Top private helicopters
Most people know about chartering private jets and yachts for their business trips or luxury holidays, but how much do you know about private helicopter charter? While yachts and jets may be ideal for long-haul trips, a helicopter can hop from island to island or from city to city much faster and just as luxuriously. Because of their size and maneuverability, helicopters can also often reach destinations bulky jets can’t – like the helipad on the roof of any Bond villain’s hideout!
Similar to most passenger aircraft, helicopters range in size, range and functionality. This means that whether you’re flying solo, taking your team of executives to a meeting at another branch, or whisking family and friends off to a plush holiday destination, there is a luxury helicopter that is designed to suit your needs and deliver you to your destination in style and comfort. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and luxurious helicopters available for charter today.
The Bell 222 was the first light, twin-turbine-engine helicopter developed in the USA, and is a highly popular choice for corporate travel. The design features two main rotor blades of stainless-steel-fibreglass, and twin Lycoming/Honeywell LTS101-650 turboshaft engines. These engines allow this aircraft to reach cruise speeds of up to 149 mph, and cover distances of up to 438 miles.
One of the best-looking civil helicopters ever designed, with its shark-like silhouette and stunning interior, this luxury helicopter has capacity for two pilots and five to six passengers in a choice of executive layouts. If it looks familiar, that may be because a modified version of the 222 had a starring role in the TV series, Airwolf.
Bell 206B Jet Ranger
The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single and twin-engine helicopters, with the Jet Ranger boasting capacity for a single pilot and up to four passengers. This aircraft was originally designed for the US Military as the Bell YOH-4, but didn’t end up seeing any action. The airframe was then redesigned and successfully marketed commercially as the Jet Ranger.
This model features a single Rolls Royce 250-C20J engine, comes standard with luxurious leather interiors, and can cover a distance of up to 374 nautical miles at an average speed of around 134 mph. The Jet Ranger also has movie credentials, having made an appearance in two Bond films, as well as in Terminator 2.
Augusta Westland 109 Power Grand
The AW109 Grand is a highly versatile, multi-purpose aircraft that has an extended cabin and main rotor, and can carry two pilots, along with up to seven passengers, over a distance of 589 miles. It is equipped with two Pratt and Whitney Canada PW207C turboshaft engines and boasts speeds of up to 285 mph.
The bright and quiet cabin offers passengers exceptional comfort and luxury, as well as extended baggage compartments so that you can bring that extra set of golf clubs. If the elegant interiors of this model aren’t enough, you can always upgrade to the Versace model, the result of a design collaboration between two Italian companies with the aim to create a super-luxury aircraft.
Whoever said that precision engineering and fashion don't go together, has never seen this palace in the sky!
Augusta Westland 139
The Augusta Westland AW139 is one of the best in the intermediate class of helicopters in terms of capability, performance, cabin space and passenger comfort. Originally developed in collaboration with Bell as the AugustaBell AB139, Bell eventually sold the rights to the design to Augusta Westland.
This medium-sized aircraft might not seem so ‘medium’ when compared to others in its class as it’s able to fly much farther (up to 776 miles), and its two powerful FADEC-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C turboshaft engines allow it reach cruise speeds of 190 mph.
It also has the largest passenger cabin in its class and can carry up to 10 passengers in unrivaled comfort, and the extensive baggage compartments are accessible from outside and inside the aircraft, making it an ideal choice for almost all personal and business needs.
Eurocopter 120 Colibri
Known as the ‘French hummingbird’, the EC120 Colibri is a five-seater, single-engine utility helicopter. The name was earned as a result of how quiet the aircraft is, as well as its size and maneuverability. This bird is powered by a single Turbomeca Arrius 2F turboshaft engine, and reaches cruise speeds of up to 137 mph over a distance of up to 441 miles.
The EC120 is also about as green as you can get, with the design of this aircraft aiming to reduce pollutant emissions and increase fuel efficiency in accordance with the Green Rotorcraft European Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative environmental research program launched in 2011.
The EC120 also features a wide, ergonomic cabin with ample external visibility so you can enjoy the view from nearly anywhere inside. It comfortably accommodates up to four passengers, and a single pilot. The cabin can also be easily changed to suit different requirements.
Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil AStar
The AS350 Ecureuil was originally designed in France by Aérospatiale and Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters), and is now marketed in North America as the AStar. This aircraft is a single-engine multipurpose aircraft equipped with a Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 engine. It can reach cruise speeds of up to 160 mph, and cover a distance of 416 miles. The engine drives a three-blade main rotor furnished with a Starflex rotor head, and is known for delivering an impressive performance at high altitudes.
This single-pilot aircraft is widely popular, not least for its multiple cabin configurations seating between four and six passengers in absolute comfort. Newer versions of the AStar feature a Stylence interior, which is designed specifically to enhance passenger comfort and luxury.
McDonnell Douglas MD 900
The MD900 is a twin-engine light utility helicopter, and the first ever to be designed entirely from scratch using CAD (Computer Aided Design) tools. Originally named MDX, this aircraft is the first from McDonnell Douglas Helicopters to use the NOTAR (No Tail Rotor) design. Two Pratt and Whitney Canada PW207E turboshaft engines allow for cruise speeds of up to 152 mph, and the MD 900 can travel up to 189 miles.
The MD 900 can carry four to six passengers, depending on the interior layout you choose, along with a single pilot. This aircraft also features a bearingless five-blade main rotor with composite blades, and the tail and fuselage are built from carbon fiber.
The combination of modern technology, its quiet operation, and low maintenance costs make this a serious competitor in the world of private aircraft.
The Robinson R22 is a two-seater, single-engine light utility helicopter, and while it has room for only two passengers, this aircraft is packed with everything you need to enjoy a comfortable and luxurious flight. Inside there are leather seats, a cabin heater and defogger, and ample cabin space for you and your pilot.
Outside, the R22 features a horizontally-mounted Lycoming O-320 engine which allows for cruise speeds of up to 109 mph and a range of up to 285 miles.
Though small, the R22 is a proven workhorse that puts out exceptional performance in a variety of applications. It has a two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor system. The normal production variant features skid landing gear, while the mariner version (which is no longer manufactured) provided floats, but no wheeled landing gear is available. Which is fine if you want to be able to land and take off from anywhere you like, as the R22 is able to take off and land directly onto a trailer, which could be hooked up to your car or RV.
The Sikorsky S-76 brings together the ideal combination of modern technology, style and comfort. Equipped with two Pratt and Whitney PW210S turboshaft engines, this aircraft is able to reach cruise speeds up to 179 mph, and travel distances of up to 507 miles. The S-76 features a standard rotor configuration of a four-bladed, fully articulated main rotor and a four-bladed anti-torque tail rotor as well as retractable wheeled landing gear.
Inside the aircraft is almost entirely soundproof, meaning headsets are not required during your trip, and the large cabin can accommodate up to six passengers. More space can be achieved depending on the layout you choose. With luxurious leather seats and impeccable design, the S-76 offers a truly luxurious and comfortable flying experience.
If you are traveling with a party of up to 19 people, you may think a private helicopter is out of bounds. This is where the Sikorsky S-92 comes in. Powered by twin GE CT7-8A turboshaft engines, and equipped with a composite four-bladed main rotor with extended blades, this helicopter is able to reach cruise speeds of 173 mph and cover distances of up to 620 miles. This aircraft features an active vibration control system that works to increase comfort and decrease noise in the cabin.
The S-92 is available in a variety of versions and layouts designed to suit your specific needs. For those with a desire to fly in a literal airborne palace, the interior options for the S-92 are nearly limitless and offer the absolute pinnacle of luxury and style. Some custom interior designs include options such as granite flooring, custom woodwork and crocodile leather, with details such as satin gold finish on the seat belt buckles. There are also layout options with fewer seats that allow for facilities such as a galley or a bar to be installed.
Charter a flight with ACS today
Because private helicopter charter is generally more affordable than chartering a private jet, it could be the solution to a wide range of aviation needs. Whether you need to attend several meetings in different cities in a single day, or want to take a helicopter tour to enjoy a bird's-eye view of your destination, we can help plan your trip, provide you with recommendations, and book the ideal luxury private helicopter for you. Get in contact with our offices to book your flight today.