USAF Helicopter Pilot Association

Pictures Page H-53 MARS

Picture of H-53 Mid-Air Retrieval System (MARS) rigged and ready.


Picture of H-53 MARS approaching for the "catch" of an Air Launched Cruise Missle (ALCM) during testing.


Picture of H-53 MARS making the "catch" of the ALCM.

The Parachute System --

It was called an "Annular Ring" and was about 65 feet in diameter with a 13 foot engagement chute. It was much smaller than any of the AQM-34 series RPV's chutes due too the limited space in the ALCM. There was no ground release, also due to the limited space. There was about 155 feet of load line from the apex to the MARS release mechanism. The Engagement Chute was about 30 feet above the main and connected with shroud lines all around, holding it in the middle of the large center opening of the main. However, it could still get squirrelly if the main was rocking.

Pictures are from the 6514th Test Squadron at Hill AFB in 1982-83.

Pictures contributed by: Rich Blackwell

Thanks Rich !

Submit Your Pictures

If you have have additional scanned helicopter pictures that you think would be good additions to the site, please send them as E-Mail attachments to the "Pics" E-mail below. Please also include your permission to use the pictures in your E-Mail message.

The format for the pictures should be in .JPG or .GIF format ONLY and scanned such that the final file size of each picture is approximately 10K - 100K. Size exceptions can be made for exceptionally good pictures that may not reduce well without losing the picture quality.

Let's see what you've got out there.

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