18
$\begingroup$

I saw on YouTube a helicopter carrying an airplane.

Is this possible, I mean is the maximum load compatible with the mass of this aircraft?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/14334/… $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Jan 1 '17 at 21:40
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ So you claim that every video and photo of a helicopter lifting an aircraft is a fake? $\endgroup$ – jwenting Jan 2 '17 at 7:01
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ "Here is video evidence of thing X. Is X possible?" Um $\endgroup$ – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 2 '17 at 15:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Begs the question if a large airplane can carry a helicopter $\endgroup$ – Délisson Junio Jan 3 '17 at 0:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ One african swallow powered by two Pratt & Whitney JFTD12-5A, can easily carry one 15 ton coconut. $\endgroup$ – qq jkztd Nov 17 '17 at 11:51
50
$\begingroup$

If you look more closely, this "airplane" is only the husk of a Tupolev Tu-134, a rather small airliner, and the helicopter is a Mil-26, the heaviest helicopter ever to go into production. Not only are the empennage and the outer wings missing, but also the engines, which helps to reduce the load considerably.

Mil-26 lifting a Tu-134 carcass, seen from below

Mil-26 lifting a Tu-134 carcass, seen from below (source)

The empty weight of a flightworthy Tu-134 is 28 tons, but the engines alone weigh 2.3 tons each. Now remove the outer wing, empennage and cabin interior, and the remaining weight is within the 20 ton load limit of the Mil-26.

$\endgroup$
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I guess "Very powerful heavy lift helicopter lifting half of a stripped down actually-not-that-big airplane" just doesn't have that ring to it … $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag Jan 2 '17 at 22:40
15
$\begingroup$

One of the purposes of the Sikorsky CH-54 was to transport aircraft.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

Carrying a Chinook:

Lifting a Caribou:

$\endgroup$
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Yo dawg, I hear you like helicopters, so I put a helicopter under your helicopter so you can lift while you lift. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Jan 3 '17 at 1:10
3
$\begingroup$

In Vietnam it was pretty common to remove crashed aircraft from the jungle using helicopters.

http://www.angelfire.com/mo/242sdASHC/213th.html gives a first hand account of a crewman flying quite a few of these dangerous missions.

http://www.combatreform.org/CH53AliftsA1andA4.jpg shows an A-1 and an A-4 being lifted by CH-53s, but larger aircraft like F-4s and F-105s were similarly airlifted out of the jungle to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

As said, the aircraft is tripped of heavy equipment. The airframe itself is as light as possible to maximize cargo carrying capacity. And on separate note the video title is a bit provocative. The airliner is not big and even so it isn't in operational condition. Not really #MindBlown as the title proclaims.

This is all within limits of the helicopter's capacity, but we don't see such deliveries quite often. Think about carrying such cargo in strong winds. Road/rail/sea transport of airframes is still preferable to helicopter transport when safety is a concern. And when dismantling aircraft it's a good practice to use boneyards where everything from storage to scrapping is done so that there is no need to transport airframes around.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ iow it's a typical youtube video with a typical clickbait title :) $\endgroup$ – jwenting Jan 2 '17 at 10:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.