Saturday, 22 August 2015

1960's CH-124 Sea King landing demonstration

Before the RCN started flying the CH-124 Sea King from the ST. LAURENT class destroyers (DDH) in the mid-1960's, starting with HMCS ASSINNIBOINE, the thought of flying a large ASW helicopter from a relatively small (~2800 ton) ship was a fairly novel idea. Novel enough that the RCN performed demonstrations of the DDH/Beartrap/Sea King combination for other navies, including the US Navy.

A good description of the system can be found in the Wikipedia article on the Beartrap so I won't repeat it here.

The photos below are from one such demonstration, courtesy of Joseph Bowers AW1(AC) USN Ret. They were taken by one of his flight officers on one of their flights to either Norfolk or Halifax as part of Air Development Squadron 1, based in Key West, Fla. If anyone thinks they know the name of the photographer, please let me know.

The Sea King is connected to the Beartrap with the cable here.

The Sea King has been hauled onto the deck.

Close-up of the Sea King on the helo deck.
The identity of the DDH is not known, but I wonder if it might  be FRASER as she performed a demonstration for the USN in 1967. TACAN was introduced later, so the lattice mast would not have been installed at the time of the photo.

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