#1496: LoadLift

One of the inventions which most astonished me as a boy was the coordinated mechanism allowing machine guns to fire through the arc of the propeller of a Bf109 fighter. The crank driving both was an amazingly elegant solution (When I discovered the engine was actually built around a canon firing through the propeller boss, I was doubly impressed).

Today’s invention is loosely related to this synchronisation idea.

When a transport helicopter drops something very heavy attached to a parachute, like a small tank, the rotor(s) are suddenly significantly unloaded (which is generally bad for their service life).

Helicopters (and transport planes) would be fitted with extra-long tail ramps and pallets with fold-out winglets.

As the load traverses the ramp, sensors along its surface could signal the engines to gradually slow a little as the pallets winglets extend and the payload ‘takes off.’ Thus the unweighting of the aircraft would be as gradual as possible.

(I’m sure Gerry Anderson thought of this first -and his has better sound effects ;).

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