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Heli-Strap in a UH-60 Helicopter


FAA Regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Section 29.865) require that when a live load is carried, a second system be used as back-up to the cargo hook. HeliBasket LLC's Heli-Strap is a practical solution to meet this requirement. The photo above shows the red-orange belly strap, which we market under the trade name of "Heli-Strap", and the Wichard Quick-Disconnect Link in place on the floor of a Sikorsky Blackhawk Helicopter.

 Heli-Strap Showing Main Cargo Hook

The photo above shows how the Heli-Strap (with blue ends) attaches to the shackle that is held by the cargo hook. The main cargo hook is controlled by the crew and opens when it is sent an electric signal. In the event of an inadvertent hook failure or release the Heli-Strap serves as a redundant support system for the Heli-Basket. In normal service the Heli-Strap does not support the external load. The long line supporting the Heli-Basket has a red end in the photo above. Part of the Heli-Basket is visible in the background.


The Heli-Strap is made from ropes of 12-strand polyester fiber. As shown in the top photo, the flat strap contains three ropes, each ½" in diameter. Each ½" rope has an ultimate strength of 11,800 lbs. There are three 1" pear links, each rated for 10,800 lbs working load limit and a 6 to 1 safety factor. The Wichard Quick-Disconnect Link is rated for 9,925 lbs functional load and 18,700 lbs breaking strength.

 Heli-Strap Components


The Heli-Strap is composed of the synthetic textile rope coated with polyurethane for resistance to wear and protection from contaminants, the rings that connect the Heli-Strap to the Apex Shackle and the Wichard Quick Release Shackle. The Heli-Strap is placed in the open area of the UH-60 just in front of the rear seats directly under the center of the rotor head. This allows the weight of the load to be centrally distributed in the event of a failure of the main cargo hook. To prevent the Heli-Strap from flying up when it is released, we have available a compression beam that takes the side loads of the Heli-Strap and contains the strap in case of the need to release it from the aircraft.

 The Compression Beam

Compression Beam:

The compression beam is positioned directly above the cargo hook with about .250 clearance on either side of the cabin. It contains the Heli-Strap should it be jettisoned and absorbs any compression should the Heli-Strap capture an inadvertent release. The compression beam serves to reduce the probability of injury by containing the released ends of the Heli-Strap and prevents any compression of the airframe which could be transferred by the Heli-Strap. A Wichard quick release shackle is used to release the Heli-Strap.

Because of FAA Regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Section 29.865) requirements, there is a need for an additional measure of safety required by the FAA for use when transporting Human cargo, HeliBasket LLC Research and Design group created the Compression beam for the UH-60 / S 70 airframe.