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Hat Tip to Our Good Neighbor to the North

Subdeacon Joe

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PILOT moves the helicopter slowly ahead, keeping pace with the ship.
He is about 50 feet above a heaving, rolling deck. He releases a
thin wire messenger. It brings back a heavier wire from the flight
deck. The slack is taken up—it tightens. Slowly the helicopter
descends on its “umbilical cord”. The descent quickens.
As the helicopter touches down, steel jaws grip it.

is this?

they call it — the new haul-down system for landing helicopters
on destroyer escorts.

is it?

flight deck crewman grounds the messenger while the other
prepares to connect the hauldown cable. The Sea King hovers
about 50 feet above the deck. (DNS.33897)

to make possible the landing and securing of heavy helicopters on
destroyer-size ships in rough weather.

project had its beginnings nearly 10 years ago, when the helicopter-destroyer
combination was selected by the Royal Canadian Navy as a promising
antidote to the high-performance nuclear submarine.

start with, the Navy fitted a small, experimental flight deck to
a frigate, HMCS Buckingham. Trials were successfully carried out,
using a Sikorsky HO4S-3 helicopter. The next move was to put a platform
on the destroyer escort HMCS Ottawa. Further trials were conducted,
using an RCAF Sikorsky S-58. On the basis of the trials, the concept
of operating helicopters from destroyers was recommended and received
approval in principle.

things were needed. One was a helicopter capable of all-weather
day and night operation (the HO4S-3 was not). The other was a system
for handling and securing a helicopter on a small flight deck in
rough seas.

former was found, in the 9.5 ton Sikorsky CHSS-2 Sea King. The landing-handling
problem was solved by the beartrap.

the trials, it was found that landing was not so much a problem
as was the handling of the helicopter after it had landed. Manhandling
was neither quick enough nor certain enough to establish the measure
of control necessary to ensure that, in certain circumstances, the
helicopter will not take charge, and go over the side.

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