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World Records Time to Altitude CH-54A Tarhe

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World Records Time to Altitude CH-54A Tarhe

Old 30th Dec 2018, 23:01
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World Records Time to Altitude CH-54A Tarhe

"A third U.S. Army aviator involved in the record attempts was Major James H. Goodloe, as was a Sikorsky test pilot, John J. Dixon."

Is that just a coincidence or is that a typo and we have a record holder in our midst?

https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/30-december-1968/
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 23:37
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Brother Dixson has a very interesting life story....which I certainly hope appears in Book form one day soon!

When you combine that of Nick Lappos and some others that attend here....there is a treasure trove of stories that need to part of our informal history.
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 03:07
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Not a record holder. Perhaps, “ a facilitator “ might be more accurate. This was the second set of altitude records achieved by the CH-54. We had upgraded JFTD12A-4A engines with an additional 500 ship each. SA was to perform a short flight test in advance, due to:

1. Installation of bootstrap pressurized flight control hydraulics ( the CH-54A had basically the H-37’s hydraulic system, which was unpressurized and vented to atmosphere. The estimated altitudes to be achieved raised the possibility of pump cavitation, and this solution addressed that issue and needed a short but thorough look-see.
2. P&W had concerns re the compressor section going trans-sonic at the in-flight temperatures expected, and produced a paper chart with temperature corrected N1 limits, to be treated as superseding the other engine/transmission limits. Another thing to pay attention to.
3. The altitudes were smack in the middle of some of the airline descent routes into KJFK and we had done some coordination with NY Center over on Long Island, as this was VERY controlled airspace and wanted to ensure this part of the plan worked.

On the first check flight, I flew with Charlie Reine, and we had a calculated climb profile which specified a 40 KIAS climb speed, which accounted for a couple of things among them being the pitot tube angular error. Promptlyupon applying max power to climb, we found that the high rate of climb rendered the 40 KIAS approach unplayable, and in fact after trying several other “ indicated “ speeds, we gave up on that approach and continued the climb simply setting a normal pitch attitude for climb ( the airspeed indicator read zero ). Decided to end this flight and re-evaluate the climb solution.

Prior to the next flight, the US Army pilots arrived and it was decided that CW-4 Jim Ervin would fly with me. meanwhile, we got a best guess attitude from the flight test and aero branch troops re a best attitude to fly for the climb, and armed with that, our clipboard N1 limit chart oxygen masks, parachutes etc, off we went. The climb attitude ( cannot recall that value ) seemed to work well as the time to 10k ft was well ahead of the record so we kept on going, with the intent to get to a service ceiling ( 100 rpm climb ). However, along the way a few events took place:

1. The large floodlight that was installed so as to allow video recording of the instrument panel exploded somewhere around 20,000 ft. It was mounted on the aft cockpit bulkhead and the glass splinters got down both Jim’s and my necks. Best we could do was not move very much.
2. Getting close to 30,000 ft the N2 actuator on one of the engines ( the way you matched torque on that aircraft ) froze, which had the impact of not getting all the power out of that engine.
3. Finally, we had one of the hydraulic systems overpressurize ( as I recall, the A model Crane had one at 2000psi and one at either 1500 or 3000. I am pretty sure it was the 2000 system that went to 3000psi, raising the distinct probability of quite increased fluid temperature. This was Mil 5606 and flammable, so this was the end of the flight. We had reached somewhere between 33 and 34000.

BTW, the story re the airliner is true and occurred on this flight. It was an Air Canada pilot who made the comment.

Anyway, we fixed these problems and the US Army took over and did a masterful job of achieving all the records that were in the plan. ( there was yet a third record series of flights flown by Army pilots at Stratford in 1972, utilizing a B-model Crane with the JFTD12A-5 engines, and they too achieved their goals ).

CW-4 Jim Ervin made a number of friends during his short sojourn at Sikorsky, and we were very sad to receive the news some years later, that Jim had lost his life flying a commercial S-64E in Alaska. A good pilot and a gentleman.



