The Background of New York Airways’ Helicopter Functions


If a man or woman about to board an airplane in Omaha had been asked in which he was flying to and he responded, “Omaha,” he might get a several perplexed appears and even an audible, “But aren’t you there now?” Still, when you are living in metropolises that support multiple airports, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Tokyo, it is feasible to fly from a person to the other.

Although distances in between them could not be that extreme, surface travel, particularly for the duration of rush hours, can have to have surplus time, and there is very little like landing at an airport and proceeding to the subsequent gate for a connecting flight and even obtaining your checked baggage interlined to it.

New York qualifies as having just one of these inter-airport networks and its namesake New York Airways built a valiant, two-ten years attempt to present scheduled, rotary-wing assistance inside it.

As the third to do so, it adopted Los Angles Airways and Helicopter Air Providers of Chicago and was awarded an operating certificate by the Civil Aeronautics Board (Cab) in December of 1951 to fly between in the ttri-airport Idlewild, La Guardia, and Newark catchment area.

Reflecting early-aviation growth, in which open-cockpit biplanes carried mail about selected routes and accommodated a handful of passengers to increase profits when house permitted, it transitioned to the passenger kind of payload on July 8, 1952 with 7-seat Sikorsky S-55s, eventually increasing past its inter-airport community to New Brunswick, Princeton, and, Trenton in New Jersey. Manhattan-penetrating assistance to the Hudson River hugging West 30th Street Heliport started 4 several years later, on December 5.

Sound and vibration had been counteracted with advantage, velocity, vacation situations that ended up measured in minutes, and unparalleled sights of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline. Strategies to the encircled “H” landing place on the h2o jutting pier positioned the aircraft’s dimension into point of view when vit was pretty much swallowed by Manhattan’s monoliths during its alight.

Previously that calendar year, on April 21, New York Airways inaugurated the higher-capacity, more highly developed, tandem twin-rotor Vertol 44B into provider.

“It was the to start with transport helicopter to have its cabin arranged like that of a standard airliner, accommodating 15 passengers, largely two-abreast on the starboard aspect of the cabin with the aisle and baggage room on the remaining,” according to R. E. G. Davies in “Airlines of the United States because 1914 “(Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998, p. 475).

Nonetheless, passenger acceptance and enlargement immediately necessitated even much larger, extra sophisticated machines, prompting New York Airways’ original, $4,350,000 order for 10 Vertol V-107-IIs on January 15, 1960. It was later on halved to five.

The type which finally became its flagship and digital image of it, not only traces it origins to a design and style, but to the quite, maker that developed it. Vertol, a Philadelphia-based, rotary-wing corporation, was concurrently building two tandem-rotor helicopters-specifically, the Chinook for the US Military and the CH-46A Sea Knight for the US Navy and Marines.

The latter, the outcome of a design and style competition for a Maritime Corps medium assault transportation, very first flew in August of 1962 and was to start with shipped two a long time later on, carrying troops and cargo in between South Chine Sea positioned ships and Vietnam. Of its three prototypes, one particular was modified to civil V-107-II normal and it first flew on October 25, 1960, at a time when Boeing had obtained the corporation, resulting in the Boeing-Vertol title.

Run by a 1,250-shp Typical Electrical T58-8 turboshaft engine, it showcased a 50-foot rotor diameter. With an 84-foot overall size, it experienced an 18,400-pound gross fat.

Initially flying in full creation guise the subsequent calendar year, on Might 19, it was FAA sort-accredited in January of 1962 and entered scheduled New York Airway company on July 1. The remaining ten developed have been offered to Kawasaki of Japan to serve as license-made pattern aircraft, but that program never proceeded into creation.

Images of the V-107-II getting off from the Pan Am rooftop heliport symbolized skyscraper-stretching Manhattan island and fashioned an integral element of the city’s society. They also represented an element of city mobility: subways underneath its streets and helicopters higher than its structures depicted productive technological triumphs about website traffic-saturated streets and substantially lessened travel occasions.

“Twenty-5 travellers rode in this twin-turbine style at a cruising speed of 140 mph,” in accordance to Len Morgan in “Airliners of the Earth” (Arco Publishing Company, 1966, p. 90). “New York Airways took you from Kennedy Global to the foot of Wall Road in 16 minutes or to the major of the Pan Am Setting up in seven. Either trip required a busy hour and a quarter by car or truck through hurry hours.”

