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Baylander (IX-514)

US Navy 060825-N-0856O-527 The Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola-based Navy Helicopter Landing Trainer (HLT) IX-514 transports a TH-57 helicopter from NAS Whiting Field.jpg
Baylander while it was stationed at NAS Whiting Field, Florida
United States
Name: YFU-79
Owner: United States Navy
Awarded: 1 June 1967
Builder: Pacific Coast Engineering Co, Alameda, California
Yard number: 238
Laid down: 28 December 1967
Launched: 29 May 1968
Acquired: 5 July 1968
United States
Name: Skilak
Namesake: Skilak Lake
Owner: United States Army
Acquired: May-June 1970
Out of service: mid-1980s
United States
Name: Baylander (IX-514)
Owner: United States Navy
Acquired: mid-1980s
In service: 31 March 1986
Struck: 15 December 2011
Status: Privately owned; science outreach for Billion Oyster Project at West Harlem Piers Park, New York
General characteristics
Tonnage: 160 DWT
Length: 125 ft (38 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)
Draft: 8 ft (2.4 m)
Installed power: 2 × 450 hp (340 kW) Detroit Diesel 12V-71
Propulsion: 2 × propellers
Speed: 9 knots (10 mph; 17 km/h)
Complement: 2 officer, 10 enlisted
Aviation facilities: Helo deck (no hangar)

Baylander (IX-514), ex-Skilak and ex-YFU-79, was a United States Navy Helicopter Landing Trainer (HLT), billed as the world's smallest aircraft carrier. It served as a practice landing site for helicopter pilots in the United States Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard.


The ship entered operations with the United States Navy in 1968 as harbor utility craft YFU-79 and served in the Vietnam War; from mid-1970 it served with the United States Army as Skilak.[1] At the end of the war Skilak was withdrawn to Guam.[1] In the mid-1980s it was returned to the Navy and converted to a Helicopter Landing Trainer by Bender Shipbuilding in Mobile, Alabama, entering service on 31 March 1986 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.[1][2] By August 2006, she had achieved 100,000 accident-free helicopter landings,[3] and by the time of her retirement had surpassed 120,000 landings.[4] After being taken out of service and struck from the Naval Register in 2011,[5] Baylander was sold into private hands instead of being scrapped. In 2014, it was moved to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina in New York City and opened as a museum ship.[6] By mid-2016, the vessel had been relocated to the West Harlem Piers on the Hudson River.[7]


Baylander was built as Yard No. 238 by Pacific Coast Engineering Company (PACECO) of Alameda, California.[8] It is 125 feet (38 m) long, has a beam of 36 feet (11 m), and displaces 380 long tons (386 t) at full load.[5] Its helicopter deck was the same size as that of a Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Helicopter Landing Trainer [HLT]-(IX-514)". NavSource. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Unique Ships of the U.S. Navy". United States Naval Institute. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  3. ^ Kohr, Megan (29 August 2006). "100,000 Accident-Free Landings on Navy's Smallest 'Aircraft Carrier'". United States Navy. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Historic U.S. Navy Vessel Open to Public for First Time at Future Site of BBP Marina" (Press release). Brooklyn Bridge Park. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b "IX-514". Naval Vessel Register. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  6. ^ Backwell, George (17 July 2014). "Historic Navy Ship Baylander Shortly Open to New Yorkers". MarineLink. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  7. ^ Clark, Dartunorro (21 September 2016). "Vietnam-Era Navy Ship Finds New Berth at West Harlem Piers". Archived from the original on 22 September 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  8. ^ Colton, Tim (7 March 2016). "Pacific Coast Engineering (PACECO), Oakland and Alameda CA". Shipbuilding History. Retrieved 22 November 2016.

External links

Media related to HLT Baylander (IX-514) at Wikimedia Commons