Whisper Jets for your Orchard

The Whisper Jet – a medium lift aircraft ideally suited for Orchards and other tasks

Big Tree recently upgraded our fleet by adding two Sikorsky Whisper Jet Helicopters to better serve our Orchard growers. These machines feature a massive 53 foot rotor span so they can move huge amounts of air. In the orchard this size is a huge advantage. Our rotors diameter is 10-20% larger than a Huey helicopter, depending on model.

Experts may recognize the profile of our Whisper Jets as being based off of the Sikorsky S-55. Good eye! But the Whisper Jet is a fully modernized and updated version of this Cold War Era machine. Our Whisper Jets were completely overhauled with all new components installed and zero timed. While the machines were being restored they underwent a significant modification and upgrade programs. Modern Jet turbine engines upgraded over the original piston radial type, as well as many upgrades to increase performance and safety while decreasing pilot workload.

Why is it called a Whisper Jet? Because Whisper Jet technology was applied to these aircraft to reduce noise signatures. Main rotor system upgrades, insulated carbon fiber nose doors, sound absorbing wafers installed in the revised air intakes, an exhaust silencer and many other tricks were applied to quiet these machines. When the project was complete, these Whisper Jet helicopters were certified as the quietest medium lift helicopters ever created.

In the nose of the Whisper Jet resides a Jet Turbine engine with engineered noise suppression systems installed

The size of this machine and its ability to move air on your orchrard, combined with its modern reliability make these machine an obvious choice for you. One final advantage, the reduced noise signature makes it easier to go unnoticed. This can help reduce noise and neighbor concerns, making your life a little easier, all while doing a great job of servicing your orchard

Another of our Whisper Jets parked next to Big Tree’s Bell 206 at Salem Airport

Christmas Tree Harvest Has Started

For faster turns placing the hook directly in the workers hand is very important

Its that time of year again, time for a uniquely Oregon experience.  Aerial Christmas tree harvesting was developed just a few miles from our home here in Salem Oregon during the mid 1970’s.   At the time, Oregon was not the largest producer of Christmas Trees like it is now.  The development of aerial harvesting allowed the Oregon tree farmers to grow in size and scale.  They were able to utilize less desirable land and harvest more trees in our difficult early winter conditions.   Our weather is great for tree growth but challenging for conventional harvest methods.

I was first introduced to helicopter aerial harvesting as a boy while on a family tree farm.   Thru the years I’ve done nearly every physical task associated with tree farming from the planting of a seedling all the way thru to sales and delivery of a tree at a retail location.  I guess it was inevitable that I would end up being an aerial harvester.

High Visibility Hook is easier for workers to see and remotely operated by the pilot

What’s involved?   Well,  a lot more than just a hook and a helicopter.  The pace is fast, this is the fastest paced external load flying in the world.  More lift operations per hour and per day than any other helicopter operation on earth.    It needs to be done efficiently to satisfy customers who are generally small business owners with an eye on the bottom line.  It also needs to be done safely.   The demands go far beyond these two things.  We understand all challenges and concerns, and have learned quite a few tricks over the years to improve our clients bottom line and satisfaction.

Here at Big Tree Aviation, this type of work is our specialty.   We were raised around this type of work and understand the needs of our clients.  We are fast and we are safe.  We understand the crop and the farmer.  Many of our friends are tree farmers, we are even tree farmers ourselves.  If our customer is new to aerial tree harvesting we will show them how to do it safely and efficiently.  If our client is more experienced, we will combine forces to increase your operation’s professionalism, safety, and production levels.   We are glad to serve our clients during their busiest season.  Each tree has at least 6-10 years of work and resources invested in it.  We take great pride in helping our friends bring their product to market.   If you would like a hand with your aerial harvest or have a few questions  give us a call or email christmastrees@bigtreeaviation.com