a National Museum requests SWAY BRACES for their QH-50, chances are
the Gyrodyne Foundation will have them in inventory. Unfortunately, what we
have are units that were used on QH-50s that served at sea aboard naval
destroyers and therefore suffer from extensive corrosion. What takes place
is a complete disassembly of the braces, stripping of the paint to bare
metal and restoration of most of the hardware. We try to restore as much as
practical since some of the items are no longer made by industry,
like the AN45 eyebolts used on the forward sway braces.
During reassembly after a new coat of paint, we use the
second variant of Gyrodyne's specifications in attaching all the Bomb
Release Unit pins, with chains to the braces themselves. On early QH-50C's,
this was not done; the pins were connected to the fuselage of the
helicopter. As seen above-left, a complete set of braces after restoration.
Braces are a key component to an authentic installation of the MK-44 as seen
at right, so the visiting public can understand the complexities of carrying
a weapon, for deployment, safely.
The MK-8 Mod 0, Bomb Release Unit or BRU as
the ordnancemen refer to it, is the only approved BRU for use on the
QH-50 DASH Weapon system for deployment of both the MK-44 Mod 0 and Mk-46
Mod 0 Torpedo. Because of the importance in knowing how this BRU works, we'll
provide a quick lesson for those museums that find themselves unable to lock
their BRUs to hold their MK-44 Torpedoes. The Gyrodyne Helicopter
Historical Foundation (GHHF) has brand new BRUs in stock, so if yours is not
working, please contact us immediately as taking a MK-8 a part to fix it can
be very dangerous; they are lots of spring loaded parts in one!
Per the photo at left, the MK-8 BRU has
had the Aero Arming solenoid (seen above)
removed for ease of reference. Note the word "FRONT" on the BRU that is
underlined. The BRU must face front or the forward direction of the aircraft
per the RED ARROW or the wiring harness will not connect to the release
Now, Item A is the release lever.
Item "B" is the latch actuator. To lock the BRU, move lever "A" in the
direction of the red arrow to its stop and HOLD IT THERE. Now, while still
holding lever "A" forward, move the latch actuator "B" backwards to its stop
and allow lever "A" to move backwards. This locks the latch actuator. IF
this does not Lock the latches, then your BRU is damaged and needs repair by
the GHHF shop. IF your BRU does lock, quickly install either a AN4-6A or
equivalent 1/4" O.D. Bolt at Position "C" and secure with a locknut on the
end of the bolt to keep the BRU from accidentally releasing.
Many thanks to members of
The Association of Aviation Ordnancemen
who have assisted the Gyrodyne Foundation on numerous projects concerning
the Airborne Armament System of the QH-50 Aircraft.