This report presents the results of a two-phase feasibility and preliminary design study of load suspension configurations capable of meeting the external cargo handling system requirements of a 40,000-pound-payload heavy lift helicopter. In Phase I, Design Analysis, both separate function configurations (those that incorporate individual single- and multi-point hoists) and combined function configurations (multi-point hoists used to perform both single- and multi-point missions) have been investigated for both single- plus two-point and single- plus four-point load suspensions. This phase was primarily concerned with investigation of hoist types; methods of power transmission to the hoists; and selection of mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical components. A comparitive evaluation of 13 system arrangements was made on the basis of weight, power, reliability, in-flight safety, versatility, and productivity. The single- plus four-point system was determined to meet the requirements best and was recommended for the Phase II, Preliminary Design. This phase included the preparation of layout drawings, load and stress analysis of major components, a maintainability and reliability analysis, and the preparation of a component development plan. The single- plus four-point system weighs 4974 pounds for a hoist capacity of 40,000 pounds. The system has been designed such that the hoists of both systems are readily removable for missions requiring minimum empty weight. For single-point operation (four-point hoists removed), the system weighs 2738 pounds; for four-point missions (single-point hoist removed), 2704 pounds.