Truck Mounted Helicopter Pad Thing

Does this have a valid military application?

They are used in Australia for operating helicopters that inspect power lines, the high up platform keeps the dust and shite out of the engines

I know we discussed ages ago about the viability of (in an ideal world where we have lots of money) of light utility type helicopters operating organically at a battalion level

Thought it was interesting and am a bit bored :D
I don't understand why it is on that?

Transport it on a trailer (As it clearly was) and land it on terra-firma for fuel. This is over complicating it some what.
I think it has all the fuel, fluids, spares and bits and bobs on the back of the truck. Self contained in one package

Seems pretty efficient
Isn't it rather over complicated, why not land on the big flat groundy thing then drive the truck to it rather than land on the small elevated thing that you can fall off.
It is designed to raise the helicopter off the ground and minimise ingestion of dust and debris, costs and maintenance issues I would imagine
To reduce particle ingestion and reduce the amount of brown-out presumably. Although the vertical extent of recirculation being roughly two-thirds rotor diameter would mean that the low loader would be anything but for any SH or current AH!
I am sure it is a load of nonsense but it just seemed workmanlike and efficient in an aussie style

Only for small helicopters though, as everyone says, landing a Merlin on it would make a mess!

To help in this environment, Volvo Trucks is playing an essential role in helping to construct, inspect and maintain power transmission lines with a uniquely specified and constructed Volvo truck.

The Volvo 380hp FM9 is being used by Aeropower, a Brisbane based company, as a mobile helicopter landing and maintenance facility to assist in the aerial survey and maintenance of high voltage power transmission lines by providing not only a safer, elevated landing platform for its helicopter crew, but also fuel, water and maintenance provisions to maximise operating efficiency in the field.

The portable helicopter landing and service unit is actually constructed from a standard 20ft shipping container fitted with a 4,000 litre fuel tank and a 7,000 litre water storage, all topped by a fold out landing pad. This allows safer refuelling and landing for the helicopter while delivering fuel and maintenance closer to the areas where the Aeropower team is operating, reducing transit time between refuels.

Often traversing roads that are little more than dirt tracks the Volvo FM9 has proven its dependability in the toughest conditions ensuring it is always able to establish a mobile operations base close to where the helicopter is working. With its assistance Aeropower is able to move down the power line without the need to enter farmers' properties, eliminating the need to drive across and damage valuable crops.

Aeropower's Steve Jones believes it was the first company in the world to develop and operate mobile helicopter landing platforms. "We started using mobile landing platforms in 1992, but the original vehicle we used was not up to the task. We found that we could not fully load the unit as it would have been overweight on the front axle."

The problem led Aeropower to search for a replacement truck, a task that was made easier by Volvo's proactive attitude according to Steve, "We're not a trucking company, so we knew very little about specifying a truck and that is where Volvo really excelled."

"Volvo Trucks however came and met with us and used their Weight Information System (WIS) and Performance (Perf) programs to match our requirements with the appropriate specification truck," he added. "It was that sort of pre-sale service, combined with very competitive pricing, that led us to choose the Volvo."

The twin-steer Volvo FM9 has allowed Aeropower to fully utilise the potential of its helicopter landing and service unit now able to run with the tanks fully laden. The 4,000 litres of Jet Fuel - A1 and 7,000 litres of de-mineralised water means the fluids alone tip the scales at 10 tonnes and when fully loaded the Volvo FM9 comes in a tonne under its 28 tonne GVM.
The need to tackle rough country to be close to helicopter operations was another essential element for Aeropower and this meant the 8x4 chassis was the perfect choice. The FM9 comes standard with cross locks in each rear axle, and disc brakes with ABS/EBS added to the attraction and has resulted in tangible savings in terms of tyre wear. Steve attributes this to the way the Volvo FM9 puts its power to the ground and its smooth effective braking.

The Volvo FM9's specification enables Aeropower to utilise the truck through a diverse range of terrain from urban areas to rural bush tracks and to even some of the remotest parts of the Continent. Coupled to the D9A 380hp Volvo engine is the V2214, 14-speed split and range change transmission, which has the capability for high average cruising speeds - making it ideal for those long transport legs such as across Australia's Nullarbor Plain.

The truck not only provides vital refuelling and replenishment in isolated areas, but also delivers a safer and better landing facility for the Hughes MD500 Helicopters used by Aeropower. The level elevated landing platform three metres off the ground, keeps the helicopter clear of dust, which can be extremely damaging to jet engines. The platform also ensures the aircraft is clear of people on the ground improving the safety of operations.
The Volvo FM9s versatile configuration and rugged reliability has allowed Aeropower ground crews to get into areas they could not even contemplate in the past, further cutting transport time for the helicopter crews.
"Our operations are spread over a vast range of terrain and locations all over the country," said Steve. "We are currently operating in Western Australia, but soon we will be back on the east coast working in Far North Queensland, which gives you some idea of the sort of territory the Volvo FM9 has to tackle."

Aeropower employees have been impressed with the comfort and ease of operation with the Volvo particularly compared with the old truck it replaced. "Everyone is very pleased with the Volvo FM9, particularly how easy it is to drive and some have even commented that it is more comfortable than many of our company cars." adds Steve.

While Aeropower was hooked on Volvo's pre-sales service it has been even more impressed with the aftermarket service offered by its dealers. "We are often at the mercy of the weather and other vagaries so we have to fit servicing and maintenance in when we are unable to fly. The Volvo dealers have been very flexible in meeting our service needs so that we can keep the truck in tip-top shape at all times," Steve added.
Just to show my age.
The Brit Army/Military did 'Evaluate' a small two seater Heli that could operate from the back of a truck, bedford 4 tonner, if my memory serves me well.
The cab was Turbine (Jet) powered and the blades rotated by 'Jet' blast from end of the blades.
Not sure but I think the cab was of French origine and timescale was 50-60s.
Gin or similar was name.


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