Two years ago at Heli-Expo, Vita Inclinata introduced its concept for a fan-powered hoist or sling load stabilization system. Now the company (Booth 8243) is demonstrating its operational and available sling load and hoist rescue models at this year's show.
The Hoist Rescue system consists of battery-powered fans mounted in a fixture underneath a Stokes litter basket, Skedco stretcher, or rescue bag. Its Sling Load model is designed to stabilize larger loads. When the litter or load, suspended from a single cable, inevitably spins, a touch of a button on the Vita controller generates counter-spin air blasts from a fan at each corner of the unit, and in short order the load stops spinning.
“Nobody thought that could be fixed,” said Caleb Carr, president and CEO of Vita Inclinata and also a former search and rescue technician. Helicopter pilots can correct a load’s swinging action, he added, but not spin. With the Hoist Rescue or Sling Load system, “you can orient the load as you fly in,” he said.
The U.S. Army purchased 15 of the systems last year and is buying more this year. During its testing, the Army found it could fly four hoist missions in the time it used to take to do just one, he said. The return on investment comes quickly in fuel savings over just six months of typical operation. The first Hoist Rescue system for a civil operator went to Two Bear Air Rescue, a Whitefish, Montana operator.