Design, Development, and Evaluation of the Helicopter Sling Load Rapid Aerial Delivery Equipment
Final rept. Apr 2009-May 2013
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
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This report documents a 4-year program, completed in May 2013 by the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center NSRDEC, to develop and verify the capability to deploy multiple parachute systems from a structure suspended beneath a rotary wing aircraft. The concept is to suspend a range of bundle types, rigged for aerial delivery, from a structure and release them remotely. The development and verification process included payload releases from a helicopter and a crane prior to frame design, modeling and finite element analyses during design, and ground testing and flight maneuvers and airdrop tests of the frame and release system to identify shortcomings, make adjustments, and ultimately provide proof of concept. The tests demonstrated that the concept is feasible. Consequently, it is recommended that development of multiple payload airdrop beneath helicopters be continued at varying forward airspeeds to increase the resupply capability and mission flexibility of rotary wing aircraft and their passengers. The continued testing should incorporate payloads with varying densities to identify any further payload interaction issues that need to be addressed. Testing should also incorporate different fielded parachute systems to ensure these are compatible with the multiple payload airdrop concept. It is also recommended to expand the capability to unmanned systems.
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