HAI Convention News

HeliWagon to load ’em up, move ’em out

 - February 25, 2008, 11:06 AM

Spec-Ops Aviation (Booth No. 3158) has introduced the HeliWagon, an electric landing pad and transport system designed to move light to medium skid aircraft. The wheel device serves as a landing surface and can be relocated, for example, to a fueling site eliminating the need to land near fuel pumps.

Spec-Ops partnered with Omnex Controls to supply the wireless remote control system that guides the 12- by 14-foot pad, but Spec-Ops president Dr. Cary Simonds said owners can also attach the pad to a trailer or vehicle if the aircraft needs to be transported over large distances. The pad averages a speed of 100 fpm.

Commercial-grade 36-volt batteries provide more than four hours of continuous use with a full load and take eight hours to recharge, Simonds said, adding that the electric system used to power the pads is the same as those used in hybrid cars and golf carts. “We’re eliminating carbon emissions by combining a state-of-the-art electric system with environmentally friendly power,” company co-owner Steve Messer added.

The pad itself was designed using a combination of powder-coated steel chassis components, stainless steel and aluminum. Corrosion-resistant fasteners provide protection in humid coastal regions, Messer said.

Other benefits include a small turning radius–which amounts to the size of the pad itself–and increased safety.

Simonds said there has been “overwhelming interest” in the HeliWagon, which the company is selling here at Heli-Expo for $27,000.

Spec-Ops is just now gearing up for production, however, and has not yet delivered any pads. Simonds said the company is requesting a 90-day lead time from new customers.