The Future Markets and Implications of Crane Helicopters 700284
A new era of vertical lift technology was introduced with the development of the Skycrane. The first crane, designated S-60, was designed to carry six tons of cargo, was powered by two reciprocating engines, and evolved from the military S-56. It promised unlimited versatility in transporting suspended loads for industrial, commercial, and military operations.
With the experience and design information provided by the S-60, a larger version was developed. The twin turbine S-64 Skycrane has a lift capability of 10 tons. The U. S. Army recognized the potential of such an aircraft for use in combat areas to transport heavy equipment and personnel pods nested under the fuselage, and to retrieve many types of aircraft which were downed in areas inaccessible to surface transportation.
The S-64 Skycrane has also shown its ability to improve industrial and commercial mobility in transporting equipment and supplies to areas of limited accessibility, providing significant savings in time and cost.
Substantial markets exist for crane helicopters in four categories of industry: petroleum, shipping, construction, and electric power transmission.
The future of the crane helicopter, up to the 50-ton class, looks very bright. Advanced concepts brought about by crane helicopters create new approaches to old transportation problems.