This paper reviews some problems of operating helicopters in support of oil production platforms in the deep-water North Sea, and focuses attention on the future design of off-shore platform superstructures. Deep-water North Sea platforms include several large industrial gas turbines to generate large quantities of power for drilling operations and pipeline pressurization. These turbines emit large quantities of very hot gas which, for safety reasons, must be released near the top of the platform, where the helicopter landing deck is located. This heating of the air can affect helicopter performance in three ways: reduce engine power; deteriorate rotor performance; create turbulence. The first of these three is the most significant. In the case of the Sikorsky S. 61N helicopter, the loss of payload is about 25 lb for every 1 degree C rise up to an ambient temperature of 24 degree C; above that figure the penalty is more severe, being about 150 lb per degree rise in temperature. The best and cheapest way of ensuring that an offshore platform offers a safe environment for helicopter operation is to investigate the model platform's aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, and modify its layout accordingly. This is now a requirement for all new deep-water platform designs.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Shell Oil Company

    1 Shell Plaza, P.O. Box 2463
    Houston, TX  United States  77001
  • Authors:
    • Free, F W
  • Publication Date: 1978

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00196072
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1979 12:00AM