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Halvorsen loader / Next Generation Small Loader (NGSL)

AMC's newest MHE acquisition is a self-propelled, diesel-powered, air- and surface-transportable, 25,000-pound (25K) capacity, loading/off-loading vehicle. It will augment and ultimately replace existing 25K loaders and the remaining wide body elevator loaders (WBELs) through attrition and will be part of the 463L materials handling system. The Halvorsen [not Halvorson] loader will transport cargo (463L pallets, airdrop platforms, rolling stock, and containers) and interface with the full spectrum of military and civilian cargo aircraft (e.g., C-130, C-141, C-17, C-5, KC-10, KC-135, MD-11 and B-747 main cargo deck and lower lobe deck) operating on airfields worldwide. It is transportable on aircraft (C-130, C-141, C-5 and C-17) without the use of a shoring kit for loading, and surface transportable by truck, rail and ship. The front of the loader is equipped with a retractable catwalk and rails and folding wings that allows for easy interface with lower lobes. The Halvorsen is worldwide deployable and can operate in forward operating locations for up to 60 days without base-level maintenance facilities.

The Halvorsen Next Generation Small Loader (NGSL) is can support all military transport and Civil Reserve Air Fleet aircraft. The loader is capable of interfacing with all main deck and lower lobe cargo doors of all commercial and military cargo aircraft. For air transporting on C-130, C-141, C-5 and C-17 military aircraft, the loader is capable of driving on and off without ramp/cargo bay shoring. The loader will be used to move cargo from loading areas to the aircraft. The loader is capable of obtaining speeds of at least 15mph, and have the capacity to traverse paved asphalt, dirt and gravel surfaces covered by sand, rain, mud, sleet or snow. The deck of the loader has a powered roller system, and is compatible with military 463L pallets, type V platforms, LD containers, ISO containers and rolling stock, and has a deck height service range from 39 to 220 inches. The deck length as a minimum is capable to accommodate three 463L pallets with the 108 inches dimension traversing the deck width.

Air Mobility Command and other Air Force MAJCOMs are responsible for on and off loading military and commercial aircraft supporting National Command Authority and Joint Chiefs of Staff taskings. This was accomplished using many different types of material handling equipment (MHE), including three basic types of cargo loaders: 25,000 pound (25K) capacity loaders, 40K loaders, and wide-body elevator loaders (WBEL).

Many of the 25K loaders have exceeded their service life expectancy and are sustained by continual depot overhaul and intensive intermediate maintenance. Of the approximately 685 25K loaders in the inventory, over 53 percent of the small loaders are replacement eligible. Overhaul programs extended the life of only a portion of the loader inventory. In addition, heavy use during increased air mobility taskings led to structural metal fatigue and frame cracks in nearly 57 percent of the 40Ks and 68 percent of the 25Ks. Although the 25K loader interfaces with C-5, C-17, C-130, C-141, and KC-135 aircraft, its 13-foot maximum lifting height is a serious limiting factor when the Air Force employs Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) wide-body aircraft requiring a reach of 18 feet, 4 inches.

WBELs answer this deficiency by elevating three pallets up to the wide-body aircraft floor. WBELs do not transport cargo. Other vehicles are required to move loads to and from the loading dock, thus increasing the number of loading vehicles which must be deployed to handle cargo. As of 1998 the average age of the WBEL fleet was 12 years, older than their life expectancy of 10 years when purchased. The WBEL fleet maintainability was growing more difficult. Lower lobe loaders are used to service the lower cargo compartment of large commercial aircraft. This additional equipment increases the expense and logistics tail of mobility operations.

The Air Force previously awarded Phase I contracts (Oct 98) to FMC Corp, Orlando, FL, and Teledyne Brown Engineering, Huntsville, AL, for the production of 3 prototype loaders and the support of these loaders in a formal test program. The test program included a 4 month Contractor Test and a 3 month Government Operational Test. The test program was completed on 06 Dec 99. It is anticipated that the two Phase I contractors will compete for the Phase II effort to deliver and provide support for the 264 production NGSL loaders. Based on the Phase I source selection and current market research, the two loaders selected for Phase I were the only loaders which met many of the NGSL requirements without the need for extensive research and development efforts. The Phase I delivery of prototype loaders and testing of those prototypes allowed the Air Force to lower the program risk.

