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Old November 25th 07, 03:36 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
Stuart & Kathryn Fields
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Posts: 328
Default Helicopter trailer

Thanks Steve. You've got some good ones and I think that you must have
thought about this sort of thing before. I'm definitely interested in the
tandem axle configuration and yes the ability to winch aboard is a must in
case you have some malfunction thatkeeps you from being able to hover the
bird. I'm thinking of fold down sides that in the vertical position provide
some road scrap protection and in the down position provides some
psychological assistance when flying on and off. Now the factory has just
put a plywood base on the back of their pickup and land the helicopter on it
facing back with the tail boom sticking out over the hood of the truck.
Then the trailer they tow is their camp trailer. This works pretty good for
them but the landing is a bit testy and is made much easier with someone
helping out.
Overhang. I've towed over 100,000 miles going to events in Ohio, Wisconsin,
and Oklahoma with my tailboom sticking out quite a ways beyond the aft end
of the trailer. I had a lite bar with a flashing amber lite mounted near
the end of the tailboom. Don't like the additional mass out there with the
bouncy roads. This would never work for the Rotorways, or the R-22s with
their more fragile tailbooms.

"Steve R" wrote in message
Hi Stuart & Kathryn,

I'll just add some comments/opinions to get this one going. Sounds like
you've got a worthwhile project going here.

"Stuart & Kathryn Fields" wrote in message
I had a chance encounter with the president of Kendon Industries. This
company makes ATV and Motorcycle trailers. They are interested in
possibly pursuing a design for a trailer that could be used to haul the
helicopters and provide a soft ride. I'm attaching some of the points to
consider in hopes that someone out there might read this and have some
good ideas.
1. Function - land on or load the helicopter in some alternate way? (I'm
biased toward flying on and off with a winch backup)

I think setting the trailer up to load either way is the best way.
Landing on the trailer would seem to be the most simple way of getting
there, assuming you're flight skills are up to it! ;-) However that
might not always be practical so having some way to winch the bird on is a
definite must. I'm assuming you've got some kind of wheel system employed
so you can move it around on the ground?

2. Length - overhang or no overhang? (I want enough overhang for a blade
support structure. I tow with blades installed)

Personally, I think overhang, definitely! For one thing, if you're going
to trailer the helicopter with blades installed, you'll needed the added
structure to support them. Beyond that, I wouldn't want "any" part of the
bird sticking out beyond the structure of the trailer when some idiot in
his "monster truck wannabe" can hit it. I know that makes for a really
long trailer but it would make me feel better!

3. Weight capacity - 2,000 lbs? 3,000 lbs? More? (2,000 # limit would
suit me)

I would think that the 2000 # limit would do. Designing the trailer
around a load limit of 2x the expected load weight gives you some reserve
capacity to play with in case you want to add features later, which I
imagine you'll probably do as you refine the system with experience.
Running the trailer at or near it's maximum load all the time is asking
for problems but springing it for too much more than the expected load
might add to the "rough ride" problem you mentioned.

4. Accessories - boxes, winches, built in tie down straps and in what
locations, security system, etc? (I can handle this on my own)

I think these things are a given.

5. Purpose - is this best to be a "helicopter-only" trailer, or should it
be appropriate for alternate uses? (I want a trailer designed
specifically for the helicopter)

You know the old saying, "Jack of all trades but master of none!" You're
hauling a "helicopter" on a trailer for crying out loud! How many people
do that? I'd design the trailer around the bird. Do anything and
everything you can to maximize the security of the helicopter. I imagine
you'll still be able to haul "stuff" on the trailer when the helicopter's
not on it but considering the investment you've got in the aircraft, it's
security should obviously be the priority. Have you considered a dual
axle design?

6. Optimal price?(Less than $4k?)

I don't know what the company you mentioned would charge for a project
like this. I can tell you that I know some folks who designed and built
from scratch a full length trailer for a Rotorway Exec for significantly
less than $4k. I'll have to ask what the total price was.

7. Deck height limitations or preferences? (Accomodate at least a 14"

I would think that you'd want the height as low as possible for stability
reasons while towing. However, if you're going to land on the trailer
then you'll need as much width as you can get so keeping the landing deck
above the tires may be a necessity. I'm not sure what to say on this one.
How tall is the helicopter and will it cause problems with roadway
overpasses while on the trailer? This may be a totally moot point but I
can't help but wonder!.

8. If we could accomplish most of the desired preferences, how likely
would you be to purchase such a trailer? (I want one and will design and
build my own if I can't find an acceptable one)

"If" I had an experimental helicopter and needed a way to transport it on
the ground, and the preferences noted were met, I'd definitely consider
it. I know that probably most of my answers are pretty obvious ones but
hopefully they'll help you get the conversation started!

Good luck,
Steve R.