View Full Version : Honker Heli at Gillespie
04-04-2005, 10:52 PM
This thing has been parked for a couple weeks at my field. Maybe it flies when I'm not there, but I haven't seen it fly. I know this section is for flying photos, but I'll bet it was flown in. I'd love to hear that thing run and lift off. Someone said they're using it somewhere around here to haul wooden electrical poles from somewhere to somewhere else. :rolleyes:
04-05-2005, 12:13 AM
Cool. Erickson Air Crane is based here where I live so I hear those big machines over my house all the time. They sound great. One of my buddies who is a pilot for Erickson let me climb all over the machine once. I'll tell you.. that's ONE BIG ROTOR HEAD up close!!!
I usually go down there when they fit new blades and watch them track them. "start up", "shut down", "start up", "shut down", "start up", "shut down"....
04-05-2005, 04:49 AM
That's cool. The engineering company I worked for hired Erickson Air Crane to hoist a cooling unit atop the AT&T building in South Bend, IN. I was on the roof filming the installation for a promotional video and really wished I'd strapped myself down! I was holding a pipe for dear life to keep from getting blown off the roof! Needless to say the footage is a little sHaKy. :eek:
04-05-2005, 04:01 PM
Ken, you think it will be used for fire fighting?
04-06-2005, 12:06 AM
Randy, I don't know. It could be a possibility because the Forestry Dept. has been using Gillespie a lot during fire season. This one is privately owned. I don't know if they sub-contract for fire-fighting craft. The wooden pole story is the only one I've heard.
04-06-2005, 10:48 PM
The engineering company I worked for hired Erickson Air Crane to hoist a cooling unit atop the AT&T building in South Bend, IN. I was on the roof filming the installation
Damn. Brian, that wasn't by any chance in September, 2000, was it? I was enroute through South Bend and we (my buddies Blade and Doug, who are brothers, and Blade's then-GF, now wife, Dawn) saw an orange and white S-64E putting container sized AC units on the roofs of buildings. We stopped to shoot some photos...
The Skycrane was Igor's idea, and it was the last design that he was heavily involved in. The military was so-so on it; they'd rather have a machine that could work for both heavy slingloads and carrying pax. Igor's answer was the people pod for the CH-54 (from which I jumped a time or two during their military career). So Sikorsky built the CH-53 (S-65) by combining the lessons learnt from S-64, S-60 and S-61/2 series. And then the Army didn't buy it. They liked the Chinook better.
Sikorsky built ten civil S-64Es and then got out of the heavy-lift business. A military CH-54B, and I suppose a CH-54A, can be made to conform to the S-64 TC and is then a legal civilian aircraft. Erickson has been supplying S-64s worldwide and some years ago they bought the TC so that they could make parts. Sikorsky wasn't interested in maintaining the S-64 fleet.
But the time came when demand outstripped supply. So Erickson has four all-new airframes under construction in their Oregon plant. As Terry mentioned, they are widely used as fire tankers. They are a bit of overkill for long-line logging or putting up cellphone towers.
04-10-2005, 05:27 PM
Over KILL, NO sH*T!!! They rent for $8800 per hour, portal to portal. Kind of limits the market to really big stuff, when a S58-T that I flew rent for $2600 a hour and can lift about 4500 pounds. S-64's are very uncormfortable to fly in hot weather due to poor crew area air circulation and really vibrate when loaded because of the large rotors. Erickson seems to have the market cornered on these, but they dont fly that many hours every year according to the pilot I talked to, and the insurance per unit would make your heart stop (almost 200K)each.
Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
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