- 22 Jun 2021
- Tony Kioussis
- Aviation Podcasts
A wide range of Turbine Helicopters are used for corporate and VIP travel. The smallest models seat four and have a single-engine, whereas the larger twin-engine models are capable of carrying more than 12 passengers, plus crew.
Buyers seeking a new Turbine Helicopter can expect to pay just under $1m for a brand-new small single-engine model, up to around $15m for a large twin-engine helicopter.
Ideal for owners and operators who need to fly trips of up to 600 nautical miles, popular turbine helicopter models today are produced by Agusta, Airbus, Airbus-Eurocopter, Bell, Leonardo, McDonnell Douglas, Robinson and Sikorsky.
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There are approximately 40,000 civil Turbine Helicopters in operation worldwide. In early 2020, Honeywell Aerospace forecast an additional 4,100 to be delivered by the end of 2024.
There are more than 9,000 civil helicopters registered in the United States, according to the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). More than 8,700 additional civil helicopters are based in Europe (counting both EASA and non-EASA countries).
The Bell 206 Jet Ranger is the most popular helicopter model. Bell Helicopter has produced about 8,500 units for this aircraft family.
Turbine Helicopters fly an average 140kts per hour (160mph), broadly speaking. However, the speed on any given flight will be impacted by payload, the range required, and other factors, on a trip-by-trip basis.
In 2019 there were between 0.68 and 0.75 fatal US helicopter accidents per 100,000 flight hours, according to the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). The USHST says this trend has improved steadily in the US over the past 30 years. As with all types of aircraft, the continued improvement in helicopter flying safety depends on the practices of the operator, ultimately.
Turbine Helicopter Overview
By Matt Harris
Those who are shopping the pre-owned Turbine Helicopter market will find cheaper options from the same manufacturers, along with other out-of-production models.
Keep in mind that helicopters offered for sale on the used market may have fulfilled a completely different purpose with their previous owners.
Some of the other roles and industries Turbine Helicopters are often utilized for are police work, medevac, aerial surveillance, offshore, media, tourism and more. Turbine Helicopters are extremely versatile, and with a well-planned and well executed refurbishment they will prove very capable, comfortable modes of corporate/VIP transportation.
What are the Advantages of Turbine Helicopters?
There are various reasons that make Turbine Helicopters popular with their owners. These include:
Flexibility: Turbine Helicopters offer the advantage of greater flexibility than other types of aircraft, especially if passengers need to travel a relatively short distance. That’s because, thanks to their ability to land vertically, they can collect and drop-off passengers at places it would be impossible to access with a jet, turboprop or piston aircraft. That could include the roof of an office, a home, or even a yacht equipped with a helipad.
Time-Savings: With the ability to fly fast and direct, Turbine Helicopters literally offer door-to-door travel, which provides excellent time-savings for owners. In addition to avoiding busy, laborious airline terminals, Helicopter owners can avoid traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. This enables passengers to be more productive with their time, while also facilitating a better work-life balance for busy executives.
Utility: Owing to their ability to fly at low speeds or hover, Turbine Helicopters are ideal for multiple roles within a corporation. For example, equipped with a cargo hook, or adequate sensor system, a rotorcraft could feasibly be used for slinging cargo, aerial surveillance and passenger transportation for the same owner. And, it’s due to the many roles helicopters play that several aftermarket solutions exist allowing for a helicopter that might have flown a completely different mission profile under a previous owner to be reconfigured and refurbished for exclusive VIP or corporate transportation.
Security: Ensuring they travel only with known colleagues, friends and family, Turbine Helicopter users enjoy a higher level of security than those who travel aboard scheduled airlines or via ground-based transport.
Privacy: Although not as spacious compared to a business jets or turboprops, helicopters provide an ideal environment in which to work alongside colleagues, or sit back and relax with family and friends in a comfortable, private space.
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