September 29, 2007 Increasingly, yacht buyers are demanding the ability to land a helicopter on deck – but not all yachts have sufficient clear deck space free for a designated helipad. France’s Headland Consulting are solving this issue Transformers-style with a range of very clever retractable landing pads that deploy mechanically to suit a wide range of different yacht and helicopter sizes.
Gizmag ran into Headland Consulting at Cannes where the company was showcasing its made-to-measure retractable helipad modules that can be built into the design of a new yacht. With several different deployment options, the company claims it’s possible to integrate a helipad with the design of most modern yachts, making it unobtrusive or even useful in its retracted state, and deploying mechanically in a matter of minutes when it’s time to land a helicopter.
Traditionally, choppers have been able to land on specially cleared deck areas where railings, furniture and the like have been removed – but not all yachts have a dedicated space large enough for the size helicopter they need to accommodate.
The company has several different designs for deployment. One is an umbrella-style platform that is stored in a vertical tube just below deck. Upon deployment, a hatch opens at the top, the folded pad extends vertically and fans out to form a circular horizontal platform of the required diameter.
Another design stores a square-edged platform in a rectangular crate, opening it upwards and outwards to extend the width of the deck at the landing point.
The specialist company doesn’t currently have a website up and running, but can be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org by interested parties.