Helicopters usually come with distinct design features based on the functionality and purpose they are intended to serve.
In terms of landing, helicopters are either designed to land on wheels, while those without wheels are designed to use landing gear known as skids.
Helicopters with skids have their advantages including that they are adapted to land on both paved or unpaved terrains.
However, these types of helicopters face the challenge of mobility when it comes to moving them on the ground, especially when moving them in and out of hangars, a building where choppers are housed for maintenance or parking.
This article explains the three ways in which wheelless helicopters are moved out of the hangars or manoeuver on the ground.
Use of Tow Carts
The use of tow-Carts is a common way of moving wheelless choppers. Tow carts are either electric or hydraulic devices that are attached to the helicopter skids in times of movement.
The specialised carts are designed to grip the skids in several areas and lift the chopper up which allows the helicopter to be driven around.
They have the capacity to enable large helicopters to be moved just by a single person. Tow carts come in a range of sizes depending to suit the different makes of helicopters.
Use of Dolly
A helicopter dolly is a rectangular platform mounted on wheels that a helicopter lands on before entering the garage.
Dollies are usually made of aluminum and are to the highest standards to support the weight of the helicopters.
The skid-equipped chopper lands on the dolly which can in turn be pulled using a tow vehicle, or a garden tractor.
Ground Handling Wheels
The use of ground handling is also common among operators of skid-equipped helicopters. Most helicopters come with a set of ground-handling wheels designed and fitted by the manufacturers.
When moving the helicopter, the handling wheels are temporarily attached to the skids through the help of a hydraulic mechanism which jacks the skids up and hence enables the operator to tow or pull the helicopter.