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Helicopters / Seaplanes on Yachts

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by mp-willow, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    Hello all a few questions about helos and Yachts. One -what is the smallest size yacht that could support a helo, this is the main Yacht not a shadow?

    Two -I am interested in a big bird, a S-61 type would need to be amphibian as other excursions would be used. Also how would this effect overall range?

    Three -Seaplanes? what are your opionions? ;)
  2. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    I was mulling over some thoughts, and numbers for my slef, Yact would be 270' LOA Beam: 60' draft would then need to be about, 18 to 22' I think. But this ratio seems off, as I have not talked with a designer yet to confirm. The pad would be main deck over a tender gagage. I was thinking of a Heli gagage as well, but am not shore if i want to commit to all that space.

    This project is in the very beginning of brainstorming, but the Helicoptor is an item needed, as it is an exploration project that would be rated A1 ice.

    thanks again, Seaplanes and the tenders that they worked with are a soft spot for me, I hoped by posting here to get some people talking about this, and help for the project. ;)
  3. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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    There was a thread about this subject sometime last year I believe... I just can't find it now. At the time I'd found a picture of a yacht in the 75-80' range with a small heli perched just aft of the bridge.
  4. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    Kevin thanks. I will try to look for the thread. It would have to be a small bird say a bell 47 or such?
  5. Arniev

    Arniev Senior Member

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    This is a thread on Delta Marine's 164' Expedition Yacht "TRITON", which you can use as reference.
    Triton has an EC130 copter:
    * Max Weight : 5,291lb
    * Capacity : 1 Pilot + 6/7 Passengers
    * Power Plant : 1 Turbomeca ARRIEL 2B1
    * Fast Cruise Speed : 235km/hr-127kts

    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/delta-yacht/3477-review-deltas-164-expedition-triton.html?highlight=triton

    I assume similar gross-weight helicopters from other manufacturers can be used (for ex. AgustaWestland, BellTextron).

    Another one is Schweer's 194' "SENSES" also has a helipad, and her specs states: "Helicopter facilities certified to a maximum of 2.5 tonnes."

    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/new-custom-classic-unique-yacht/161-schweers-yachts-senses-59m.html?highlight=senses

    The above are just examples, and I remember one superyacht that had a Sikorsky on it's helipad (not sure about the model, though).

    :)
  6. foundrycourt

    foundrycourt New Member

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    Yeah, I remember that, it was a robinson R22 or R44.
  7. foundrycourt

    foundrycourt New Member

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  8. Alan

    Alan New Member

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    Having operated a Cessna 206 and then 208 Caravan from a yacht for many years all over the world the advantages are clear. 2 tonne payload, 140 knots cruise and 900 mile range come in pretty handy.

    On the other hand I cannot deny that the MD900 I am currently involved with is perfect for short trips for arrivals and departures.

    You could put a 208 and say a R44 on a 70m yacht. Wingspan of a 208 is 57 feet but it doesn't matter that the wings protrude beyond the yachts beam so a 12m yacht beam is OK . Draft would be 4 to 4.5 metres depending on how much MGO you want to carry.
  9. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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  10. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    Thanks All!!

    I would Like to thank you all, Arniev, thanks for the bit on Erocopter. I did not think that this question would get this type of timely reply, you all are very nice and helpful.

    Also thanks for the Seaplane help. I need to work out a few thoughts for the storing of the plane, if it has a garage or a partial one so as not to stick up as high off deck. Any thoughts? ;)
  11. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Well, here's a random thought. As Eric said, stern launching a seaplane results in the easiest handling. However, assuming insufficient beam for a full hanger, that does leave the plane stowed exposed at the stern of the yacht. Given that planes are more delicate than boats, wouldn't it be better to stow the plane near the middle of the yacht? Even though this would mean providing a crane setup for putting the plane over the side. Thinking minimizing potential storm damage here.

    Kelly Cook
  12. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    Middle storage?

    KCool, hello, that would be a god idea, as I would imagine this Yacht an all weather, all seasons cruiser. What you sugest is a set up that the Navy used for Seaplane Tendors, that I am trying to look up now. Having the plane in the middle or forward third with a high bow, would help to keep her safer. ;)

    The Launch and recovery may be a bit more tricky and ruff water would make that nearly unlikly, but it might be the best situation. The Yacht would need to be laid out a little less conventional. So how is that for your thoughts? :D
  13. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Same wavelength alright. It was Navy seaplane practice that I had in mind.

    Kelly
  14. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I honestly don't think a seaplane is the answer. Yes, it's faster and you can cruise hands-off, BUT... the limitations far outweigh the range and speed. A heli is the only dinghy that makes sense....

