Heli-Expo 2011: New Clutch on Breeze-Eastern Rescue Hoists Improves Coast Guard Helicopter Safety
Breeze-Eastern of Whippany, N.J., announced that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has almost completed upgrading the rescue hoists of more than 100 HH-65 multi-mission cutter helicopters with Breeze-Eastern’s reactive overload clutch. The clutch is a next-generation improvement, according to the company, and provides a significant safety advantage over slip-clutch technology.
While slip clutches prevent cables from snapping under gradual increases in pressure when they exceed load limits, the reactive overload clutch will protect cables from snapping in the event a sudden exceedance occurs, for example, if the cable become entangled with a ship or tower.
During the USCG’s evaluations, a hoist was subjected to free-fall drops of loads of various weights and distances under a wide range of operational conditions. The tests found the new clutch would prevent a shock load from breaking the cable.
“Breeze-Eastern is proud to bring this product to the U.S. Coast Guard and make it available to all of our commercial and military customers who are doing important, lifesaving work,” said company president and CEO Mike Harlan. “Contributing to safe operations is Breeze-Eastern’s top priority.”
The reactive overload clutch is available on new hoists and as an aftermarket upgrade. Breeze-Eastern (Booth No. 3631) also manufactures winches, cargo hooks and weapons-lifting systems.