FulcrumAir is now offering slinging operations to assist in powerline construction and maintenance, utilizing its E7500 heavy lifting UAS.
Work has been completed with K-Line Line Maintenance and Construction on a 138KV line being reconstructed for one of the leading power providers in Canada.
K-Line contracted with FulcrumAir to sling over difficult terrain, cross arms, insulators, tools, and other components weighing up to 120 pounds per trip. Overall, 19 trips were made, and 1800 lbs of material was slung in 6 hours of flight time over 16 hours in the field. The work was completed over sensitive wetland areas, wildlife habitat and a farmer’s field, minimizing the impact of trucks and other vehicles.
This operation was conducted using the E7500, eliminating the need for a helicopter. In many cases, unmanned aircraft heavy slinging allows for comparable efficiency to traditional helicopter slinging, while significantly reducing the safety risk to crews and workers on the ground. According to FulcrumAir, unmanned heavy slinging is safer, more cost effective and has a lighter footprint than traditional aviation.
“Utilizing FulcrumAir’s heavy lift drone allowed us to safely import material and export salvage material efficiently,” said Brian Edall, VP of Business Development at K-Line Group of Companies. “Crews were able to navigate the rough terrain and icy slopes safely without having to carry any materials. FulcrumAir‘s heavy lift drone allowed us to control the site and employee hazards in a very innovative way.”
The work for K-Line was carried out in Canada under regulatory approval from Transport Canada, which was first obtained in 2017. FulcrumAir is currently working with the FAA on Type Certification in the US to enable Part 133 external load operations. These approvals are expected in mid 2023 and will enable similar work to be performed in the US.