In Stratford, Connecticut, today, Sikorsky Aircraft announced a new commercial application for the helicopter. The?
In Stratford, Connecticut, today, Sikorsky Aircraft announced a new commercial application for the helicopter. The Government of Puerto Rico has purchased a Sikorsky S-58 for use in power line construction.
SYNOPSIS: It is the first such sale in aviation history. Here a power line crew climbs aboard its new sky bus to be whisked to the construction site -- many miles -- and many mountains -- away.
This is what you call hillside taxi service. The helicopter comes to a hover, resting one wheel on the steep slope.
It's this flying platform mobility that enables the helicopter to reach the most inaccessible areas in the world.
The crewmen toss out their gear, end then follow along themselves. They are ready to go to work.
For the S-58, it's back to the staging area in the lowlands ...
... and time to begin air-lifting the huge poles. These big fellows are 65 feet long and weigh nearly two tons.
Before a helicopter was used for this flying crane work, costly roads had to be built through Puerto Rico's rugged countryside to truck in poles, equipment and workers.
Where trucks couldn't go, 60-man crews carried and dragged the poles in back-breaking work. Now, only two ground crewmen are needed to signal the helicopter pilot and guide the pole into a pre-dug hole.
Puerto Rico officials report that a three-pole structure -- which would take 45 days to set by conventional methods -- can be planted by air in 30 minutes at only one-third the former cost!