Airborne hoist rescues rarely happen on calm seas or nice days. If the hoist cable gets caught in a ship's rigging, trees, rocks, railings or worse yet around the rescuer's neck, the cable needs to be cut quickly. The existing two handed cable cutters are too slow, ineffective, and not designed for this purpose. The hoist squibb cutter will cut the cable inside the hoist, thus ending any chance of continuing the life saving mission. However, with the AxelCut™ and a QuickSplice™ you can finish the mission.
The specially designed AxelCut™ is a light-weight, one handed, emergency hoist cable cutter. The cutting blades are made from the highest quality Swedish steel. It is unaffected by EMI, lightning, or any other possible hoist system failures and is designed for low cost and a long life. There are no explosive charges or shelf life issues and it can cut the cable repeatedly. Qualified to +160° F, -40° F, Salt Fog, and Endurance.
The AxelCut™, with its fast, clean, one handed cut allows the use of a quick splice plate; permitting the ballistic hoist-installed cable cutter to be used as the backup for helicopter emergencies. The AxelCut™ can also save significant down time if the cable must be cut; because if the ballistic hoist-mounted cable cutter is used, the hoist system will have to be rebuilt, and the cartridge will have to be replaced.
The AxelCut™ can be installed in various ways to best fit your aircraft. It is in use in Canada, England, Kuwait, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and The United States.
The Canada National Defense 442 T&R Squadron tested and evaluated the AxelCut™ as a replacement to the cable cutters presently employed as a backup emergency hoist cable cutter. The trial was completed and recommendations have been made as follows:
Initial Findings: “First impression of the AxelCut was positive. It was compact, lightweight, and easily handled. The storage recommendations were acceptable. Its ergonomic attributes made it practical, comfortable and effective.”
Conditions: “Testing was carried out in the hangar utilizing actual hoist cable from an unserviceable hoist. Every attempt possible to re-create actual conditions (i.e.: dynamic cable; one and two handed operation; large spectrum of operator physical stature; and accurate dimensional distance from operator to cable location), was made to ensure accurate test results.”
Findings: “This equipment was immediately deemed easy to utilize. Throughout all aspects of testing it was found to operate smoothly and efficiently for all operators. There were no incidents of failure or marginal performance in any phase of operation. It is considered by the end-user to be a logical step forward.”
Conclusion: “The AxelCut™ is highly recommended to replace the existing “bolt cutter” configuration presently employed as the back-up emergency hoist cutting system. Its easy utilization and accurate cable “catching” attributes create a huge leap forward in ensuring positive cable separation in the event of an emergency.”
Post: The Canadian National Defense purchased 90 AxelCuts™ in 2004, and is installing the AxelCut™ on all of its helicopters with a rescue hoist. The AxelCut™ will be installed on the Cormorant, Sea King, Bell 412 Griffon, and has also been specified for the S92 SAR program.