How Much Weight Can a Construction Helicopter Lift?
The benefits of using a construction helicopter for your next project are virtually endless. Suitable for everything from aerial inspections to cargo transfer, their size and efficiency mean they outmaneuver airplanes and outperform traditional ground cranes nearly every time.
Perhaps most important of all, these utility aircraft are fit to lift even your heaviest loads.
But just how much weight can a construction helicopter lift? Light utility helicopters frequently lift between 1,200 and 4,000 pounds. On the other end of the spectrum is the M-26–the world’s largest heavy-lift helicopter–which is capable of transporting up to 44,000 pounds. That’s the equivalent of 11 midsize cars!
For most aerial construction projects, however, you’ll likely require a lift capacity between 2,000 and 6,000 pounds.
Read on to discover the top 4 utility helicopters you should consider for your next job. Learn about each aircraft’s external load capacity, construction capabilities, and recommended project types.
Here are four types of construction helicopters and their unique lift capacities:
1. Kaman K-Max K-1200
Maximum External Load: 6,000 pounds Classification: Heavy-lift utility helicopter Construction Capabilities: Heavy lifting, utility construction, aerial crane
The Kaman K-Max K-1200 is a medium-lift synchropter. It uses intermeshing rotors that turn in opposite directions at opposite angles to provide greater lift capabilities.
We recommend choosing this helicopter’s lift services for all your electrical and energy construction needs.
These may include:
Pipeline and power line construction and repair
Cell tower placement
Natural gas line construction
Material and equipment transport and placement
See the Kaman K-Max K-1200 in action above as it lifts heavy construction pipes while maintaining steady flight.
2. Bell 205A-1++
Maximum External Load: 4,000 pounds Classification: Heavy-lift utility helicopter Construction Capabilities: Heavy lifting, aerial crane
This two-blade, single-engine aircraft is capable of carrying out even the most demanding external load operations. It has a proven track record of successful heavy-lift procedures in high-altitude areas, high temperatures, and tempestuous environments. That’s what makes it one of the most popular helicopters in its class.
We recommend choosing the Bell 205A-1++ for your heaviest lifts, which may include:
HVAC and chiller removal and installation
Steel beam placement
Rigging, roofing, and ducting
3. Airbus AS-350 B3
Maximum External Load: 3,200 pounds Classification: Light utility helicopter Construction Capabilities: Utility patrol
This single-engine turbine aircraft offers an external load capacity upwards of 3,000 pounds.
We recommend hiring this chopper for aerial inspections, preventative maintenance, and environmental impact monitoring in normal or high-ambient conditions.
Specific projects may include:
Inspecting the condition of infrastructure
Patrolling power lines and observing dislodged static lines
Looking for danger trees that could result in millions of dollars worth of utility damages
Whether your project has you fighting soaring temperatures and humidity or elevated levels of atmospheric pressure, the Airbus AS-350 B3 is guaranteed to come through for you.
4. Bell 407HP
Maximum External Load: 2,500 pounds Classification: Medium-lift utility helicopter Construction Capabilities: Heavy lifting
This four-blade, single-engine chopper boasts speed and reliability in all weather conditions. Its maneuverability is next to none and its fuel efficiency makes it a top performer in its class.
We recommend the Bell 407HP for projects including pipeline and power line construction.
Specific tasks for this chopper include:
Transportation of machinery and materials
Monopole and lattice structures
Placement of pipe sections and pipe weights
If you’re seeking to increase your operational savings with an efficient aircraft that occupies less cubic space and burns less fuel, then the Bell 407HP is a perfect cost-effective choice.
Ready to rent a helicopter for your construction project?
When you’re ready to hire helicopter construction services, look no further than Helicopter Express. We own and operate one of the most powerful fleets of all the utility helicopter companies in the United States.
We employ only the most experienced and highly-skilled pilots and we have individually selected each of our 24 helicopters for its unique performance capabilities.