    With a seaplane, you are limited in both take-off and landing conditions. You also have the difficulty in loading/unloading the plane from the deck. Adding to this... trying to unload a pilot or passengers from a seaplane to a yacht will most likely result in someone getting wet. The wings are slightly wider than the pontoons. ;)

    I have to admit, my only experience with a seaplane is limited to a Buccaneer Ultralight with floats... quite possibly the best bang for the buck in aviation history and a heck of a lot of fun to fly low & slow. A heli on the other hand offers much greater convenience, at the cost of speed and range. My only concern with a heli is its exposure to a demanding environment. I kept my R-22 inside a hangar. Typically, you don't have that luxury on a yacht, but of all the places... this is where it's needed the most. Offshore conditions are far more severe than those found onshore... even 100 yards inshore. Salt and sun will take it's toll on any machine, whether it be car, boat or plane. With a heli, you've got lots of exposed moving parts, specifically unprotected steel and alloy components, that are critical links. However, with diligent maintenance, none of this is a concern.

    Getting back your question... "seaplane or heli"... in my mind (what's left of it after 45 years)... a helicopter is the only logical solution. However, if you really need an S-61... I suggest purchasing a surplass aircraft carrier! :D All joking aside, the S-61 is among the most proven and capable helicopters in the world. It's absolutely astonishing, given it's size and weight, it's capable of rolling (due to a rigid rotor head). VERY few heli's can do this, such as the Bolkow 105 and select others.

    You don't need to choose a heli the size of an S-61 for amphibean capabilities. There are floats available (or pop-outs if needed) for any machine. Yes, they will hinder your cruise speed, but they truly expand the usefulness of the machine. Just be prepared to swing when you spool-up. ;)

    Let us know what you decide on. Post a picture, or take us for a spin. YF rules. :D
  15. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Yup. I wus thinking a chopper is much more practical myself. I would guess that the one solid advantage of the seaplane is range. But even that would only come into play in really remote territory. Back in civilization the chopper could make the same trip with a refuelling stop?

    Kelly
  16. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    Thanks Yacht Forums. I have been rethinking the use of a heli hanger or rather a garage after doing some more reading. I think being able to stow it inside will be the best as it will be going with the boat.I think that is the best way to make use of it. ;) I do like the S-61, the size and that it has no pontoons. I have had some trouble, or not been looking real hard yet, for float kits. The other thing with the S-61 is You can get them as surpluss, as they are being decomishioned now. The other thought was an Mi-14 Haz:rolleyes: The Russian design is nice. What ever heilicopter that I use needs to be able to work in hard enviornments and not be to high maintanance.

    As for the Seaplane maybe a pipe dream, but I would take that. That Yacht might be a ways off. As for getting wet that really depends on where you are getting off. Most operations as said are in harbor or calm water. Some nice south Sea unspoiled place, or for an Eco-friendly resort.

    Again thanks for all the help, I hope this topic can keep going. If any of you all have other thoughts on this let me know.

    A ride :cool: we will see?
  17. Go5go

    Go5go New Member

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    Big Choppers and planes.

    You will need to check your deck calcs, clearances and such. The skidded/pontooned choppers require less structure as their wieght is distributed over the skid. Wheeled Landing gears are point loads that generally require more structure, especially under class/MCA rules. Generally a deck for a wheeled chopper will be about 50% heavier than one for a skidded chopper. Then worst case senario, emergency landing, uses chopper weight x 2.5 for load calcs. So with the larger chopper these numbers get big quickly. I think the pad then should probably be main deck aft or over a fully enclosed deck. A bird that big would make an overhanging deck too massive.

    Are there any planes that can be fitted with pontoons that might have removable or foldable wing structures? The Navy does this, granted, they usually fold up and clearance in the aircraft carriers are not that critical. If the wings could be folded or rotated to be longitudinal with the fuselage it would make things soo much easier.;)

    Regards,
    Peter
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
  18. mp-willow

    mp-willow Senior Member

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    Folding Wings?

    Peater, I have not seen it on the market yet, but some decomissioned Navy planes are geting to the market, but they are designed for a carrier, not what I have now. I think with some resurch and the right financing you might be able to customize a plane with folding wings, but I have not asked around for it :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the info with the landing calcs. It is a maindeck pad, would be over an enclosed tenter gagage, I think. I am still thinking on the helicoptor having a garge.

    I thought, I was told last week or so I should get an aircraft carier. Well if i could have a few years back the USS America was in Philadelphia looking for a home. It was sadly scrapped I think. Though it would have been real hard to use as a Yacht. Any thoughts out there on that?:eek:
  19. Arniev

    Arniev Senior Member

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    You might want to take a look at AgustaWestland's BA609 Tilt-Rotor Aircraft.
    Max take Off 7631 kg 16800 lb
    Max Useful Load 2500 kg 5512 lb
    Engine Rating (2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67A)
    Crew - Pilot / Passengers 2 / 9
    Length : Overall - 13.30 m
    Width : Overall - 18.30 m
    Height : 4.50 m
    This seems to be "lighter" than an S-61/SH-3, which has a max take off wt. of approx. 9700 kg.
    You definitely need a "large" yacht to support either aircraft's weight.
    :)
  20. tartanski

    tartanski Member

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