Author Topic: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??  (Read 12466 times)

Offline Takalok

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Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« on: 04/07/2008 02:54 AM »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1045/1

I'm amazed, but I guess it was actually proposed to design a helicopter capable of not only retrieving an S-1C stage (Saturn first stage), but doing so while it was parachuting back to earth!!

Not a bad little article.
Life is what happens while you're waiting for tomorrow.

Offline Blackstar

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #1 on: 04/07/2008 03:12 AM »
Yeah, I wrote that.

I'm now looking for any information on these photos.

Offline Rusty_Barton

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #2 on: 04/07/2008 04:36 AM »
Don't know the story behind the pictures. The helicopter is serial number 18449. A Google search on that serial number reveals this info about the fate of the helicopter.

U.S. Army Helicopter serial number 18449

http://www.flugzeugbilder.de/show.php?id=665725

http://www.planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=665243

http://www.flugzeugbilder.de/search4.cgi?srch=18449&stype=reg&srng=2

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/heloregistry/ch54-6818449.html

Offline wingod

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #3 on: 04/07/2008 05:47 AM »
Quote
Takalok - 6/4/2008  9:54 PM

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1045/1

I'm amazed, but I guess it was actually proposed to design a helicopter capable of not only retrieving an S-1C stage (Saturn first stage), but doing so while it was parachuting back to earth!!

Not a bad little article.
Uh, uh, wow.

That is engineering!


Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #4 on: 04/07/2008 01:54 PM »
Looks like the photos were taken at KSC. It also looks like they were dated 1968.  I don't think they were drop tests. I'm wondering if this is recovery training should the Apollo make an emergency landing on terra firma in and around the launch site.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #5 on: 04/07/2008 02:50 PM »
Quote
Rusty_Barton - 6/4/2008  11:36 PM

Don't know the story behind the pictures. The helicopter is serial number 18449. A Google search on that serial number reveals this info about the fate of the helicopter.

Interesting.  No indication of when the helicopter entered civilian service, but it was flying for Heavy Lift Helicopters Inc. of Arkansas.  Aircraft crashed, killing all three crewmembers, in 1998 in Yucca Valley, California.  Cause was a separated blade traced to fatigue caused by an improper repair procedure.  Fault was also laid at the company's chief test pilot who allowed the aircraft to fly despite a maintenance problem.

Online nacnud

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #6 on: 04/07/2008 03:19 PM »
Not such a daft idea, if you can cope with the noise (not a problem after a saturn launch, everyone is deaf by then anyway) a scaled up Fairy Rotordyne might help with the S-1C recovery :D

Offline wingod

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #7 on: 04/07/2008 03:21 PM »
Quote
Gene DiGennaro - 7/4/2008  8:54 AM

Looks like the photos were taken at KSC. It also looks like they were dated 1968.  I don't think they were drop tests. I'm wondering if this is recovery training should the Apollo make an emergency landing on terra firma in and around the launch site.

Not possible that this was at KSC.  Look in the background, there are hills there!!  Looks more like west Texas.  Maybe not west Texas as there is a lot of water around, maybe south Texas?

Old joke in Florida:

You never see a hill in south Florida unless there is a hole dug right beside it.



Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #8 on: 04/07/2008 04:03 PM »
Quote
wingod - 7/4/2008  10:21 AM
Not possible that this was at KSC.  Look in the background, there are hills there!!  Looks more like west Texas.  Maybe not west Texas as there is a lot of water around, maybe south Texas?

Are those hills or a forest?

I think it might be a crop of trees.

Offline MKremer

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #9 on: 04/07/2008 04:06 PM »
Texas doesn't have palm trees growing wild in the countryside. Those look like groves of trees in the background rather than hills.

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #10 on: 04/07/2008 06:24 PM »
I wonder what the three guys on the ground are holding in the last picture. They're wearing some kind of helmet that looks like a football helmet or more likely a flight crew helmet. They also seem to be wearing the same clothes, so they're not NASA civilian technicians. Are they wet olive drab flight suits? Or are they wetsuits? Are they supposed to be stand-ins for Apollo astronauts or are they the rescue crew?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #11 on: 04/07/2008 06:29 PM »
Quote
Gene DiGennaro - 7/4/2008  1:24 PM

I wonder what the three guys on the ground are holding in the last picture. They're wearing some kind of helmet that looks like a football helmet or more likely a flight crew helmet. They also seem to be wearing the same clothes, so they're not NASA civilian technicians. Are they wet olive drab flight suits? Or are they wetsuits? Are they supposed to be stand-ins for Apollo astronauts or are they the rescue crew?

Looks like a ladder.  And I assume that they are the rescue crew.  Also, note the other helo in one of the other images.  That's an HH-3 Jolly Green Giant of the kind used for search and rescue.

My suspicion is that this was training at KSC for land recovery after an abort.

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #12 on: 04/07/2008 06:33 PM »
Yeah I saw the USAF Jolly Green in the first picture. The paint job is consistant with Aerospace Rescue Service Jollies of the 1960s.

Offline Jim

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #13 on: 04/07/2008 06:39 PM »
Quote
Gene DiGennaro - 7/4/2008  2:24 PM

I wonder what the three guys on the ground are holding in the last picture. They're wearing some kind of helmet that looks like a football helmet or more likely a flight crew helmet. They also seem to be wearing the same clothes, so they're not NASA civilian technicians. Are they wet olive drab flight suits? Or are they wetsuits? Are they supposed to be stand-ins for Apollo astronauts or are they the rescue crew?

They are the helicopter flight crews.  One is wearing the helmet in the aft station of the Skyhook

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #14 on: 04/07/2008 06:59 PM »
Quote
Jim - 7/4/2008  1:39 PM
They are the helicopter flight crews.  One is wearing the helmet in the aft station of the Skyhook

I don't think they're the Skycrane crew.  Maximum crew for that kind of helicopter was three, pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster (or whatever his title was).  You would not put the loadmaster on the ground.

