Have you ever wondered how large utility installments or objects end up on top of high rise buildings and high altitude structures? When you drive past construction or worksite, you have probably noticed large vehicles and equipment, even a huge crane with the length of it extended into the sky several feet. Sometimes the cranes have been erected to reach so high that their mast is obscured by cloud cover. In areas that are relatively easy to access via ground transport, large trucks may transport equipment in pieces to the job site, however, if the structure is being built in areas where it just isn’t feasible to have a big rig navigate narrow city streets, often helicopter lifts are used.
Thanks to innovations in helicopter lift capacity and in the development of more powerful turbine engines, helicopter lifts are widely used across a number of industries, especially in construction and development. Helicopters can be put to use more effectively because comparatively speaking they are more maneuverable than traditional machinery, this is a result of their speed and hover capability which increases the number of tasks they can be used for. Not only that but on a good day, most helicopters can lift roughly 5000 plus pounds, and dependent upon the temperature outside and the type of helicopter being used, perhaps even more.
If you are thinking that number sounds lower than the external load capacity you have heard helicopters are capable of carrying, its because it is. Helicopters can effectively lift only so much, however, depending upon the elevation at which they will need to fly, they can carry loads exceeding 13,000 pounds and in efforts to establish records, a heck of a lot more.
Let’s get back to helicopter lifts. In construction, there are times when a helicopter is chosen over truck transport simply because of the location of the worksite, but also because they are faster in transporting and erecting tower cranes. This is almost always the case if the developer needs to have a crane erected on the top of the high rise. Tower cranes are extended or grown piece by piece or mast section by mast section. Even if a smaller mobile crane is used to erect the tower, a helicopter may be needed to elevate the pieces of machinery to the top of the structure. Sometimes, the helicopter itself can be used as an aerial crane or sky crane and will complete the task the crane would otherwise be responsible for like lifting awkwardly shaped loads to the top of a structure or heavy equipment.
Using helicopter lift applications can shave days off of the time it takes for a specific task to be completed. They are additionally an asset in the precision placement of architectural embellishments, like domes or steeple placement, concrete structure transport, large signage and utility installations. Utility installations can be tricky, and yet with a helicopter, they become easy and effective because how else would you get a huge generator to the top of a high rise apartment building in downtown Manhattan and avoid delays caused by taxis and buses?
The type of equipment utilized in helicopter lift applications depends upon the specific task it is needed for. In aerial firefighting using helicopters, buckets that can carry hundreds of pounds of water or fire retardant may be affixed to the helicopters belly or the front of the aircraft. In the retrieval of people or wreckage following an accident, helicopter lifts will incorporate baskets and harnesses that allow for either the less than stable pieces or injured persons to be lifted without causing additional injury or harm. In the external transport of large or heavy objects, they use hooks and suspension cables to move the loads safely and accurately.