PORTABLE SURFACING FOR U. S. ARMY HELICOPTER LANDING PADS; ENGINEERING FIELD TESTS.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
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This investigation was conducted to evaluate the performance of sewn membrane panels as a dustproof and waterproof cover for soil subgrades and as a material for rapid construction of helicopter landing pads in theaters of operations. Eight sewn panels of Tl No. 8 vinyl-coated cotton duck membrane were placed as a 100-ft-square surfacing directly on the soil subgrade and exposed to helicopter traffic for eight months. The panels were joined in the field by a series of adhesive lap joints. Results of the tests indicated that the panels provided a dustproof and waterproof surface for the soil subgrade while subjected to helicopter traffic. Both sewn and adhesive joints held satisfactorily throughout the testing. Locked-wheel turns and braking action of helicopter wheels scuffed the surfacing but produced no failures. The membrane was adequate for preventing dust clouds during operations of most conventional Army helicopters. Membrane panels were placed at a rate of 1126 sq ft per man- hour. It is recommended that tests be conducted on membrane surfacing that is stronger than the Tl, that the surfacing be prejoined at the factory as a complete unit capable of being transported by fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, and that some medium other than adhesive be used for joining the panels. Author