Last edited by JohnDixson; 31st Dec 2018 at 13:13. Reason: Added information,grammar, corrected mistake w/r to NY Center, not JFK App Cntrl.
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 04:34
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Originally Posted by JohnDixson View Post


BTW, the story re the airliner is true and occurred on this flight. It was an Air Canada pilot who made the comment.

Well now you gotta tell the airliner story......please
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 06:31
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Well now you gotta tell the airliner story......please
it's in the link in the first post
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 17:29
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The CH54/S64 is a very impressive helicopter in many regards.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 01:20
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Originally Posted by Mast Bumper View Post
The CH54/S64 is a very impressive helicopter in many regards.
Yet it did not stay in the Army inventory and was not picked up elsewhere. Presumably it was too specialized or too costly to sustain. One wonders whether an updated version with modern engines, systems and rotor blades would be more compelling.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 01:20
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Originally Posted by JohnDixson View Post
Not a record holder.
Too cool. But close enough in my book. I've never thought of it much, but I think SAS is right--this unique history should be documented. These are the types of stories I enjoy reading the most. And your personal comments made the story even more intriguing.

Come to think of it, it might be rather fun and interesting to personally transcribe these narratives. I've been known to dabble in public writing so if you are interested drop me a PM.

"TARHE TO SUPERHAWK: Tales of the Test Pilot" ... seems to have a nice ring to it.

W1
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 03:40
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Why the Army did not go to the CH-53D instead of the Crane beats me....as it would have been far more useful.

The Crane was a Helicopter looking for a mission and once it was decided NOT to use the People Pods....or the Hospital Pods....and stick to it just being a crane.....the later model Chinooks proved far more useful.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 06:23
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Why the Army did not go to the CH-53D instead of the Crane beats me....as it would have been far more useful.

The Crane was a Helicopter looking for a mission and once it was decided NOT to use the People Pods....or the Hospital Pods....and stick to it just being a crane.....the later model Chinooks proved far more useful.


The first time I saw this helicopter with its system of interchangeable pods I thought it was a great idea, apparently not, what was the problem?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 12:35
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Brother Dixson might be able to tell us of that.

My guess is the original Pods did not allow for the carriage of underslung loads.

The Pods were re-designed so that could be done but the Army did not purchase any of the improved Pods.

The Chinook was designed (as was the CH-53) to be able to use its cargo hook while at the same time carrying passengers and other internal cargo.

Thus, making it far more effective in combat operations.

The CH-54 then reverted to "heavy lifts".

The early A Model Chinooks could not lift the standard 155mm Howitzer which the crane could handle.

The 105MM Howitzers were easily carried by the Chinook....to include the Gun Crew internally and what was called an A-22 Bag of Projectiles fuzes, and. powder for the Gun.

Later models of the Chinook were able to lift the improved 155's that were much lighter than the originals.

An example......While waiting for access to a refueling point at a place called Tay Ninh.....we learned of a stripped down M-113 ACAV that was stuck just outside the Perimeter....that had struck a large Mine and had been disabled.

It was waiting for a CH-54 to arrive to lift it a short distance into a secure area inside the perimeter.

As we were down to about 20 minutes of fuel...and were flying a CH-47A with upgraded engines....we decided to give it a try so we could "show up" the Crane guys.

It was a max weight lift....but one done with no problem....lift to a hover....move forward a couple of hundred yards....and set it down.

We did the lift and went on about our business.

I suppose we could have gotten word back to the Crane Unit but knowing upon their arrival they would be making inquiries all around about just where this stranded ACAV was.....to be told "Oh...never mind...some Chinook has already moved that!" would be a proper finger in their eye!