New York Airways was equipped to function at fifty percent-hour intervals and its once-a-year passenger totals reflected the level of popularity of its choices-8,758 in its initially calendar year of operation and a lot more than 250,000 in its tenth.

Even though rotary-wing operations made available several benefits, including numerous each day frequencies low-capacity, effortless-to-fill cabins swift aerial hops unparalleled sights and the ability to alight on any postage-stamp sized patch, whether paved or not, they also had their down sides. They experienced higher functioning charges, generated significant sounds, featured engine and mechanical complexity, operated in just really populated urban places where by basic safety was of paramount problem, expected subsidies for profitability, and, at minimum to begin with, had been dependent upon weather conditions and visual meteorological situations.

Progressively lessened subsidies necessitated provider discontinuations, including individuals to the West 30th Road Heliport and Bridgeport, Connecticut. On April 11, 1965, they ended up entirely eradicated, influencing not only New York Airways, but the other equivalent rotary-wing concerns in Chicago and Los Angeles.

A economic lifeline was solid by Pan American World Airways, which ordered two more V-107-IIs for $850,000 every and then leased them to New York Airways for procedure to the 1964 World’s Good in Flushing Meadows.

Sikorsky, by means of its Untied Aircraft Company guardian, did the exact same with 3 S-61s. Powered by the same Normal Electric powered T58-8 engine, but showcasing a unique configuration, a shorter fuselage, and a larger, 62-foot rotor diameter, it was the V-107-II’s competitor, but it was normally similar with a 25-passenger potential and an 18,700-pound gross body weight. It was inaugurated into assistance on December 21, 1965.

Bypassing all surface visitors and minimizing travel time to a mere 7 minutes, Boeing-Vertol V-107-II and Sikorsky S-61 provider amongst the Pan Am rooftop heliport and JFK enabled travellers to check out-in for their fastened-wing flights in the Pan Am Building 45 minutes ahead of they had been scheduled to depart. Seventeen every day roundtrips provided greatest convenience. Fares had been $7.00 one particular-way and $10.00 roundtrip.

Because the services fulfilled the CAB’s “public convenience and requirement” clause, both Pan Am and TWA have been ready to make stockholding investments in New York Airways, the former to the tune of 24.4 percent and the latter at 15.6 p.c.

The Sikorsky S-61s sported TWA’s emblem on their aft fuselage sides.

Aside from the airline’s monetary fatalities, there have been also human ones, creating darkish clouds of question on rotary-wing know-how for scheduled business operations.

On Might 18, 1977, for occasion, a New York Airways S-61L keeled about all through boarding on major of the Pan Am heliport, getting the life of five with it even though it did, together with that of a human being strolling on Madison Avenue down below exactly where the unleashed rotor blade hit him.

Two decades later, in April of 1979, a few had been killed when a rotor blade snapped off of one more S-61 at Newark Intercontinental Airport.

Metal fatigue and failure had caused the proper landing gear to collapse in the very first incident and the tail rotor to split off in the next.

Forced to cease functions, New York Airways submitted for Chapter 11 bankruptcy security and, while many methods have been devised to resurrect it, none proved fruitful.

New York Airways’ 18-12 months, four-type, scheduled mail and passenger, inter-airport and neighboring-point out rotary-wing functions were convenient and well-liked and outlined a new market and reason for the structure. But people then in existence have been loud, elaborate, fuel-thirsty, and eventually flawed, and not necessarily of adequate improvement for safe, financially rewarding, substantial-frequency, every day functions, leaving afterwards carriers, this kind of as New York Helicopter, to fill the gap in the New York airport space and several others throughout the world. Whilst know-how had intermittently improved and was just one measure of the type’s success, its functioning costs and profitability constituted its other individuals.

“Right after twelve yrs of passenger functions, therefore, the Helicopter carriers (together with New York Airways, Chicago Helicopter Airways, Los Angeles Airways, and San Francisco and Oakland Airlines) experienced been provided a very good chance to show the performance of rotor-pushed aircraft, but experienced failed to make their scenario,” Davies concludes (op. cit. p. 479).

Short article Resources:

Davies, R.E.G. “Airways of the United States Due to the fact 1914.” Washington: Smithsonian Establishment Push, 1998.

Morgan, Len. “Airliners of the World.” New York: Arco Publishing Enterprise, Inc., 1966.

Leave a Reply