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Flight tests of a controlled mechanical hook

As a result of construction and installation work on a 500 kV power transmission line in Yakutia, on the initiative of the auditors and the Company QMS heads, the Department of EAW and FTAE held a contest of ideas for development of a cargo hook for external sling of Mi-26 helicopter. A controlled mechanical hook of 20 tons carrying capacity (device code: KUm-20R), the authors – Vitaly Roshupkin, Vladimir Shevtsov and Oleg Khudolenko, was chosen for practical implementation.

Head of Transport and Construction and Assembly Works Section Yury Soluyanov prepared all the required documents for the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, and PANH Helicopters became the patentee of the proposed model.

The hook pre-prototype was manufactured according to the drawings of Alexander Kozintsev – Designer of the Company Production Department headed by Vladimir Novikov. Vladimir Ivanov, Alexander Teplenko and Ivan Yevtushenko performed the lathe-and-milling and welding operations. The hook passed a cycle of ground tests in laboratories of the Department and on the load bank of Maina-Vira JSC production base.

To provide for more complete identification of technological advantages and disadvantages of KUm-20R hook, on June 2, 2014 the flight tests of the pre-prototype with attachment of 170 kg load were conducted, simulating the maximum possible mass of the customer’s slings. The crew of Mi-26 helicopter operated by leading Honored Test Pilot of the Russian Federation Sergey Agrov produced multiple discharges of cargo at different positions of the sling and the hook.

According to the test flight-operators – Oleg Pronin and Vyacheslav Lavrentiev, the reliability of holding a cargo element in the hook mouth and cargo dropping from the hook is high, no failures in work were observed. Operating efforts on the control cable required to open the hook accounted for 7 - 10 kg at control cable stroke of 145..150 mm.

These efforts are acceptable for flight operators of medium build.

Now KUm-20R prototype is awaited at the workshops for the Production Department in order to manufacture an experimental batch on its basis and to check its operation in production environment on the Company helicopters. Have a good flight!

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