cheapest helicopter price

We have decided to do some research and write this article to give people a guide into the cheapest helicopter price . I’m going to start with the cost of a basic, low-end helicopter, then work up to some of the more advanced and expensive helicopters. The first step to finding out the cheapest helicopter price is determining what helicopter you would like to buy. This can be a hard question to answer because there are so many different helicopters covering so many different roles. You could get anything from a tiny, self-built flying machine, to a huge military-grade chopper that could carry up to ten people full-size.

Helicopters have been around for decades now and are just as popular with today’s public as ever. They provide an awesome view of the landscape, which makes them fun to fly. A basic helicopter can cost as little as several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on various factors. Here’s how much a helicopter costs below:

helicopter for sale in usa

The majority of helicopter owners are pilots so they can fly themselves. Private pilots and those who own a helicopter and fly themselves prefer hands-on, less bulky designs.

Bigger helicopters are usually reserved for professional pilots while the owners sit in the back. The big shots use this as their executive means of transport. Midrange helicopters have administrative abilities too but are fun to handle.

The bigger the aircraft, the more experience a pilot requires. A well-trained amateur can fly any of the Robinson chopper models. The same applies to the B3 and B4 Eurocopter Ecureuil, AgustaWestland Koala and Bell 407. If you are looking at bigger models, like the AgustaWestland A109 with more sophisticated instrumentation, you will need a professional pilot.

If planning to become a pilot, next choose a flying school. Lots of flying schools will issue Private Pilot Licenses PPLs(H). Ask friends with helicopters to recommend a good flying school.

It helps if the flying school is local to you as you need a minimum of 45 hours of training over 12 months. Training costs vary from school to school but expect it to cost around $26,200 (around £20,000). This covers your tests, exams, flying hours, medicals, equipment, and airfield fees.

Training at Heli Air, one of the UK’s largest Robinson helicopter distributors, will cost you $10,500 (around £8,000). This covers theory in subjects like meteorology, air law, and flight planning. A Class 2 medical is compulsory.

After qualifying, you need an annual review to renew your license. You can opt to expand your qualification to include formation flying and night flying. The choice is yours.

2. Predetermine Your Budget

Design, capacity, and the manufacturer determines a helicopter’s price. Set your budget right from the start. It helps narrow your search.

Just like cars, you will have a range of options. Sloane Helicopters marketing director, Giorgio Bendoni, says first-time buyers can choose from the two-seater, single-piston Robinson R22 to the twin-turbine, eight-seater AgustaWestland Grand. It depends on budget flexibility.

While helicopters are expensive, some are cheaper than a Lamborghini. The Robinson R44, the world’s most famous helicopter, costs only $350,000 (around £313,500) and half that second-hand.

When setting your budget, add maintenance costs too. Some helicopter’s cost more to maintain than others. Lower priced helicopters can cost more in maintenance over the long run.

The AgustaWestland Grand and the AgustaWestland A109 are great in sophistication and space, but with an annual depreciation of five to 10 percent, you may want to weigh your options.

You should also consider the cost of insurance, capital investment, and depreciation.

3. How Far Will You Travel?

Aircraft manufacturers offer similar models with a small tweak in design and performance. Cheaper helicopters are smaller. And this limits the number of people it can carry, fuel capacity, and distance it can travel.

So, you need to decide how many people need to travel in your helicopter regularly. Also look at the distance it can travel before needing to refuel. The H125 is a midrange helicopter that guarantees 300 to 350 miles (ca. 563 km) or 2½ hours without refueling.

4. Other Considerations

The Airbus H160 is a new sleek design marketed to business and private customers, while the H125 has strong competition from the Bell 407. The cabin is separate from the cockpit and is luxurious. It has two seats facing each other and is a great option if you have a pilot. In contrast, an Airbus is a better option with you as the pilot as there is no separation from your passengers.

The choice of interior should reflect the helicopter’s purpose. Some people ignore carpets as it is a lot of work to keep clean. Leather seats are an attractive option as are seats with twin leather stitching which are currently in vogue.

Landing Space is Limited

Landing spaces in London are limited due to their tight restrictions on noise control, which limits helicopter paths. Battersea Heliport is the best place to land and continue your journey using other means. Places you can land outside London include Elstree, Denham, Biggin Hill, and Northolt.

Grab a helicopter landing guide to find somewhere to land in London. It has a list of landing sites around the UK and their phone numbers. This allows you to request landing permission before leaving for your destination. They may let you land for free or for a small fee (around $50).

Terms You Should Know

There are terms you should know if you intend to own a helicopter:

  • VFR (Visual Flying Rules) means you have to keep sight of the ground.
  • IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) means you can fly above or in the clouds.
  • A two-seat piston engine VFR is a basic helicopter.
  • ILS (Instrument Landing System) is what you dial into to get to the ground.
  • You use a noise-canceling headset for communication.
  • Autopilot allows you to control the aircraft without moving the controls and is not available in all helicopters.

5. Payment

Use a third-party escrow service like Escrow.com. It protects buyers involved in high-value transactions such as buying a private helicopter. No money changes hands between the two parties until you both meet all terms and conditions of the sale.

Escrow.com removes the risk and benefits both the buyer and seller. You get your helicopter and release payment to the seller once you check it out.

