You know that scene in The World Is Not Enough when a helicopter with a giant set of spinning saws chops Brosnan's BMW in half? Yeah, those things exist.
Had I not witnessed something like this before seeing the movie, I would have been all "Oh, COME ON. A flying saw? Really, Bond?" But no. This exists. I saw one outside Seattle, flying between some tall pines and power lines. Can't fathom the level of care and control and steadiness required to do this.
It's not actually as insane as you'd imagine, replied endymion.
It's a lot more stable than you give it credit for. The long bundle of cable/wire used to suspend the saws dampens any of the control inputs the pilot uses to fly the helicopter. I'm not saying he could go out and perform aerobatics with it (though that would be completely awesome and something I would pay to see), but it's really no different than how any rotary-winged lift asset handles its payload.
1. YES. STUNT FLYING WITH SAWS. THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Actually, that would make a really cool air-show demonstration - something like cutting through a series of 2x4s with expensive stuff (maybe new cars?) on either side. Seriously. I feel like I should call up the company and say "why don't you do this? Wouldn't that be badass?"
2. I follow what you're saying, but the stakes are a bit higher than with other loads. If you're, say, dropping a cargo box at a depot and you're off by a foot or two, whatever, let the guys on the ground handle it. But on this, if you're off by a foot or two, you're into high-voltage power lines or you foul the saw in the tree (one would think/hope there's a quick-release so that the saw won't pull the chopper down, but still).
You call them to arrange for a saw and I will contact Bell, Sikorsky and Boeing for a helicopter. ;)
I am sure you are right and that there is a quick-release. As for hitting power lines, I can't imagine they are trimming within a few feet of the lines. From the video, it looks like they are working ~20 feet back from the high tension lines? I am sure that you have seen videos of personnel repairing high tension power lines from a helicopter. That only works if they don't touch another damn thing to close the loop.
The pilot talks about the increased power required for his below-ETL OGE flight along the tree tops. If he was trimming within a few inches of the power lines, I don't think he'd have the power required, let alone enough space in the helicopter to house his massive balls.
So we're all agreed, then. Someone needs to get a flying, spinning, saw-equipped helicopter of destruction and chop up some trees/cars/boats/houses/whatever else we can get our hands on. It's going to be the next big thing.