TRICOPTER SKYHOOK (Apr, 1957)

TRICOPTER SKYHOOK

It’s as simple as an ox yoke and it serves a very similar purpose.

By Frank Tinsley

WHEN a heavy hauling job comes up the idea has always been “Put in more horses.” Now, Raymond A. Young, an ex-Navy aeronautical engineer, has made it possible to harness helicopters in teams. His harness, as uncomplicated as an ox yoke, is a tubular framework that holds the working whirlybirds far enough apart to give them rotor room.

Various adaptations of Young’s basic idea may be used. The one illustrated is a tricopter harness consisting of three girders hinged to a central vertical hoist and braced in a rigid triangle by steel cables. Above the outer end of each girder is a universal coupling which attaches to the bottom of a helicopter with a quick release fastening. Each of the machines is separately flown but all follow the commands of a chief pilot, given over interphones. Young’s multi-copter harness can pick up bridge sections, ferry vehicles and equipment, emplace artillery in otherwise inaccessible positions—using standard copters instead of expensive specialized equipment.

10 comments
  1. Rick Auricchio says: January 21, 20091:10 pm

    I recall seeing a system like this on some documentary. One of the cables or arms failed, sending the whole mess to the ground.

    Flying one chopper is hard enough with a load; coordinating three seems impossible.

  2. StanFlouride says: January 21, 20092:52 pm

    I’ve seen those pictures too but even if it did work no three helicopters would be able to lift something as heavy as a tank.

  3. Sandglass Patrol says: January 21, 20094:04 pm

    It looks like the three Bf110 Zerstorer towing the Me321

  4. Charlie says: January 21, 20094:21 pm

    Sandglass Patrol: Damn, you beat me to it! I was totally going to say that.

  5. Sandglass Patrol says: January 21, 20095:19 pm

    Charlie, once we wrote about ‘aeronautics fashions’, because they are always traying the same things, or re-discovering old concepts. Here we discovered the flying submarine, or de submergible plane. Now DARPA is traying it again. This entry, the 3 ‘chopers’ and the three Zerstorers remembered us that entry in our blog, http://sandglasspatrol….

  6. LightningRose says: January 21, 20095:59 pm

    What could possibly go wrong?

  7. Eliyahu says: January 22, 20094:09 pm

    An insurgent’s dream… A chance to take out three helicopters and a tank with a single Stinger missile…

  8. Eliyahu says: January 22, 20094:11 pm

    Also, just looked at the illustration again, and I’m trying to figure out why the Army would paint Air Force emblems on its tanks and helicopters?

  9. Toronto says: January 22, 20094:42 pm

    Lightning – why AirForce marking on Army tanks and choppers? Maybe it’s because it was designed by a Navy engineer.

  10. Sanglass patrol says: January 29, 20093:25 pm

    We have linked you
    http://sandglasspatrol….

    (It is in Spanish)

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