Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Choosing The Right Helicopter

Each type of helicopter is different. But this doesn’t mean that it is difficult to buy one that would fit your need for everything would boil down to your priority.

Helicopters are measured in terms of passenger capacity, comfort, versatility, speed, and of course cost.

Choosing the right one for you depends on these criteria. For example, if you want a cost effective helicopter strictly for personal use, you can take the Schweizer 300 or the Robinson R22 (helicopter for 2). It has basic comfort and few features.

The exact opposite are the McDonnell-Douglas 500, Enstrom Shark, and the Agusta 109A. They are fast and more convenient to fly.

In between these 2 extremes are Eurocopter Squirrel and the Bell Jet Ranger. These are single turbine-engined helicopter that are more commonly used for filming work and charter flying. The Eurocopter Squirrel and the Bell Jet Ranger are agile, fast, and comfortable, but are constrained to fly on a fair weather.

This is not the case with the Sikorsky S76 and The Eurocopter Dauphin 2 which can fly at 200mph and can accommodate up to 14 people safely and comfortably.

With these, we can narrow down your selection into 3:

Light Piston-engined Types – If you want a cheap personal helicopter that could sit for two, the Schweizer 300 or the Robinson R22 would be your choice. They can fly at the speed of 80-110 mph. With a seating capacity and small size, these helicopters are light, easy to fly, and easy to maneuver. Surprisingly, the light piston-engined helicopters use a more expensive fuel than that of the kerosene based turbine engines but they consume less fuel. However, the Schweizer 300 or the Robinson R22 is less buyable for charter and corporate use. They are more popular, however, on training and personal use.

Light turbine helicopters – McDonnell Douglas 500E, Eurocopter Squirrel and the (Agusta-) Bell Jet Ranger are widely used around the world for its practicality and mid-range amenities, comfort, size, speed, versatility and price. Private owner often prefer light turbine helicopters among other types for these given reasons. The look is sporty and performance is almost perfect (if not perfect).

Twin Engined Helicopters – Stronger, safer, faster and more versatile helicopters are the likes of the Dauphin, Sikorsky S-76, Agusta 109, and Eurocopter Twin Squirrel. These are powered by 2 engines and can go places that other smaller helicopters can’t go. These are far better choice for high-end market with high price bracket.

Now you have this information, you can choose what’s yours.

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