylon.  An internal weapons bay in the rear of the aircraft can carry a 13,288 lb (6000 kg) maximum load of deapth charges, mines bombs, sonobuoys and SAR equipment.  Quite a bit different from the PBY Catalina days!

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