Rescue Hoist Ground Support Equipment

The current practice for tensioning and load checking the wire rope on the rescue hoist is shown. It is a very expensive process and it can sometimes shock load the wire rope, thus requiring replacement.

Additionally, poor ground handling leads to high costs, lost opportunities, and possible catastrophic consequences.

Increased safety is a result from the benefits of the equipment and provides other benefits such as eliminating the necessity of sitting in a hover to reseat or condition the cable, especially when in a hostile environment.  The use of the equipment eliminates the possibility of a swinging, or spinning, load or the possibility of the cable getting damaged as a result of shock loading while slinging a dead weight.

As a result of using the Rescue Hoist Ground Support Equipment (RHGSE), you will see a reduction in fuel consumption and in blade and man hours.

Helicopter rescue hoists use tension rollers to keep their wire rope cable tight on the drum. The tensioning device relies on physical contact with the wire rope and tend to milk the wire rope’s inherent looseness to the lower end of the rope. Thus the wire rope starts to unwind, resulting in loose outer strands. As a preventative measure, the hoist manufacturers recommend applying a high load while retracting the wire rope after running it out for an inspection or a wash down, after every mission.

Zephyr’s RHGSE will meet this requirement.

Historically, hoist failures occur when the hoist is run under no load and the wire rope gets loose on the drum and fouls the entire mechanism.  Since the tensioning systems that are in use today only provide approximately 7 to 20 lbs of force on the wire rope, the cable tensioning system can easily be overcome and the wire rope loosens up on the drum. This normally will not happen in flight, but happens with regularity when the hoist is operated on the ground during inspections, maintenance, etc.

Hoists can fail as a result of poor ground handling or poor hoist situational awareness, resulting in loose cable wraps.

When a hoist wire rope loosens and fouls the hoist, the resulting damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair and means significant time with the OEM. In addition, if the wire rope miswraps on the lower layers when winding, and the operator does not see the miswrap, the wire rope can foul in flight putting the crew and the mission in jeopardy.

The Zephyr RHGSE was specifically designed to season and tension the wire rope without having to fly the helicopter after a complete cable inspection.

It has demonstrated itself to the customer to be cost effective and also a good safety tool when tensioning, cleaning, lubricating, drying and examining the hoist cable after each mission and/or at hoist and cable maintenance times.

The RHGSE maintains positive manual tension on the wire rope as it extends and applies a heavy load over the length as it retracts while maintaining a clean and tight wire rope storage on the rescue hoist drum.

The RHGSE applies a heavy load over the entire length of wire rope on the hoist drum as it retracts the wire rope while the aircraft is on the ground. Allows the wire rope to relieve its inherent twist as it winds on and off the hoist drum. This is to simulate as closely as possible the effect of running the wire rope in and out in flight under load.

The RHGSE keeps the wire rope off the ground and in a protective enclosure during hoist maintenance. While doing these maintenance tasks human hands do not need to touch the cable while it is wound inside a drum to be cleaned; thus, protecting the maintainers hands and avoiding any possibility of getting the hands entangled in the cable. The wire rope is collected in a rotating tub and spooler system, and accommodates any rescue hook and bumper configuration.

The rotatub can be filled with fresh water to rinse saline residuals off the wire rope. A plug is provided to drain the water.

Allows one person to perform all inspections and maintenance operations in a minimum amount of time.

Allows the inspections to be performed with the hook and bearing attached to the wire rope.

Helps install new wire ropes and condition them.

If the  MagSens is purchased with the RHGSE , it measures and provides a record of the wire ropes physical condition over its installed life.

By using the tow handle the RHGSE can be easily moved by one person to position under the rescue hoist next to the aircraft, in order to perform pre and post flight checks of the wire rope and rescue hoist system.

The RHGSE is easily transported by one person, forklift or tug.

The Hydraulic RHGSE was designed for the high end and heavy SAR users in mind. It allows continual use without over heating.

Learn More »

The Manual RHGSE was designed for the rescue hoist user in order to provide a lower cost hoist and cable maintenance system. It requires human power to extend the cable instead of a hydraulic motor as supplied on the hydraulic version, while still providing all the other capabilities to tension, wash, dry, lubricate and inspect the rescue hoist cable.

Learn More »

The Electric RHGSE was designed to add the capability to automatically extend the rescue hoist cable on the manual RHGSE using electrical power. The Electric RHGSE can extend the cable with a minimum of 40 lbs on the cable while maintaining a positive tension on the wire rope when extending and preventing the rescue hoist from squeezing the outer strands excessively, thus delaying the unwinding of the outer strands on the rescue hoist cable.  The Electric RHGSE uses single phase AC power in the hanger or from the aircraft and still retains the capability to operate remotely using human power when required.

New to the RHGSE line as of 2013.


Learn More »


Zephyr Hydraulic RHGSE Demo