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A Y shaped fuel probe extends from the front of the
helicopter. Picture a capital Y turned on it's side and stuck
the front of the aircraft, the top of the Y arranged in the
vertical. From the side it looks like this:
That's supposed to be a
helicopter. The asterisk is the tail
rotor, the less than sign is the probe catcher.
Trailing from the tanker is the fuel hose with a Y shaped
assembly that's arranged perpendicular to the Y shaped
catcher on the helicopter. Looking from above it's shaped
When you bring the two together, they slide together such
that the angled guides connect the two Ys at their crux at
which point they connect the nozzles together and begin
transfer. Looking at them linked together from the front or
back it would look like this: + the horizontal part of the
plus sign being the helicopter catcher and the vertical part
of the plus sign being the tanker catcher.
The advantage of this is that the target area is huge
little precise maneuvering. All you need to do is intersect
the 4 or 5 foot tall helicopter Y probe with the 8 or so foot
wide tanker Y probe and let them slide together.
This would be much easier than fitting two small one or
square foot pieces together as it's currently done. The
system could be easily retrofittable onto
As far as the the final adjustment of the nozzles, powerful
electromagnets would be turned on to pull the nozzles
together in the exact correct configuration for linkage.
Skip forward to 2:30 to get the basic idea.
This shows one Y being used to catch a cable, the idea would employ another solid Y instead of the cable. [doctorremulac3, Dec 18 2015]
Rough drawing to clarify
[doctorremulac3, Dec 18 2015]
[doctorremulac3, Dec 18 2015]
||Put a drawing up to clarify. The yellow bit on the
tanker section would have ailerons to maneuver it.
||Given that helicopters are quite small and tankers
are quite big, why not just paint a circle with an H in
it on top of the tanker, land the chopper there, tie it
down, get out and re-fuel? It would give the
helicopter pilots a chance to stretch their legs.
||I tend to shy away from solutions that involve a lot of
explosions, flaming death, that sort of thing.
||" paint a circle with an H in it on top of the tanker, land the chopper there, tie it down, get out and re-fuel "
||I think that is a brilliant solution, and worthy of it's own idea.
||Certainly if they can fly a jetliner with the shuttle strapped to it, an ungainly copter is just a bit more of a challenge for the pilots involved in both craft.
||If the helicopter used enriched uranium pellets as fuel, then it would only have to land on the tanker's H every couple of years, which would greatly improve safety.
||Well, I think this is a pretty good idea. I went ahead
sent this to somebody at DARPA who's working on
aerial refueling stuff.
||I'll post an update if they show any interest.