Oct 29, 2019

Top 4 Construction Helicopters for Your Next Project

Top 4 Construction Helicopters for Your Next Project

So you’ve decided to hire a helicopter lifting company to assist you with your next construction project. You’ve probably read about all the ways aerial cranes can save you time and money over traditional ground cranes. You’ve likely researched the capabilities of these aircraft, from transporting hefty construction materials to pouring foundations and setting heavy power lines.

But which construction helicopter should you choose?

When you sit down with an aerial crane company to discuss your project, your dedicated project manager will help you choose the helicopter best suited to your needs. In the meantime, we’ll provide you with a high-level overview of the top 4 construction helicopters to consider for your construction job, whether it involves heavy lifting, cargo transport, or the precise placement of sizeable structures.

Each of the 4 helicopter cranes listed below are top performers for construction-related tasks such as:

Kaman K-Max K-1200 construction helicopter available from Helicopter Express.

1. Kaman K-Max K-1200

Maximum Weight Capacity: 12,000 pounds
Maximum External Load: 6,000 pounds
Maximum Speed: 100 knots (115 mph)
Maximum Range: 345 miles

If you’re looking for a heavy-lift helicopter with a proven track record for your next construction project, look no further than the Kaman K-Max K-1200. According to Kaman.com, this fleet has accumulated over 340,000 flight hours in the past 25 years.

This single-engine, single-seat crane helicopter was designed for your heaviest and most repetitive construction lifting jobs, from ski lift and power line construction to logging. In fact, this aerial crane began its commercial life as a logging helicopter in 1994.

Because it can lift up to 6,000 pounds in one external load, it is ideal for demanding missions that require you to pour concrete foundations or place large towers or rooftop systems.

With average fuel consumption of just 82 gallons per hour during heavy-lift operations, the Kaman K-Max K-1200 boasts the most efficient lift-to-fuel ratio of any aircraft available. It can even lift more than its weight!

The K-Max operates without a traditional tail rotor configuration. Instead, its engine power is harnessed by its main rotors. This intermeshing rotor system means two key advantages for this chopper:

The Kaman K-Max K-1200 was also designed with a limited number of systems requiring your hired pilot to take action. This measure increases the safety of your operations by ensuring your pilot can keep their hands and feet on the controls during flight procedures.

Additional features of the K-Max include:

Yellow Bell 205A-1++ heavy-lift helicopter available from Helicopter Express.

2. Bell 205A-1++

Maximum Weight Capacity: 10,000 pounds
Maximum External Load: 4,000 pounds
Maximum Speed: 120 knots (138 mph)
Maximum Range: 345 miles

Does your construction project require a helicopter capable of performing external lifting missions at high altitudes, in high temperatures, or in turbulent mountain environments? Then consider the Bell 205A-1++.

This 9-passenger aircraft is one of the most versatile helicopters available for your heavy-lift construction job. In fact, the U.S. Forest Service frequently chooses this chopper for its impressive safety record and proven reliability.

The Bell 205A-1++ is a medium, turbine-powered aircraft featuring two blades and a single engine. It was designed for low maintenance and is certified for land operation under both day and night conditions. It is even capable of operating from unprepared takeoff and landing areas.

This helicopter requires just one pilot for nonflammable/nonhazardous cargo. If your internal cargo includes flammable or hazardous materials, your minimum flight crew must consist of one pilot and one crew member.

Not sure what other specifics you need to know before you select your helicopter and get to work? Review these 14 questions you should ask before hiring a heavy-lift helicopter service.

Yellow Airbus AS-350 B3 aerial crane available from Helicopter Express.

3. Airbus AS-350 B3

Maximum Weight Capacity: 5,225 pounds
Maximum External Load: 3,200 pounds
Maximum Speed: 139 knots (160 mph)
Maximum Range: 345 miles

The Airbus AS-350 B3 is a light, single-engine helicopter known for its diverse range, excellent visibility, and built-in maneuverability. It features a wide cabin that receives low levels of vibration, as well as a passenger capacity of up to 5 people. This helicopter is ideal for construction projects requiring heavy lifting, cargo transport, aerial surveys, or utility patrol.

The Airbus AS-350 B3 is a member of the Ecureuil family of Airbus copters. Together, the aircraft making up this family have accumulated over 33 million flight hours.

Additionally, this Airbus aircraft is the holder of two fascinating world records:

  1. It boasts the world record for the highest-altitude takeoff and landing. The pilot performed this feat on Mount Everest in 2005 at an altitude of 29,029 feet.
  2. It performed the world’s highest long-line rescue operation in the Himalayas in 2013. The rescue occurred on Lhotse—the fourth-highest mountain in the world—at an altitude of 25,590 feet.

The Airbus AS-350 B3’s high versatility and ability to perform in extreme conditions make it a popular choice for government and military operations as well as high-altitude rescue missions. If you’re planning a construction project where you’ll be working at high elevations or in scorching heat, you’ll definitely want to consider this powerful chopper.

Yellow Bell 407HP utility helicopter available from Helicopter Express.

4. Bell 407HP

Maximum Weight Capacity: 5,250 pounds
Maximum External Load: 2,500 pounds
Maximum Speed: 140 knots (161 mph)
Maximum Range: 342 miles

The Bell 407HP is a single-engine, multipurpose utility helicopter from Bell Helicopter. A modern version of the Bell 206L-4 LongRanger, the Bell 407 features a four-blade rotor design that enhances its power and speed.

This aircraft is commonly used for missions in high temperatures or at high altitudes in fields such as firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. Its versatility and fuel efficiency make it a great choice for utility construction projects involving heavy lifting, aerial surveys, and utility patrol.

The conversion of the Bell 407 to 407HP meant a faster, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient helicopter that generates more than 1,000 shaft horsepower. That’s because the 407HP utilizes a Honeywell HTS900 propulsion engine in place of the 407’s standard engine.

New technologies in the HP include:

What does all that mean for your construction project? If you choose a Bell 407HP, you’ll be getting the lowest fuel consumption and the highest power-to-weight ratio of any helicopter in its class.

Here’s a quick breakdown of a few additional advantages of choosing the Bell 407HP for your construction job:

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