Onboard Systems Rolls Out New
Hayabusa-JK 6K and 10K Remote Cargo Hooks

6K Hayabusa-JK hook, front view
10K Hayabusa-JK hook, front view
6K Hayabusa-JK hook, back view
6K Hayabusa-JK hook, fully open
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In 2011, Onboard Systems met with its Japanese distributor, Aviation Service Co., Ltd., and Mr. Masao Kurimoto, the Representative of a consortium of Japanese companies, to discuss developing a new 6,000 pound and 10,000 pound remote cargo hook. Members of the consortium, which includes Aero Asahi, Akagi Helicopter, Nakanihon Air Service, Nishi Nippon Airlines, Shikoku Air Service, Shin-Nihon Helicopter, Toho Air Service and Tohoku Air Service, were lifting external loads using custom, twin-pendant remote hook cages. The cages were equipped with off-the-shelf 10,000 pound belly hooks or 6,000 pound remote hooks to carry and release multiple loads. Because belly hooks aren’t designed to withstand the wear and tear that remote hooks experience, the operators weren’t particularly satisfied with their durability and performance—or their ability to meet updated Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) safety requirements.

According to Mr. Kurimoto, “The operators had decided to find a manufacturer to work with them to develop a pair of innovative, safety-forward remote cargo hooks that would meet their unique operating requirements. As the representative of the consortium, I was confident that Onboard would be able to design state-of-the-art equipment that would satisfy the operators and the JCAB.”

After the contract was awarded, Onboard’s engineers worked closely with key representatives from the consortium to design and develop the new hooks, which contain many features and safety advantages not currently found on other remote cargo hooks. Sold under the brand name Hayabusa®-JK (“falcon” in Japanese), both the 6K and 10K remote hooks contain two separate solenoids: one to unlatch the load beam and the other for unlocking a unique keeper-lock mechanism that automatically secures the keeper when a load weighing at least 75 LB (34KG) is on the hook. The keeper-lock mechanism helps prevent the inadvertent release of cargo caused by the rigging sliding past the keeper during flight. The keeper-lock mechanism remains secured until such time as the hook is opened electrically by the pilot or manually by the ground crew using the release knob on the side of the hook.

"In the process of the development, we requested quite a few modifications in order to meet JCAB’s rigorous requirement and we exchanged some ideas," said Mr. Kurimoto. "Onboard Systems listened to us, made the improvements, and finally manufactured the Hayabusa-JK remote hooks. We are quite satisfied with the support from Onboard Systems and are very glad to finally receive the products."

Both the 6K and 10K Hayabusa-JK hooks are designed to carry and release up to eight 16-mm ropes or eight 14-mm steel cables. The hook side plates have been reinforced to withstand the rigors of repeated loading with steel cables, and the load beam opens to almost 90° to allow loads to quickly slide off when the hook is opened.

To provide the pilot with information on the state of the remote hook, load beam, and keeper position, limit switches are mounted within the remote hook’s electrical compartment. The switches can provide the pilot with a signal light indication of hook locked and keeper locked. In addition, the ground crew can visually verify that the load beam and keeper are locked after loading via an indicator window on the side of the remote hook.

“The goal of this project was to create a pair of user-friendly hooks with innovative safety features that worked in sync with the way our customers actually use their lifting equipment,” said Karsten Lemmon, Vice President of Sales & Marketing with Onboard Systems. “Having worked through several rounds of prototypes and customer testing, it is very satisfying to see such a complex engineering project successfully completed and to move into production of the finished hooks.”

The Hayabusa-JK remote hooks were certified for use in Japan by the JCAB in late 2013. Onboard Systems began production and delivery of the finished product in June 2014 and will complete delivery of the contracted hooks in June 2015.

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