Wednesday, January 16, 2008

SeaGeep, Flying Banana, Sea Bat... Piasecki vertical lift aircrafts

Frank Piasecki is one of the original pioneers of the U.S. helicopter industry with over 60 years experience as an aeronautical/mechanical engineer, test pilot, entrepreneur and industrialist.

Mr. Piasecki founded the PV-Engineering Forum and in 1943 flew the second successful helicopter in America, the PV-2. The Navy, under significant pressure from Congress because of its failure to investigate the benefits of emerging helicopter technology, awarded Mr. Piasecki a contract for the development of the first U.S. Navy helicopter, the XHRP-1 "Dog Ship" in 1944. This was the first successful tandem helicopter (i.e. twin main rotors) in the world. Designed, built and flown within thirteen months, the XHRP-1 had a useful load three times greater than any existing helicopter at the time. Mr. Piasecki's tandem helicopter design led to the first practical application of the helicopter to critical Naval missions such as: search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare, vertical replenishment, and pioneered the use of the helicopter for aerial minesweeping and vertical assault.

Substituting a gas turbine for the two piston engines and adding two inflatable floats enabled the AirGeep to operate from the water. Called the SeaGeep, its compact size and weight made it ideal as a small ship based rescue, anti-submarine weapon’s carrier, and for ship-to-ship transfer.

Flying Banana

Army and USAF "flying banana" CH; two tandem three-bladed rotors. Crew of 2 in side-by-side, dual-control cabin; hoist with dorsal quick-release cargo sling.

sources Aerofiles, Piasecki Aircraft Corporation

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