258. The Helicopter Crane as a Prime Mover


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M A Wachs: 258. The Helicopter Crane as a Prime Mover. 1960.



This paper was presented at the Nineteenth National Conference of the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers at Los Angeles, California, May 16 – 19, 1960. This paper was written in 1959 and describes the design of the Sikorsky S-60 Helicopter Crane. The helicopter crane is described as a prime mover, analogous to a locomotive or tractor trailer for moving large cargo. The S-60 was developed as a prototype to investigate the concept of a helicopter set up to efficiently handle a variety of cargo loads. The helicopter crane is configured with minimal fuselage in the mid section of the aircraft and incorporates a high capacity hoist to handle the cargo. The paper highlights three major advantages of the helicopter crane concept as compared to a conventional helicopter; 1) the pilot’s view of the loading and unloading operation is significantly improved because the cabin section of the fuselage is eliminated, 2) the empty weight of the helicopter is reduced, thereby improving the useful load/gross weight and payload/gross weight ratios, and 3) the large volume of space below the fuselage allows efficient cargo handling and increases the variety of cargo that can be carried. A number of potential applications for the helicopter crane are proposed including transporting construction materials to areas with limited accessibility, supporting civil defense efforts, moving people in passenger ‘pods’, and working with fixed wing aircraft to supply military operations.


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