A helicopter’s value is its versatility and manoeuvrability. It can carry people and supplies into the most rugged terrain, land on mountain and building tops, and provide aerial support to people on the ground almost anywhere. But although it’s aerial manoeuvrability is unmatched, moving it once it has landed is a different story.
Unless you have a team on the ground, moving a helicopter into its hangar is a hassle. For this reason Arnold Van Alleman and his wife, Liesl, designed, manufactured and assembled the Helimove.
The incentive to build Helimove came when Transvaal Aircraft Maintenance’s, Neels Van Emmenis, needed to single-handedly move Bell Jet Rangers into and around his hangars, which, like many others are impeded by weather ramps. The first Helimove was completed in August 2015, and TAM has used it daily since then.
Helimove is a remote-controlled landing pad that allows one person to move a helicopter on the ground, hassle free. It measures 3m x 3m, weighs 500 kg, and is built from high-grade aluminium. The wheels are powered by two solar-charged 12 volt batteries which operate permanent magnet motors on each of the two back wheels, which are controlled by a hand-held joystick. In case of a string of days of overcast weather, Helimove comes with a CTEC battery charger, which can be connected to a 220 volt plug point. Helimove is also foldable, making transport and storage easier.
With a load capacity of 2,500 kg, Helimove is wide enough and sturdy enough to handle all medium to small helicopters, ranging from the Squirrel or Bell Long Ranger to the Robinson 22. The pad has LED strip light markers which can be switched on by remote control when approaching to land in poor visibility conditions. There are also various landing guide extensions which can be fitted, depending on the different helicopters, to assist pilots with the landing
Additional extras include a radio receiver for marker lights, external power pack and charging cord,which is very useful for the bigger helicopters.
Operations have now moved to Johannesburg, and designs are currently afoot to develop a larger Helimove for helicopters such as the BK117.
Helimove currently sells for R295,000 (excluding VAT) and lead time is 6-8 weeks. The price is, however, exchange rate sensitive as the Helimove motors, gearboxes and electronic sub-components are imported from Europe.
For more information, contact Arnold or Liesl on firstname.lastname@example.org.