Reliable 400hz Motor Drive for Helicopter Logging

A reliable 400hz motor drive was needed by the VIH Aviation Group to support their helicopter logging operations in Canada. VIH logging helicopters and crews operate in extreme weather, payload, and altitude conditions and needed a ruggedized 400hz aviation drive capable of supporting the hydraulic winch pods used in their fleet of heavy-lift helicopters.

What is Helicopter Logging?

Helicopter logging is an eco-friendly method of harvesting timber where individual trees are extracted from a forest by a helicopter, rather than by traditional ground-based methods such as

VIH Helicopter Logging
Photo: VIH Aviation Group

logging trucks or trains. The helicopter is equipped with a long cable and grappling hook, which is used to lift the logs out of the forest and transport them to a landing area where they can be loaded onto trucks or trains for transport to a mill. Harvested logs can weigh several thousands of pounds requiring substantial lift and winch power to raise and lower the logs. Helicopter logging is typically used in areas that are difficult to access by ground, such as steep terrain or rugged wilderness areas. It can also be used to selectively harvest valuable trees without causing damage to the surrounding forest.

Custom 400hz Drive for Hydraulic Winch Pod

Working with Kwak Aviation, LLC a manufacturer of aviation-based power systems, Invention House, LLC designed and manufactured a reliable 400hz motor drive capable of withstanding VIH’s extreme helicopter logging environment. The result is a reliable 400hz motor drive that meets military motor drive specs as well as these operating parameters:

• 3PD Input/Output Configuration: 3-phase input, 3-phase output.Picture of 20hp, 230 volt, 400 hz motor drive

• 230VAC – 65Amps rms (20hp) (10hp also possible)
• 50/60/400hz Output
• Flange for bulkhead mounting.
• Minimal cooling required – just 5 cfm across the heat sink fins.
• -40C to +55C temperature operating range
• 40g shock, 2grms vibration
• 10lbs total weight

Invention House Designs & Builds Custom 400hz Motor Drives

Invention House, LLC based in St Louis, MO has over 22 years of experience designing and developing custom single-phase and 3-phase VFD motor drives. Phil Langhorst, Invention House founder, and its president is a nationally recognized expert in power control and variable frequency drive design and manufacture, with special expertise in ruggedized and military spec motor drives. If your company is searching for a 400hz motor drive, we encourage you to contact Invention House today.