Static Engineering Pty Ltd. "loader transporter - air transportable cargo" (TASLU) is capable of servicing aircraft such as Hercules C130, Globemaster C17, Galaxy C5, KC10, KC135, Transall C160, Lockheed L100, CASA CN235, C212, C295, Alenia G222, Boeing 747. The "TASLU" can service from a minimum height of 990mm (39") up to a maximum of 5600mm (220.5") from ground to top of rollers. Payload capacity is 18784kg (41400 lb) and accommodates four pallets 108" x 88" with 108" across the deck or three pallets with 88" across the deck. It is air transportabile on the Hercules - C130, Starlifter - C141, Galaxy C5, Boeing Globemaster C17. The "TASLU" has met with the rigorous and arduous demands of tactical operation, and has done Static proud. Static is recognised for its design and manufacturing capability of aircraft ground support equipment for both domestic and international airline operators as well as national and international defence forces. The "TASLU" is operated by air forces around the world, including Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, Kuwait and Iran. The derivation of the word "TASLU" is obscure, though it appears to be an acronym for Truck Aircraft Side Load/Unload . TASLU is an aerial navigation waypoint in Iran, and it is the name of a town in Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia.

Following a successful FCT evaluation in FY 2001, the Air Force awarded a contract worth $435 million to Static Engineering of Australia and its U.S. partner, FMC Corporation of Orlando, Florida, to produce the Next Generation 25K "Halvorsen" Cargo Loader at FMC facilities in three U.S. states. On 22 June 2000 FMC Corp. was awarded on June 22, 2000 a $458,000,000 (maximum) indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide for 246 (best estimated quantity) Next Generation Small Loaders and up to fifteen years of logistics support. The Air Force can issue delivery orders for loaders and logistics support totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above, though actual requirements may necessitate less than that amount. There were two firms solicited and two proposals received. Expected contract completion date is Dec. 31, 2015.

The Australian product was adopted as the standard 25K loader for the Air Force and has been deployed with Air Force airlift units in Afghanistan and Iraq since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. The next generation small loader [25K aircraft loader] is a welcomed addition to the fleet and will eventually replace all of the older models in the Air Force inventory. The loader, also dubbed the "Halvorsen" loader, can carry three pallets, weighing a total of 25,000 pounds. The loader was named after retired Air Force Col. Gail S. Halvorsen, who was better known as "The Candy Bomber" during the Berlin Airlift. It is designed to load and unload cargo on military and civilian aircraft. It has a minimum height of three feet three inches and a maximum height of 18 feet three inches, which is five feet higher than the current loaders used.

The Halvorsen was designed with operators and maintainers in mind. The new loader has mechanized rollers to enhance loading and unloading, with a rail configuration capable of handling pallets configured at 88 or 108 inches. It also has three holding positions, which are used during maintenance operations. With the loader in its' highest position, a mechanic can literally walk underneath the loader and gain easy access to all necessary components. This loader can quickly be reconfigured for shipment by only two people and can be driven directly on and off C-5, C-17, C-141 and C-130 aircraft without utilizing additional ramps.

The Halvorsen Air Stairs Kit, or HASK, is a flight of stairs that mount to the side of a Halvorsen 25K loader, transforming it into a dual-use piece of material handling equipment. The HASK can function as a set of stairs compatible with commercial aircraft for off-loading passengers and crew, in addition to its original purpose of off-loading cargo.

Colonel Gail Halvorsen, the man known as "Uncle Wiggle Wings" and the "Candy Bomber," began his military career as an aviation cadet in 1943. After earning his wings, he served as a transport and ferry pilot in the south Atlantic. When the Soviets blockaded Berlin in 1948, he was one of many transport pilots who helped sustain a 13-month airlift into Templehof Airport.

Operation Little Vittles, a symbol of American good will, was originated by a USAF airlift pilot, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen. Impressed by the friendliness of the German youngsters outside Tempelhof airdrome, he promised to drop candy to them the next day. He did as promised and continued on succeeding days, using handkerchiefs and scraps of cloth as miniature parachutes. Word of his personal humanitarian mission spread to the U.S. and eventually donations of thousands of pounds of candy and hundreds of handkerchiefs and other pieces of scrap cloth reached him. By Jan. 1949, more than 250,000 midget parachutes with treats attached had been dropped.

When the crowds of children awaiting his C-54 grew too large for the youngster's safety, his crew dropped the candy in other sections where they saw children playing. Other candy went to schools and to children confined to Berlin hospitals.

He returned to the United States in 1949 to attend the University of Florida. After graduating with a master's degree in engineering, he was assigned to the Wright Air Development Center as an engineer and program manager in cargo aircraft weapons systems. He was later assigned to the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division where he worked on the engineering development of space boosters for manned spacecraft, including the "Dyna-Soar." He also played a key role in the development of the Titan III launch vehicle and worked on development plans for advanced manned and reusable spacecraft, on space policy and procedures, and on the project for developing the manned orbital laboratory. On his final assignment, Colonel Halvorsen returned to Berlin where he served as Commander of Templehof Air Base and Air Force representative in Berlin.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:37:42 ZULU