Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

Ship to Air refueling

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

Ship to Air refueling

Old 29th Dec 2015, 10:59
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 52
Posts: 668
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ship to Air refueling

Just watched a report about the Danish Navy chasing pirates somewhere off the coast of Africa. They were using a Lynx helicopter which at some stage had to be refueled.
But instead of landing on the deck of the frigate they were hovering next to the deck and did an in flight Ship-to-Air-Refueling.
What's the use of such manoeuver?
Spunk is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 11:39
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Iceland
Age: 57
Posts: 814
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is called HIFR.

Often done, for example, if the ship landing deck can not carry the weight of the helicopter or for some reason the ships landing deck is not operational for landings or if the roll/pitch is beyond limits for landing although the Danish Navy will land in some extreme sea state. HIFR is also done from ships with no landing deck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC2XIGMI2kM

Last edited by Aesir; 29th Dec 2015 at 11:42. Reason: video
Aesir is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 13:58
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Downeast
Age: 74
Posts: 17,790
Received 146 Likes on 59 Posts
Does one care how one gets fuel when you are over the Ocean with lots of air in the fuel tank?

If such a capability exists on every Ship in the Area of Operation then the flexibility of the Aircraft is enhanced as it does not have to have a Landing Deck to alight upon to fuel.
SASless is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 14:11
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ijatta
Posts: 435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's amazing how they're able to maintain helicopters which are exposed to all that salt water spray.
wanabee777 is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 14:55
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 52
Posts: 668
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies. Now it makes sense.

I couldn`t think of a rough sea state and/or no place to land as in the tv report it was calm with blue skies and a nice and cleaned up helideck. Furthermore the commantator was babbling something about "saving time".
Spunk is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 15:16
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Wales
Posts: 464
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sometimes it is done for practice even though the deck is suitable for the helo - currency for the ship's crew as well as the aircrew.
Al-bert is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 16:30
  #7 (permalink)  
GipsyMagpie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The ship may have been steaming in the wrong direction and have put the deck out of SHOL (ship operating limits) but I suspect training is the correct answer. HIFR is (helicopter in flight refuelling.
 
Old 29th Dec 2015, 18:37
  #8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 52
Posts: 668
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Video can be found here
You might want to wind forward to 37:20 min
Spunk is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 20:13
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 916
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Hi,
they explained it actual in the video....

They said SOP requires engine shut down, when landing on the ship for refueling.

Because a pirate attack on a nearby merchant ship was ongoing, they choose the option of inflight refueling (pressure refueling) - which only lasted about two minutes to get enough gojuice to fly the 10 miles to the scene of action, covering the asses of the soldiers on the speedboots on their way.
Flying Bull is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2015, 22:50
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 9,662
Received 108 Likes on 51 Posts
There is no reason to go for engine shutdown = rotor shutdown for on board refuel, a rotors running refuel is no more hazardous than HIFR. There are more risks involved (dragging the hose and crew over the side for example) in HIFR.
At least when the aircraft is lashed to the deck it can't go anywhere.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2015, 08:20
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Oz
Posts: 282
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Only had to HIFR once in anger in a Sea King, - when the boss (Pilot) of the Sqn I was flying with decided that he knew better than the Observer on the radar and took us to the wrong ship using ESM that had a flight deck too small for the mighty Sea King to land on. Only drama was that we didn't then have enough fuel to get either back to 'mum' or to the correct ship that we could have landed on. Luckily in this case the ship (type 42 I think) had good fuel pumps. Sometimes you had to hover below the level of the flight deck as the ships pumps wouldn't pump up hill faster than you were burning it! When the flight deck height was 15 feet, made for some fun hovering in rough weather.
oldpinger is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2015, 09:29
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 74
Posts: 1,307
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OLDPINGER

My brush with HIFR came during a frigate's workup off Portland Bill. The ship's task was to hook me up (Wessex3) and demonstrate that it could then resume evasive manoeuvres in a hostile submarine environment. For twenty minutes I was dragged around like a dog on the end of a lead with all manner of wind directions until we completed the exercise and were able to disconnect and head for home for a stiff G & T and bacon bun.

For the record I think Chris Quarrie (SPLOT 706) managed to put a Sea King down on a Wasp equipped frigate by setting the tail wheel on the one metre wide path that led aft between the mortars. I believe the mission was a casevac.

G.
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2015, 15:41
  #13 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 52
Posts: 668
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
here is no reason to go for engine shutdown = rotor shutdown for on board refuel, a rotors running refuel is no more hazardous than HIFR
My thought. Saving time can't be an arguement to justify HIFR under those conditions described in that report.