My recollection of the Crane Units is they were Prima Donna's and seemed to be a bunch of whiners.....always complaining their loads were too heavy....too light....not rigged correctly....and sorry but we must be off back home as it is Steak night and we do not wish to be late for dinner.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 14:57
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Originally Posted by wrench1 View Post
Too cool. But close enough in my book. I've never thought of it much, but I think SAS is right--this unique history should be documented. These are the types of stories I enjoy reading the most. And your personal comments made the story even more intriguing.

Come to think of it, it might be rather fun and interesting to personally transcribe these narratives. I've been known to dabble in public writing so if you are interested drop me a PM.

"TARHE TO SUPERHAWK: Tales of the Test Pilot" ... seems to have a nice ring to it.

W1
You're articulating what many of us have been thinking.

His PPRuNe posts alone would provide plenty of source material, a lot of bricks just needing a bit of mortar.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 18:06
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Yet it did not stay in the Army inventory and was not picked up elsewhere. Presumably it was too specialized or too costly to sustain. One wonders whether an updated version with modern engines, systems and rotor blades would be more compelling.
Etudiant

Have a look at Erickson and the SkyCrane they originally purchased from the US Gov't and now produce inhouse. It is a limited market but Erickson has made it work.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 19:27
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Have you ever wondered why the Super Frelon, being a French design, has a rotor that rotates anti-clockwise from above as opposed to the normal clockwise, it uses the S64 rotor head. I found this out in 1977 at Marignane where there was a line up of Chinese Navy machines awaiting approval by the White House before they could be exported.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 20:39
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Yes, that's why you need two sets of tools for the Super Frelon. Both metric and Inches.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 21:58
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
Have you ever wondered why the Super Frelon, being a French design, has a rotor that rotates anti-clockwise from above as opposed to the normal clockwise, it uses the S64 rotor head. I found this out in 1977 at Marignane where there was a line up of Chinese Navy machines awaiting approval by the White House before they could be exported.
I thought the main rotor system was derived from the S-61. It has a 62' rotor diameter, same as S-61, but has one additional blade.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 01:54
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My recollection of the Crane Units is they were Prima Donna's and seemed to be a bunch of whiners.....always complaining their loads were too heavy....too light....not rigged correctly....and sorry but we must be off back home as it is Steak night and we do not wish to be late for dinner
Too much fraternisation with the Air Force SAS? Steak in the US Army? Never saw any of that.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 14:23
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Thanks John Dixon for the story, these tales are great to hear!

SASless said:
My recollection of the Crane Units is they were Prima Donna's and seemed to be a bunch of whiners.....always complaining their loads were too heavy....too light....not rigged correctly....
Would that be because the CH-54 pilots could see the load, where the CH-47 pilots were flying on blind faith?

Perhaps this is a good place for me to ask about the flight controls for the rearward facing pilot: I presume that pilot had a full set of flight controls, so as to be able to solely fly the helicopter form that position? Were those flight controls oriented backward too? Or did the rearward facing pilot have to think backwards as he maneuvered the helicopter?
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 15:19
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A repost from Spectators Balcony in January, 2018:

SKYCRANE and the STATUE of FREEDOM

In May of 1993 my then-wife, three-year-old daughter, and myself attended this event in person. A crowd of ~ 3,000 watched from the periphery of the Capitol's parking lot as Sikorsky's largest "frantic palm tree" removed the Statue of Armed Freedom from her perch atop the dome and placed her on a relatively small steel pilaster in the center of the parking area. The chopper's downwash was rather strong; I muttered a prayer that the "Jesus nut" would hold during the proceedings. We returned in October of that year to see the process play out in reverse as a restored Freedom, all 19' 6" and 15,000 pounds of her, was returned to her lofty perch. She faces due East to observe every sunrise, the goings-on at the Supreme Court, and to wink at the Mother Country 'cross the pond...

- Ed

p.s. MODS - Sorry for the large picture size; I attempted to downsize each, but to no avail...



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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 15:47
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The video is a promotional for the operator but has some splendid segments about the capability of the Crane.


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