Moving back along the underside of the fuselage is the center hatch. Structurally, the center hatch on each type was the same. They are included in this section because they were different than the center hatches of at least some CH-46s. From a modeling standpoint, those kits that provide for a center hatch have one that is square. Some CH-46s … probably later models have a sliding hatch.
Although Labradors had the capability to conduct slinging and SAR operations from the center hatch, the center location was only a backup to the front mounted hoist used from the front door. Voyageurs on the other hand were initially a secondary SAR resource and lacked the equipment necessary to conduct SAR ops from the front.
Both variants conducted water operations; therefore, both Canadian CH-113 variants employed a two-part center hatch to help ensure water integrity. To sling cargo or to conduct hoist operations from the center hatch, the floor above the center hatch was first opened followed by the outer fuselage hatch. For most trips, the bottom fuselage hatch was removed before flight to eliminate the risk of loosing the hatch in flight.!