Generally, the first thing to decide if you are looking at the cost of a helicopter is whether you are after a smaller two-seater or a larger multi-passenger model. One of the most popular brands in the world when it comes to helicopters is Robinson. Although at one time, Bell manufactured more helicopters than any other company (primarily due to the popularity of their B206 JetRanger), Robinson helicopters are now renowned for costing less to buy and run. Read on for a price comparison chart and additional info about some of the most commonly purchased helicopters available to the public.

cheapest helicopter price

The lightweight and responsive R-22 is a popular choice for those seeking a lower-cost helicopter.
The lightweight and responsive R-22 is a popular choice for those seeking a lower-cost helicopter. | Source

1. Robinson R-22

Considered by many to be one of the world’s most economical helicopters, the R-22 carries a base list price of about $250,000 brand new. There are also plenty of excellent deals to be found on good-quality used R-22s, usually starting from around $100,000–$150,000.

Due to the R-22’s cheap operating costs, it is often used as a training helicopter. This lightweight two-seater has very low inertia which allows it to be extremely responsive to flight control inputs. In short, it is fun to fly. However, the R-22 is not very forgiving of pilot-error or sluggishness and as such is not recommended for beginners or those without much flying experience.

Price: Approx. $250,000

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The Raven models are considered by many to be better personal helicopters than the R22, but they come at higher prices. (Pictured is the Raven I.)
The Raven models are considered by many to be better personal helicopters than the R22, but they come at higher prices. (Pictured is the Raven II.)
The Raven models are considered by many to be better personal helicopters than the R22, but they come at higher prices. (Pictured is the Raven I.)
The Raven models are considered by many to be better personal helicopters than the R22, but they come at higher prices. (Pictured is the Raven I.) | Source

2–3. Robinson R-44 Raven I & II

The Robinson R-44 Raven line is a very popular choice among flying experts. Many argue it is the worlds best model for personal ownership regardless of price. It has four seats and comes in two models, the Raven I and the Raven II.

The Raven models are heavier than the R-22, which allows them to fly through wind gusts and turbulent air more solidly. They are also much safer to fly as “training helicopters” because they allow pilots several additional seconds to activate autorotation, a feature used to land during an engine failure.

Price:

  • Raven I: Approx. $340,000
  • Raven II: Approx.$415,000
Bell's B206 JetRanger can seat five people including the pilot, but comes at more than twice the cost of Robinson's Raven I.
Bell’s B206 JetRanger can seat five people including the pilot, but comes at more than twice the cost of Robinson’s Raven I. | Source

4. Bell B206 JetRanger

The five-seater Bell B206 JetRanger is another very popular helicopter, both with military personnel and civilians. It has a two-blade main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. This model and all of its variants are what have kept Bell Helicopters on par with the Robinson line in terms of popularity. It costs considerably more than the R-44, but is also a little larger.

Price: Approx. $700,000

By far the most expensive helicopter on this list, the lightweight EC120 Colibri Hummingbird has a 5-passenger capacity and comes equipped with a variety of high-end safety features.
By far the most expensive helicopter on this list, the lightweight EC120 Colibri Hummingbird has a 5-passenger capacity and comes equipped with a variety of high-end safety features.

5. Eurocopter EC120 Colibri Hummingbird

The Eurocopter EC120 is a very quiet and comfortable helicopter, but it does come with a high price tag that reflects its advantageous features. Considering it has five seats and a single-engine and rotor, it is a relatively light helicopter. It is also equipped with numerous crash-resistant technology systems involving both the seats and the fuel system.

Price: Approx. $1,700,000

Are You Buying a Helicopter?

If you are interested in purchasing your own helicopter, then you’re probably looking at a price tag of anywhere from $250,000–$1,700,000. Depending on whether you want a small, responsive two-seater or a spacious five-seater with state-of-the-art safety features, you could be spending anywhere from a quarter-million to almost two!

Obviously there are numerous factors to consider (training costs, operational costs, storage costs, etc.), but hopefully you now have a realistic idea about the upfront cost associated with purchasing a new helicopter. Whether you were just curious or are seriously considering buying one, now you’re in the know!

THE ULTIMATE HELICOPTER BUYING GUIDE

Ideally, there is only a handful of things that you could do in this lifetime. Build a castle on an Island, drive super cars, and breed sharks or whales – just for the heck of it. The only thing missing here is a way to avoid the nasty traffic jams. And that’s where helicopters come in to balance the equation. They bring convenience, practicability, and above all, save you time.

Today, owning a helicopter is now easier than ever. There are so many options out there – starting from a “humble” two-seater helicopter to luxury choppers that come with a small boardroom and separate cockpit. So, if your super car is no longer making the cut for you, consider adding a helicopter to your garage. However, be prepared for the endless phone calls from friends and family requesting for rides and air parties.

As promised, here are the things to consider when purchasing your first helicopter.

Who will fly the new machine?

One common thing about helicopter owners is their love for the hands-on stuff. They tend to drive themselves in super cars, and also a good number of them pilot their private choppers. So that should be your first option when you are in the market for a helicopter. In fact, flying yourself comes with enhanced privacy, unmatched satisfaction, and saves you money. However, if you prefer riding in the back seat, you’ll need a bigger machine and a professional pilot to fly it.

But in case you choose the DIY route, then you need to get your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). It takes around 12 months to complete and costs anywhere between £8,000 to £20,000. You can ask around for helicopter owners communities to help you stay in the loop.

Intended use

The distance between your points of interest should guide you in selecting a helicopter. Smaller ones limit the distance you can travel in one go, while bigger ones stay airborne for longer and also carry more passengers. But if you intend to rent or lease out the chopper, the Robinson R44 could be a better choice compared to the R22. It has five seats, two at the front and three at the back – making it an ideal option for business trips and site seeing.

Price tag

Just like any other big purchase, the price of the helicopter requires your undivided attention. You don’t want a situation where you buy a helicopter that requires excessively high maintenance. Or a small one that needs refueling after every thirty minutes of flight. So, do thorough homework on options that could work for you. And even go a step further of hiring one to get a feel of what to expect.

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