April 22 marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970, Earth Day. At the time, the U.S. was utilizing leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Smoke and sludge were discarded into the environment without a care about the consequences. Mainstream media remained oblivious to environmental concerns as the stage was being set for change. First, public awareness began to increase for living organisms and pollution. Then, the idea for a national day came along.
Helicopters may not be the most environmentally efficient vehicle that exists. However, they are executing conservation missions to help the Earth return to its natural beauty. These are just a few of the industries where helicopters have proven to be useful!
In recent years, the impacts of deforestation can be witnessed by the bare eye. Organizations are using helicopters in order to plant millions of seeds into the ground within hours. Aerial seeding can be beneficial in areas that have experienced wildfires or erosion. It gives an alternative planting method for areas that are otherwise inaccessible like high, rocky elevations.
Helicopters are the perfect aircraft for fighting fires. They can be equipped with large tanks or buckets that can be filled with water. Helicopters can also be equipped with a front-mounted foam cannon that contains specially-formulated fire retardants. These aircraft allow for firefighters to cover a greater distance in a shorter period of time. They also provide aerial views of the fire, offering more insight into how to extinguish the fire.
From pollination to freeze prevention, helicopters provide the versatility needed to save crops. Helicopters are made for low hovering operations. They also produce a downwash which blows unwanted water, pollen, or frost off of crops. In special circumstances, helicopters are also used for crop drying and irrigation.
The wind industry is part of the conservation efforts to generate renewable energy. Helicopters provide assistance for nearly every aspect of the wind industry, on or offshore! Some helicopters, built for heavy lifts, are used for assembling and deconstructing the massive turbines. There are other, special helicopters that are equipped with power washing gear in order to keep the turbine blades clean and running! Lastly, helicopters also provide fast and easy transportation of crew to and from turbines.
Helicopters provide anti-poaching activists with an aerial view of the terrain. Monitoring animals behavior and offering the ability to quickly exit the aircraft once a poacher is spotted. Helicopters may eventually be replaced by drones for aerial watches because of the noise levels. However, helicopters provide enough room for crew and equipment, making them perfect for teams to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Learn more about how helicopters help the Earth
The industries mentioned above are only a few that helicopters have proven to be beneficial for. The development of helicopter technology continues to grow. Even though helicopters are not directly beneficial for the environment, they are being used for good. One small operation can have a ripple effect for the rest of the surrounding environment. For now, helicopters will remain an indispensable asset for environmental conservationists! We should be celebrating the Earth every day of the year, however, Earth Day provides us with time to reflect on how we want to leave this world for our children!