#1146: Portapad

Helicopters throw up massive amounts of dust when they have to operate off unprepared surfaces. This is bad because aero engines don’t enjoy inhaling the stuff and also the pilot’s view of the landing site is obscured.

Today’s invention is a lightweight mat which is carried beneath a helicopter in a tube. When a landing is planned, the tube is lowered to the ground and motorised wheels on either end rotate the tube so that the mat rolled up inside anchors itself at one side and is extracted -forming a flat, dust free helipad.

After take-off, the drive wheels reverse, rolling the mat back into the tube which is then hoisted back up under the belly of the aircraft.

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