NCAFEE, N.J. - A Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter this morning began lifting five-ton mobile sections?
NCAFEE, N.J. - A Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter this morning began lifting five-ton mobile sections of a 300-seat capacity restaurant from a base camp to the top of 1,300-foot Hamburg Mountain at the Great Gorge Ski Area, here.
The first of five sections, four of which measure 12 by 48 feet, and 10 feet in height, was connected to the Skycrane's hoist at 9 a.m. The giant helicopter, which has a 10-ton payload off, headed up sloping Hamburg Mountain and set the restaurant section in place on a pre-poured concrete foundations within 15 minutes. Once atop the mountain, the S-64 threaded the 5,760 cubic foot section between clusters of 30-foot trees, which surround the are cleared for the restaurant.
Four sections which will comprise the main restaurant ??? ??? annex toilet facilities section were to be carried up the mountain and lowered in place by the Skycrane. The annex section which also weight about five tons, measures 10 by 30 feet and is eight feet high.
The mobile sections, constructed by Continental Mobile Units, Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., have completely interiors, from carpeting and redwood paneling to electrical wiring and plumbing facilities. The complete restaurant, according to Continental, should be ready to receive tables, chairs and other restaurant equipment within 48 hours. The "instant" restaurant will be opened by Great Gorge Inc. under a 92-year lease arrangement with the state of New Jersey.
Sikorsky Aircraft's participation in today's feat is part of a development project by the company to advance the concept of erecting mobile buildings with a mobile crane. It marks the first time that a commercial complex of this magnitude was established through use of a helicopter.
Today's project points up the facility of construction by Skycrane helicopter, as well as the time-saving and cost-cutting factors inherent in this type of operation. In addition to its utility in remote, mountains regions, the S-64 Skycrane is especially adaptable to urban construction. The manoeuvrability of the Skycrane, as opposed to large surface cranes which often cause mid-city congestion, is seen as a major asset to the urban renewal boon underway across the country.
Igor I. Sikorsky, helicopter pioneer and founder of Sikorsky Aircraft, 10 years ago forecast that the Skycrane - the still in the design stages - could prove to be a revolutionary element in housing construction. He predicted that factory-produced, pre-fabricated structures could be installed virtually overnight with the use of a heavy-lit crane-type helicopter. Mr. Sikorsky noted the overall cost "would be one-third to one-quarter less" than present construction cost.
The S-64 Skycrane is currently in its second year of operation in Vietnam as a heavy-lifter for the U.S. Army's 1st Cavaly Division. The S-64 has retrieved more than 200 downed aircraft. The huge helicopter is also under consideration by the Department of Defence for use in unloading cargo ships, anchored miles offshore. The system would eliminate the need for harbour facilities and would greatly reduce the time required and off loading cargo vessels.
The Skycrane is also under study in Los Angeles' "Skylounge" concept. Discussion there center on use of the S-64 to carry 40 passengers bus-type pods from downtown terminals to Los Angeles International Airport, speeding the flow of airline passengers eliminating heavy congestion on main surface arteries leading to the airport.
The Skycrane can carry outsized payloads by a single point 20,000-pound-capacity suspension system (used in today's operation); by a four-point system which uses for 6,000-pound-capacity hoist mounted on the sides of the skeletal fuselage; or by snubbing the load directly to the fuselage. Loads can be raised or lowered at a rate of 50 feet per minute.