Author Topic: c/n 1, N92860  (Read 6244 times)

Doug Johnson

c/n 1, N92860
« on: July 05, 2015, 07:49:26 AM »
The "H-500 Twin Courier" and H-500B "Chasqui" Twin Courier (none built) were developed to add twin engine reliability to the Courier line, assembled at Norwood (Canton), MA Factory from parts built at Pittsburg KS and Bedford MA, crosswind gear and float option offered. The H-500 Twin prototypes 1 and 2, Military models 2 U-5As and 3 U-5Bs were completed all were bought by the CIA the earlier models were upgraded to U-5B configuration. 7 built, 2 incomplete U-5 twins were used to make H-550 Stallion prototypes 1 and 2.

    *The H-500B model upgrade consisted of two 290hp Lycoming TIO-540-A1A engines
      (ceiling 30,000 ft) none built , the U-5B model used STC SA305SO (Installation of Lycoming
      IO-540-C2C engines, with two 31A10 Rajay/Riley turbochargers and modified fuel system)
      for intended high altitude operation. The slotted 10'' chord naca 4418 airfoil seen between
      the engines gave limited center section boundary layer control and some additional lift at low
      speeds in landing configuration especially useful at high altitude fields, and at it's attached angle
      probably gave no lift in cruise atitude much like a fixed canard. With four 30 gal bladders in wing
      when removable optional 37 gal bladder in nose and the removable 52 gal wing tip fuel tanks were
      installed for extended range and longer endurance, the total was 261 gals. When removable tip
      tanks were installed it operated in the restricted category 8.
      They were ferried with an additional 90 gallon ferry tank 81 usable in middle seat position also
      over-gross category 8.
            
5 picture check your albums. Please do an internet search maybe you'll come up with one I couldn't find, I need all the help I can get.

Previous posts about VT-DVE or anything click on   http://flyhelio.com/smf/index.php?action=search  Enter ?

no. 1 prototype built 04/60, as prototype Twin H-500 original registry N92860 built with Lyc O-540-A2B Factory placed in experimental category for flight testing for type certification A2EA sold 08/62, as experimental s/n AF-1 model U-5 to King-Hurley Research Group (CIA front co) DC 11/63, *conv to U-5B configuration* stayed as experimental for research and to compile high altitude performance data, the summer of 1965 Cap. William R. Andresevic (Air America contractor) took it to Potosi, Bolivia for "assessment by the U.S. Embassy and atmospheric type tests", it was equipped with the STC approved configuration of the LYC IO-540-C2C and Rayjay/Riley Turbo-Superchargers and Alcor exhaust temperature mixture control indicators 09/65, Marathon Aviation corp (CIA) FL modified, with installation in middle seat area of a temporary 90 gal ferry fuel system 81.8 gal usable 62.1 allowable, (range ?) LR 120 gal bladders wing, optional nose bladder 37 gal, XLR ferry configuration removable wing tip tanks of 104 gallons  reg cancelled 04/66, for Export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 reg VT-DVE Charbatia Air Base, India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border and probably in Tibet (per Conboys "Secret war in Tibet").









« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 07:59:55 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

Louis

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 08:35:02 AM »
2 incomplete U-5 twins were used to make H-550 Stallion prototypes 1 and 2[/color].


So it is from the Twin that Stallion got their totally different vertical tail !

Louis

Louis

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 08:45:36 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7LO5DVHe6g

Looks like if there is some kind of small belly pod.  Extra fuel ?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 08:47:11 AM by Louis »

Doug Johnson

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 10:56:30 AM »
Doesn't look big enough for fuel maybe early model ADF?

There was an optional removavle 37 gal fuel bladder that could be installed in the nose of the first two. Don't know for sure if it was available in the last five especially after they started retrofitting the removable 52 gal wing tip tanks, but I dont see why not. With an extra 104 gals in tip tanks they already had to operate in the restricted category 8.
Doug

Louis

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 02:11:43 PM »
I am not specialist of Tibet ou Nepal, but i do know the scene with the twin courier was filmed in Nepal.  The plane was even used to bring some camera equipment, someone told me.  Then the realisator wanted to go to the Shyang Boche monastery, at 13,000 feet or so.  The main actors waited in Katmandou as the went with the "doublure" in a russian helicopter.  They almost crashhed 1000 feet before being able to go to the monastery.  Sir Edmund Hillary was there and he arranged sherpa so they could go film some scenes at the monastery.

This film was based on a Jules Verne book.

Jean-Paul Belmondo was the principal actor, he is very well known and loved in the francophone world.  In that film he met his new wife , Ursula Andress, that is also known in the anglophone world...

So i am a bit confused by the Tibet and India location.  As the film was made in Nepal.  Can we see the registration in the youtube film ?



Doug Johnson

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 04:30:50 PM »
All of the twins were registered in India with ARC the Indian equivalent of the CIA and they were on good terms with the US CIA at that time. If you are a spook what better cover than affiliating with some movie stars making movies. India,Tibet and Nepal have common borders.

As far as the twin Helio in the movie there is just not enough pixels in the digital form to blow it up to look at the registry only by looking at the original chemically exposed film could you blow it up enough to see the registry numbers.