I guess the TV Crew just wanted it to look a little bit more dramatic and used footage of an exercise which took place some other time.
Spunk is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2015, 17:20
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Below Escape Velocity
Posts: 416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is no reason to go for engine shutdown = rotor shutdown for on board refuel, a rotors running refuel is no more hazardous than HIFR.
Spoken like a land-based pilot.

That all depends on things like the refueling point(s) on the aircraft and sea state.

If one assumes that a HIFR-capable aircraft is also fitted with a single-point pressure fitting for ground refueling, that renders the first point moot, so we'll dispense with that.

However, if the aircraft is not HIFR-capable and the ship is rolling beyond a certain point and / or needs to maneuver during the fueling, rotors running on deck is WAY more hazardous than a shutdown and takes longer than HIFR. Also, most naval regulations require the use of a single point pressure fitting for hot refueling, at least it used to be that way in NATO. Training is important for HIFR, as anywhere up to 30m of hose is suspended from the aircraft's winch hook and oscillating between the ship and the aircraft, and that hose is full of nice heavy fuel.

At least in the U.S. of A., Army aircraft refueling systems are designed for 15 psig (about 1 BAR) and those of Naval aircraft are designed for 55 psig. So, sometimes a shutdown simply has to happen.

Last edited by Um... lifting...; 30th Dec 2015 at 17:31.
Um... lifting... is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2015, 21:34
  #15 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,842
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
The AAC trialled HIFR with a Lynx at Otterburn Ranges a few years back, or did they just forget to disconnect the bowser?
Two's in is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2015, 09:59
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 9,662
Received 108 Likes on 51 Posts
Um lifting - so your point was??????

We are talking specifically about HIFR - is there any other way of doing it other than with a single point pressure fitting????

I didn't qualify my statement about refuelling on the deck by considering non-HIFR aircraft since it simply wan't relevant.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2015, 11:26
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Down West
Posts: 156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The reasons for HIFR you gentlemen who fly or flew the aircraft know as well as me, suffice to say I have seen a CVS with harriers at alert, both spots behind the island blacked and the graveyard full of bombs. Although in reality the usual reasons are long distance sorties (casevac etc) to a vessel with fuel but no deck, or to allow ship manoeuvring as described by Geoffers.
I supervised many HIFR evolutions from many ships and can clear up a couple of procedural points. The refuel hose is connected to the HIFR hose and this is hard connected to the deck (ring bolt etc) using a shackle. The HIFR hose is then flaked out on the deck in such a way that at no time will your team have to step over the hose or get “inside” (sea side) of the assembly. (Don’t stand inside a bight or coil)
The HIFR hose is marked such that the team and the aircrew can see how much hose is deployed over the side; the aim is to have as little as possible deployed as a hose full of fuel is heavy. The hose should ideally describe an upward curve to the aircraft as mentioned earlier by someone else, so the hose is constantly adjusted, taking fuel down below deck level only to pump it up again is not efficient.
Should the aircraft or ship pull away the hose has a break point that self seals, this leaves the aircraft with a section of hose hanging from the “heave ho” point on the winch which can be unhooked and lowered to the deck crew. The deck crew will have pulled in the disconnected hose, cleaned and checked it; they then reconnect to the business end, “con check” it and run a quick amount into the ship to ensure no possible contamination.
Then back to business.
If at any time the hose pulls violently the team are (well) trained to drop it, so the risk of pulling someone over the side should be minimal and de-rigging can literally be done in seconds, the slowest part being the hose retrieve from the aircraft, the rest is dropped into the cat walk or stowage and sorted later.

Cheers now
oldgrubber is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2015, 18:47
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Below Escape Velocity
Posts: 416
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Um lifting - so your point was??????
Other than this statement of yours being completely, utterly, verifiably, and demonstrably false, and that numerous aircraft are fitted with more than just one pressure refueling fitting, I guess I didn't have one.

a rotors running refuel is no more hazardous than HIFR
Um... lifting... is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2016, 11:48
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 9,662
Received 108 Likes on 51 Posts
Um lifting - you've obviously got your angry head on - let's hope you chill in 2016 - Happy New Year.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2016, 21:11
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,738
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
The AAC trialled HIFR with a Lynx at Otterburn Ranges a few years back, or did they just forget to disconnect the bowser?
Was part of an ongoing trial, I believe.
MightyGem is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.