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When Lifting

                           is Done by Helicopter

                                                 by Peter Hildebrandt
         Helicopters may not be something that immediately comes to mind when we think
         of construction equipment. But this versatile aircraft and their indispensable lines
         that dangle below have now become the workhorses for construction and a wide
         variety of other activities going on in countless, otherwise inaccessible locations
         throughout the world.

               n aerial crane or flying crane is
               a helicopter used to lift heavy
         Aloads.  As  aerial  cranes,  heli-
         copters carry loads connected to long
         cables or slings in order to place heavy
         equipment when other methods are
         not available or economically feasible.
         Frequently the job must be accom-
         plished in remote or inaccessible ar-
         eas, such as the tops of tall buildings
         or the top of a hill or mountain, far
         from the nearest road.
           The earliest references  for vertical
         flight came from China. Since around
         400 BC, Chinese children have played
         with  bamboo  flying  toys,  or  Chinese
         tops. This bamboo-copter is spun by
         rolling a stick attached to a rotor. The
         spinning creates lift, and the toy flies   Tank regiment and RAF personnel work together to coordinate the delivery of new Wolf Scout
         when released. These can be found to   Land Rovers with the vehicles under-slung from the giant Chinook aircraft. © Crown Copyright 2014
         this day in toy and novelty shops.  screw,”  that any recorded advance-  any provision  to stop the  rotor  from
           The  early  1480s  saw  Leonardo da   ment was made towards vertical flight.   causing  the  craft  rotate.  As  scientific
         Vinci  create a  design  for  a  machine   His notes suggest he built small flying   knowledge increased and became more
         that could  be  described  as  an  “aerial   models, but there was no evidence that   accepted, people continued  to pursue
                                                                               the idea of vertical flight.
                                                                                 In July 1754, Russia Mikhail Lo-
                                                                               monosov  formulated  a  small  coaxial
                                                                               modeled after the Chinese top but
                                                                               powered  by  a wound-up spring de-
                                                                               vice and demonstrated it to the Rus-
                                                                               sian Academy of Sciences. Powered
                                                                               by a spring, it eventually ended up
                                                                               as a method for lifting meteorological
                                                                               instruments. Other variations were
                                                                               worked out by French and English ex-
                                                                               perimenters. One of the toys resulting
                                                                               was given by a father to his two young
                                                                               boys who would later be known world-
                                                                               wide as the Wright brothers.
                                                                                 In 1861, the word  helicopter  was
                                                                               given birth by the Frenchman Gustave
                                                                               de Ponton  d’Amecourt. This  inventor
                                                                               demonstrated his concept with a small
                                                                               steam-powered model. While celebrat-
                                                                               ed as an innovative use of a new metal,
                                                                               aluminum,  the model never  lifted off
                                                                               the ground.  D’Amecourt’s linguistic
                                                                               contribution would survive to eventu-
         Helicopter cargo net transporting building materials to remote site. Photo Credit: Jeff Shepley  continued on page 10
         8      Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   August 2017
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