Note that two of these guys are also running around the boilerplates on the ground.

My suspicion is that they are bringing the ladder so that they can unhook the cable from the top of the boilerplate.

Offline Blackstar

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #15 on: 04/16/2008 01:07 AM »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1101/1

"Those teams had to practice. The photos accompanying this article show what was probably part of a practice exercise. In the photos, dating from 1968, two gumdrop-shaped boilerplate Apollo capsules, simulating the size—and possibly the weight—of the actual vehicles have been hauled by truck out to the scrub surrounding the Apollo launch pads.

That’s when the Skycrane entered the picture."

Offline heng44

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #16 on: 04/16/2008 10:45 AM »
These two photos were taken at KSC two days before the launch of Apollo 13. I have no further info...

Offline Blackstar

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #17 on: 04/16/2008 01:09 PM »

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #18 on: 04/16/2008 01:15 PM »
The same USAF PJ's with the ladder gizmo, combined with the Army Skycrane. Notice by 1970 that the Sky Blue/Grey of the USAF Jolly Green has given way to the USAF's Southeast Asia camouflage scheme.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #19 on: 04/16/2008 02:17 PM »
Quote
Gene DiGennaro - 16/4/2008  8:15 AM

The same USAF PJ's with the ladder gizmo, combined with the Army Skycrane. Notice by 1970 that the Sky Blue/Grey of the USAF Jolly Green has given way to the USAF's Southeast Asia camouflage scheme.

I think there's a few differences.  The earlier photos that I posted had two helicopters--one was a Skycrane and the other an HH-3 Jolly Green.  In the latter photos this is a CH-53, also known as the Super Jolly Green.  Bigger and more powerful helicopter.  I think that the CH-53 itself could have picked up the Apollo capsule, so maybe they did not need a Skycrane to do it for them.  (As a sidenote: the CH-53 design actually borrowed a lot of the equipment developed for the Skycrane.  I believe that it used the same engines, gearbox, rotor head, etc.)

Somebody also contacted me about the earlier photos and said that the Skycrane was dispatched from Ft. Sill Oklahoma, in late 1968 or early 1969.  The pilot in command (PIC) was a CW-3 Leland Cole.  He said that what they were actually practicing was not rescue techniques, but the ability of a recovery crew to retrieve the capsule from different locations.  I'm not sure if I accept that.  But it may be true that there were two objectives to the exercise--practice crew rescue and capsule recovery.

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #20 on: 04/16/2008 02:40 PM »
Yeah, you're right it is a H-53.

Offline Rocket Rancher

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #21 on: 04/16/2008 03:09 PM »
I would be willing to bet that is central Florida. The hills are most likely cypress heads (a stand of cypress trees common in this area). It may or may not be at KSC. Looks more like it's just west of the center, west of I-95 in the St. Johns river area. I may have more info shortly to post.
"In God We Trust ... All Others Bring Data"

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #22 on: 04/16/2008 03:30 PM »
Quote
Rocket Rancher - 16/4/2008  10:09 AM

I would be willing to bet that is central Florida. The hills are most likely cypress heads (a stand of cypress trees common in this area). It may or may not be at KSC. Looks more like it's just west of the center, west of I-95 in the St. Johns river area. I may have more info shortly to post.

I'm interested in anything you learn.  As you can see, I took some of the information gathered from this message board and used it in the TSR article.  I'm looking for more info, and if I get enough (including hi-res scans of the photos above), I'd like to turn it into a print article for Spaceflight magazine.

Offline Rocket Rancher

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #23 on: 04/25/2008 08:16 PM »
Quote
Blackstar - 16/4/2008  11:30 AM


I'm interested in anything you learn.  As you can see, I took some of the information gathered from this message board and used it in the TSR article.  I'm looking for more info, and if I get enough (including hi-res scans of the photos above), I'd like to turn it into a print article for Spaceflight magazine.

Well, no new info to add. The local experts are not familiar with the photos but they are willing to guess it is somewhere in the KSC area. Several co-workers think the photos look very much like the St. John's River basin (just west of I-95), maybe the Port St. John area. I did get a couple more photos from the archieves. These are of a drop test that was performed at KSC. Hope this helps -
"In God We Trust ... All Others Bring Data"

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #24 on: 04/26/2008 02:01 AM »
Interesting photos.  Do you have them in hi-res?  I'm also looking for copies of the Skycrane photos in hi-res too.  I want to use them in a magazine article.

Offline Rocket Rancher

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #25 on: 04/27/2008 12:54 AM »
Sorry, these were only version I received.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #26 on: 04/27/2008 03:50 AM »
Who'd you get them from?

I'm also acquiring an artist's illustration of a Sikorsky concept for a much larger Skycrane.  In the illustration, the aircraft is carrying a Titan I ICBM.  My guess is that this was nothing more than a blue sky concept rather than an actual proposal.  But there was a period when various manufacturers were pushing the idea of using massive helicopters for a lot of heavy lift tasks.  Of course, Sikorsky had more credibility doing this than Hiller with their massive vehicle, because Sikorsky actually built big helicopters, whereas Hiller built only small ones.

Offline Blackstar

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #27 on: 05/12/2008 11:51 AM »

Offline Generic Username

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RE: Helicopter Recovery of an S-1C stage??
« Reply #28 on: 05/12/2008 05:52 PM »
That's the Sikorsky "DS-103" concept. I have more info on that buried around here somewhere in paper, but here's what I have immediately to hand:

« Last Edit: 01/14/2010 03:42 AM by Generic Username »
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