Cargo fixed to the undercarriage

This technique was often used to transport poles, panels, beams, tubes, pre-manufactured elements, furniture, etc. At the beginning pilots preferred to use this system instead of suspending the cargo on the barycentric hook, and this despite the fact that sometimes several minutes were necessary to adequately prepare each load and to correctly fix it to the undercarriage. In this way the pilot could, for example, take-off and take advantage of the ground-effect. However with sudden gusty winds the pilot could be seriously in trouble. This is why these kind of flights were only done with ideal weather conditions. Another problem could arise in case of autorotation because the pilot could obviously not drop the cargo. Moreover without external help he could not exit the cabin, a very dangerous situation in the case of post crash fire. Fortunately this kind of accident never happens. Picture n° 1, taken in Fiesch/VS in Autumn 1957, shows the Bell 47G2 HB-XAT ready for take-off with the walls of a pre-manufactured mountain hut. Picture n° 2, taken in Valle Bavona/TI in May 1957, shows the Agusta-Bell 47G2 HB-XAO while transporting two wood poles used for the construction of a cableway. Judging from the picture their length is comparable with that of the helicopter (9.60 m). Picture 3 shows Hermann Geiger at the controls of the Bell 47J Ranger HB-XAU while transporting floorboards for the Mischabelhütte/VS.

HAB 12/2009