Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. Why load from the rear of the helicopter?
  2. Can the CHOPPER SPOTTER damage my helicopter?
  3. Is it easy to load?
  4. Does the tail get in the way when loading?
  5. Can it take my helicopter up a ramp?
  6. Will it work on grass or loose gravel?
  7. With urethane tread wheels, is the suspension harsh?
  8. Do the urethane wheels have good traction?
  9. Why not use rubber wheels?
  10. Can the Chopper Spotter be towed?

Questions about the MS Model

  1. What is the advantage of the MS lifting system?
  2. What maintenance is needed on the MS?
  3. Can the same machine handle an R22 and a UH1 or BK 117?

Electrical System

  1. What kind of batteries?
  2. How are the batteries charged?
  3. How long will a battery charge last?
  4. Why is there an option for 4 batteries on the MS?
  5. How can I determine the state of battery charge?
  6. Can the Chopper Spotter be used for an Auxiliary Power Unit?

General Questions


  1. Why load from the rear of the helicopter?
    The capability to load from the rear offers advantages:
    1. It is easier to see the engagement points from the rear.
    2. Rear loading eliminates problems with fore mounted lights, antennas, cable strike protection, or FLIR units.
    3. In a small hangar it is often convenient to back in, keeping the widest part of the ship near the door. The Chopper Spotter is near the door when the ship is ready to take off, making it easy to put away before takeoff and easy to re-load after landing. Incidentally, backing is easy with the Chopper Spotter, and the unique operating position at the tail gives you excellent control and visibility.

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  2. Can the CHOPPER SPOTTER damage my helicopter?
    The Chopper Spotter is the safest transporter available. It lifts the ship from the same attachment points as the ground handling wheels. There is no contact with the crosstubes or belly of the ship, and the operator is in a good position to see the blades. When in tight situations, the variable speed and excellent maneuverability give the operator superior control.

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  3. Is it easy to load?
    Yes! Roll it under your helicopter, attach the two yokes to the ground handling wheel brackets, step back to the tailboom, and you are ready to go. It is quicker than dealing with the regular wheels.

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  4. Does the tail get in the way when loading?
    No. The handle is offset to the side and spring loaded. It can be lowered easily in order to avoid interference with even the lowest tailbooms.

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  5. Can it take my helicopter up a ramp?
    Easily! It is designed to have more than enough torque for even the heaviest ships. The electronic controller also provides braking capabilities when going down ramps or inclines. The controller provides "soft start" and "soft stop."

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  6. Will it work on grass or loose gravel?
    No. It is for paved surfaces or well packed gravel. Ships over 5000 pounds usually require concrete or very hard asphalt.

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  7. With urethane tread wheels, is the suspension harsh?
    The lifting framework suspends the helicopter just like springs. The Chopper Spotter can take a jolt (from going over hangar door rails, for example) and the helicopter will not be affected. The industrial urethane wheels are virtually indestructible, quiet, will not distort or flatten, roll easily for long battery life, and will never need air!

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  8. Do the urethane wheels have good traction?
    Because half the weight of the ship is on the drive wheel, traction is good. We can provide traction grooves on the wheel to improve traction in snowy and icy conditions. A big advantage of the Chopper Spotter is that the single drive wheel needs only a narrow band of clear pavement for traction.

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  9. Why not use rubber wheels?
    No rubber wheel provides the capacity of urethane. Multiple wheels do not fit the design of the Chopper Spotter, and do not permit the pivoting action. Urethane also has low rolling resistance for high efficiency.

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  10. Can the Chopper Spotter be towed?
    Yes. Hitches are provided on both ends of the Chopper Spotter in case you need to tow it. It must never be towed faster than its normal operating speed unless the drive chain is removed, and somebody needs to stabilize the helicopter at the tail. (Towing it too fast can over-speed the motor if the chain is not removed.) The "hitches" also serve as tie downs for transport by aircraft, watercraft, or truck.

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Questions about the MS Model


  1. What is the advantage of the MS lifting system?
    The lifting arms are outboard. If for some reason the helicopter should come down on the Chopper Spotter, no damage will be done because nothing is sticking up directly under the ship. Our design assistant, Murphy's Law, likes this method because it prevents damage in case of careless operation or part failure.

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  2. What maintenance is needed on the MS?
    The Chopper Spotter MS is virtually maintenance-free. The main moving components only need a spot of lubrication every 6 months to a year. The motor, gearbox, and hydraulic lifting system need no maintenance, and there is a single heavy-duty chain from the gearbox to the drive wheel. The most important maintenance chore is to keep the batteries charged, which is easy with the automatic onboard charger.

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  3. Can the same machine handle an R22 and a UH1 or BK 117?
    You bet! You will need a pair of yokes for each ship, and to make loading easier you will need a set of long transverse tubes and lifting (extension) arms and a short set, but it is no problem, and quick to switch between the adapters.

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Electrical System


  1. What kind of batteries?
    The Chopper Spotter features Optima Red Top group 78 batteries. These are a non spill-able battery, that ships worldwide wet and fully charged. The Optima AGM batteries are available worldwide and can be easily replaced. For more information check out www.optimabatteries.com
  2. How are the batteries charged?
    An onboard automatic charger is standard, either 110 or 220 volt. The 220 volt charger requires the customer to install the plug. The charger is sized to charge the deep-cycle batteries at the best rate to insure long battery life. It is completely automatic and can be left plugged in without damage. The Battery Charger is CE for use in Europe & Russia.
  3. How long will a battery charge last?
    The batteries are rated 110 amp/hours. The Chopper Spotter draws about 20-30 amperes in normal use, which means it can operate for 4-5 hours continuous duty. It is best to keep the batteries fully charged. The onboard charger makes this easy.
  4. How can I determine the state of battery charge?
    A battery gauge is standard. It is a sensitive electronic device to determine the power level of each battery. You will never be surprised by discharged batteries.

    Can the Chopper Spotter be used for an Auxiliary Power Unit?
    Yes. It can be outfitted with a power receptacle to provide 120 amperes @ 24 volts from the batteries.

 
 
   
           
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