HAI Convention News

Skywork’s K-Max makes heavy work look easy

 - March 5, 2011, 4:35 AM

The Kaman K-Max Aerial Truck (Booth No. 2521) lived up to its name in January as a K-Max flown by Skywork Helicopters of Warkworth, New Zealand,, hoisted six sections of an electrical transmission tower, some weighing more than 4,800 pounds, into place near Brisbane, Australia.

Skywork’s K-Max was called into service when a heavy crane that had been retained for the job became bogged down in soggy ground saturated by days of pouring rain. The medium-lift K-Max was flown 581 miles from Skywork’s facility in Wollogong to erect the tower, part of a major construction project installing a new 8.5-mile powerline.

The helicopter, with twin intermeshing rotors, hovered up to 30 minutes with each tower section while riggers bolted the sections together.

“I was quite impressed with the performance of the K-Max,” said site construction manager Trevor Carroll. “Personally, I have worked under other heavy lift helicopters in the past and must say that down-draft and engine noise from the K-Max was very minimal in comparison to some others.”

According to Bob Manaskie, general manager for the Kaman Helicopters aftermarket group, the K-Max is often requested for such jobs, “where its low rotor wash and noise levels reduce the risk to personnel perched on structures.”