Edit see picture of c/n 4 at https://flyhelio.com/smf/index.php?topic=1197.msg5986#msg5986

« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 01:01:01 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

Louis

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 05:50:08 PM »
The version of the film i took was dowloaded.  I will check my old VHS.  I am sure i have a copy of this film.  I am a fan of Belmondo

Louis

Doug Johnson

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2016, 11:01:15 AM »
factory handout
Doug

Doug Johnson

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2021, 12:20:37 PM »
I found a picture of N92680 c/n #1 prototype taken at Fort Meade, Maryland.

This is a picture of c/n 1 prototype as a U-5 without the air foil between the engines which was added later when the first 4 were converted to U-5Bs. It is also a picture of it with the color scheme placed on it before being sold to the CIA.

My understanding is that CIA aircraft were seen at Fort Meade quite often.

I will open it at the top of the page at the bottom of the queue
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 06:48:57 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

JamesCaird

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2021, 02:34:14 PM »
The Helio Twins (and the first Stallions)  were built at the Original Helio Plant/Site at Canton Airport, Canton, Mass.  The Helio company had offices nearby at Norwood Airport, about one mile away.  I can remember sitting in the pilot's seat in the Twin and looking forward and thinking that the visibility was like being in a helicopter. (The most commonly known helicopter in those days being the Bell 47)
   Chasing the U5 story to  the limits I personally believe that six of them ended in India and Tibet.  The short version of the story is that maybe five of them were used for One-Way missions carrying equipment and personnel high up in the Himilaya near Nanda Devi.  The story unfolds as recounted by Conboy in his "Secret CIA War in Tibet"  The operational objective was to place electronic monitoring equipment high up in the Himilaya where it would have a clear "view" into China, a difficult and complicated attempt to make up for the loss of other assets which had been used for this purpose.

Doug Johnson

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2021, 07:51:12 PM »
Bob, I think we are splitting hairs here. This in blue is what I wrote at the very top of the 1st page.

Assembled at Norwood, MA Factory from parts built at Pittsburg, KS and Bedford, MA

I will edit that and put Canton MA in parenthesis, not exactly sure how Bedford, MA fits in maybe you can help with that.

Export to Thailand ferry from Norwood MA Northeast US border ? , 02/67 reg VT-DVE Ciabatta Air Base, India, operated in cooperation with Govt India Aviation Research Center (ARC) on Tibet border and probably in Tibet

I will add in parenthesis (per Conboys "Secret war in Tibet")

all seven U-5s were exported and all seven were given an Indian registry mark, one was damaged beyond repair in India while taking off from a polo field, only one returned to the US

2 incomplete U-5 twins were used to make H-550 Stallion prototypes 1 and 2

it could be added that two other incomplete U-5 twins were used to build the first two prototype H-580 Twin Courier that were never completed and dropped due to money problems

A lot if not most of the experimental development took place at Norwood (Canton) Ma but most parts manufacturing took place at Pitsburg once it was up and running.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 08:36:14 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

JamesCaird

Re: c/n 1, N92860
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2021, 03:01:14 PM »
Hi Doug-  Didn't mean to be splitting hairs.  Just adding some personal experience into the story if of any interest. 

The Wiggins/Canton/ Norwood/ Bedford story goes like this:  Canton Airport was a Grass field in the Neponset River Valley where Canton abutts its neighbor,  Norwood.  In the 1930's East Boston Airport (now Logan) was a mudflat.  The proposal was to make the Canton Airport in its flat valley about 15 miles SW of Boston, into the Big Airport for Boston Area and the proposal was called the Boston Metropolitan Airport.  It had 3 airports, not runways but airports plus fields to handle the future TransAtlantic Dirigible service which were going to be the new ocean liners.  But things went "POOF" with the Hindenburg and WW2.  Canton never grew.  Meanwhile next door Norwood got the go ahead to improve their airport and it eclipsed Canton.  Wiggins which had a hangar at Canton moved most operations to Norwood.   Wiggins took the job to convert the Vagabond into the HelioPlane which work was carried out at Canton.  When Helio finally got rolling they took over the old Wiggins hangar at Canton for engineering, building and maintenance.  They had a sales office and post office address at Norwood.
    Sometime around1963 or 1964 INterstate 95 highway was headed directly across the NW (I  think) end of Canton Airport and that and the fact that in spring floods and hurricanes the Neponset River would overflow and back up inundating Canton Airport.  ( I can remember my father retrieving his tools from the airport by boat!)   So those things together pushed the decision to move Helio maintenance and East Coast facility to Bedford, Mass, a larger airport about 30 miles NW of Canton.

I know that it not all that Helio specific but that's mostly how those places fit into the puzzle.  There were likely other forces at play that I was not aware of.

The Tibetan demise of the Helio Twins is my read on the trail of those airplanes.  The earlier attempts to get equipment high up in the mountains had ended in failure and that story includes a nuclear generator (which makes electricity from decay heat of radioactive isotopes).  The equipment in those first attempts by man/sherpa power was lost and included one of those nuclear generators with its Plutonium fuel which gives every body downstream in India big worries. My belief is that the Helio Twins were recognized for their ability to get the loads to high altitude and make a "landing" but i don't think they flew out.  Not sure anyone involved is likely to come forward with the whole story and also likely that those last delivery flights were made by Indian Military.

If anyone out there knows for sure what happened we would all be interested to hear.  Many thanks, esp Doug, for a very informative forum.