I also immediately thought that this machine would be a perfect candidate for a turboshaft engine. A little googling showed I was only about 60 years late with that idea. Westland helicopters built a turbine variant in 1958 as the Wessex.
Production of the H-34 type ended in 1970 but the next year Sikorsky started doing conversions to a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6-3 Twin-Pac® Turbine engine. This was a big step up in reliability and safety, though in my opinion, the longer nose didn't add to its looks.
Twin-Pak Turbine powered H58-T
Only die hard Noodle Wingers could like the way these look:)
And another thing, think about where that engine/rotor driveshaft was...
But from what I've been reading, that arrangement never gave any problems. But the potential!
As for the looks, the French nicknamed the helicopter "éléphant joyeux" (joyful elephant). Seems apt!
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