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Field Heliport

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Field Heliport

Old 9th Dec 2020, 13:14
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Field Heliport

Hello to all,

Please, would someone have information about which was the first field heliport that existed (in Burma in the 40s?).

Also, does anyone have photos or information on field heliports in Vietnam? Thanks a lot!

Best regards,
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 21:34
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This was the first in Burma, I believe.
https://www.helis.com/stories/burma45.php
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 23:30
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Nice story; however, the aircraft shown into which the helicopter is being loaded/unloaded is a C-46, not a C-54.

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 05:22
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Marcantilan, in Vietnam helipads were a dime a dozen and not usually marked on maps, you got to know the locations during your introduction (three months or 300 hours for slick/gunship pilots) to your area of operations, at airports helo parking was generally on the grass alongside the airstrip (often PSP). Pad over the Mekong river at My Tho city.

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Old 10th Dec 2020, 11:51
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Thanks a lot Megan! Do you know how the troops in the field marked a helicopter landing area? Thanks!
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 19:00
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Originally Posted by Marcantilan View Post
Thanks a lot Megan! Do you know how the troops in the field marked a helicopter landing area? Thanks!
Sorry, no pictures. My first wife took care of all that for me...

If the unit was mobile, in the field without a more or less established pad, the usual method was throwing a smoke grenade. Sometimes there would be a ground guide signaling as well. Establish radio contact and follow instructions.

If working to an 'established' facility, passengers might indicate a preference or your radio contact at the unit would tell you where he wanted you to land. If all else fails, the air crew would look for the 'beaten area' where traffic to and from the 'pad' had affected the vegetation.

An installation with 'organic' aviation or that had sufficient volume would improve the surface, but paved pads were not frequent where I was, in the Mekong Delta. Various metallic matting or packed gravel. IV Corps, the Delta was very flat, my base 60 miles up the Bassac, the southern distributory of the Mekong was 8 feet above sea level. There were only ten 'mountains' in IV Corps.

I landed on a pier over the Mekong near the Cambodian border at night;

I worked occasionally from what we called the 'Sea Float', an assembly of barges with a helideck and buildings, on the Sng (river) Cửa Lớn, which crosses the Camau Peninsula between the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand near the southern end of Viet Nam;

One would 'stage' from various more or less permanent airfields that were surfaced with PSP ('perforated steel plating', a term universally applied even though some matting wasn't perforated) and a later a metallic matting that presented a smooth surface. The helicopters would not ordinarily land on those surfaces, instead one would land alongside. There were often various servicing facilities at an unmanned stage field, ammo, fuel, where would would land long enough to prepare for the next flight.

There were also airfields from the Japanese occupation or French colonial era. I think I landed on one such in downtown Camau, or perhaps it was an old highway.

I did not like the PSP- the subsurface was always wet except at the height of the dry season, so one would get muddy. And it was subject to catching the skids if you landed parallel as they spread on landing and then closed as you picked up.

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Old 15th Dec 2020, 01:59
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Devil49 thanks a lot for your very informative post!!!!!
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