Release of the new HELITAK Black Hawk 10000 Pound Hook Assembly
Since the release of the previously Military only use Black Hawk aircraft into the civilian operators market the industry has witnessed them undergo a major weight watchers program as the new owners stripped the excess military weight from the airframes, additions like amour plating, anti-icing equipment, just to name a few, were removed to lower the operational weight of the aircraft. In military guise most would operate at around the 11,800 – 13,000 lbs and the best example we have witnessed, after the strip out, is a new aircraft empty weight of just 10,200lbs – meaning some aircraft have the capability of lifting 12,300lbs.
After being approached by many Black Hawk Helicopter operators wanting a larger payload for their aircraft the Helitak design team started researching ideas on how do you make an aircraft that can lift over 10000 lbs, but is limited by its cargo hook airframe limitation of 8000 lbs? Many would say just buy a bigger Cargo Hook by its not that simple as the Black Hawk Cargo Hook airframe limitations are still only to a maximum of 8000 lbs.
The Helitak answer was to spread the load!
Using a similar approach to the Patented and Design Registered mounting systems of FT4500 Black Hawk Fire Tank the Helitak design team designed a cargo hook assembly that placed a percentage of the load on both the port and starboard rear lower External Supplies Stores System (ESSS) mounts and the balance on the Black Hawk Cargo Hook receptacle. This was accomplished by moving the centre of gravity of the Hook forward from its normal position which allowed the aircraft hook mounts to carry no more than its approved design limit load of 8000 lbs.
The ESSS mounts were utilised in military operations and carried either extra fuel pod tanks on each side or in wartime situations could carry up to 16 x Hellfire Missiles.
Now that Patent (Pending) and Design Registration (Pending) of the Helitak 10,000lbs Cargo Hook Assembly design is completed the product will be released at Heli-Expo in January 2020 at the Anaheim Conference Centre, California.
With successful computerised load analysis computations and prototype testing completed the Helitak team are currently busy with the FAA certification process and hope to have this finalised mid-2020.
Helitak’s CEO, Jason Schellaars, stated ‘with the success of the Black Hawk entering into the aerial heavy lift market we were inundated with enquiries to a point that we just couldn’t ignore the need for a Cargo Hook design that solved a number of operational problems:
- Black Hawk Operators were continuously pushing the limit to the full 8000 lbs, especially in some segments of the heavy lift industry where you are actually paid by the pound lifted.
- Using the normal 8000 lbs limit as a guide the Helitak Cargo Hook Assembly offers a substantial safety margin of some 2,000 lbs. Remember, in logging for example, you only really know how heavy the load is when you get it into the air – what we are providing to operators is a comfort zone of those 2,000 lbs so they won’t find out too late that’s its plenty more than the 8000 lbs they were expecting.
- The Helitak Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) records full event logging, monitoring and recording of every lifting event with telemetry cloud-based transfer of information to operators ‘Ops’ centre.