eurocopter 120 colibri

The Eurocopter 120 Colibri is a light, single-engined helicopter developed by an industrial partnership comprising Eurocopter, the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) and Singapore Technologies Aerospace. So what is the eurocopter ec120 price and ec120 operating cost per hour?

Eurocopter 120 Colibri

The maiden flight of the first production EC120 helicopter was successfully completed in 1997. The launch customer was Nozaki Sangyo in Osaka, Japan. The 500th EC120 helicopter was delivered, to the German Ministry of the Interior, in June 2007.

The EC120 has been ordered by more than a hundred customers in over 30 countries. The helicopter is in full-scale production with about two a week being completed and delivered. 73 EC120 aircraft were ordered in 2007.

In October 2004, the US Department of Homeland Security placed an order for 55 EC120 aircraft to be used for border patrol.

eurocopter ec120 for sale

Eurocopter EC120 Colibri - Wikiwand

The helicopters form part of the Light Sign Cutter fleet of law enforcement equipped single-engine light observation helicopters. The order for the first ten helicopters was placed in February 2006 and the first was delivered in July 2006.

The helicopter EC120 has two variants namely EC120B and HC120. The HC120 is a Chinese-built variant.

In November 2005, the EC120B was selected as the training helicopter platform for the rotary wing course (RWC) programme in Singapore. Up to ten helicopters were required. The first order for six helicopters was placed in August 2006. Five helicopters have been delivered to Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (STAero) for flight training of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilots and they entered service in January 2007.

In January 2008, 36 EC120 helicopters were ordered for the French EAALAT army aviation school, based in Dax, France. The French EAALAT received three EC120 as a part of first delivery in October 2009. The helicopters are for the initial training of pilots in the army, navy, air force and police.

Eurocopter development and manufacturing

The joint EC120 design team is based in the Eurocopter development and manufacturing centre at Marignane in France. Eurocopter carries out the final assembly, testing and certification and is also responsible for the manufacture of the seats, rotor
systems and the motor transmission.

Singapore Technologies manufactures the cockpit instrument panel, the tailboom, fins and the cabin doors. The Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation of CATIC supplies the cabin, landing gear and the fuel system. An agreement for local assembly of the EC120 (designated HC120 for the Chinese market) was signed by the partnership companies in November 2003. The Chinese Army was the launch customer, with an order for eight HC120 plus 50 options. The helicopter entered service with the army in 2005.

The helicopter is very quiet with an external noise level at almost 7dB under the limit specified in current ICAO legislation. The cabin can be configured for the pilot and up to four passengers and can be used for corporate or VIP transport, medical
evacuation, training, as a utility helicopter, or for a range of police or federal operations.

The helicopter’s 10m-diameter, three-bladed Spheriflex main rotor rotates clockwise. The main rotor blades are of impact and corrosion resistant composite construction. The 0.75m-diameter fenestron tail rotor has eight asymmetric composite blades.“The helicopter is very quiet with an external noise level at almost 7dB under the specified limit.”

The fixed skid landing gear incorporates the full width passenger and crew boarding step. Optional equipment offered for the EC120 includes: air conditioning, emergency flotation gear, radio-navigation equipment, sand filters, electrically controlled mirror, sling, searchlight with variable cockpit-controlled elevation and azimuth to
supplement the existing nose-mounted searchlight on the basic aircraft, 1.5m-long skis for taking off and landing on snow-covered ground, and a single windshield wiper system with one motor and two wipers (removable as required).

EC120 cockpit

The cockpit is configured for single pilot operation under visual flight rules (VFR). Dual controls and dual VFR instrumentation are fitted optionally and the helicopter can be fully configured for training. The training helicopter version is operational and 15 EC120 are in service with the Spanish Air Force.

The helicopter is equipped with a fully duplex vehicle and engine multifunction display (VEMD). The modular construction of the VEMD allows the system to be easily maintained. The liquid crystal display functions in three modes – configuration mode, maintenance mode and operational mode. The configuration mode allows the integration of optional equipment in the VEMD display. The ground crew can use the maintenance mode to display flight reports, an overlift summary report and avionics system failure
report page.

The pilot uses the operational mode during flight to view the engine power and weight performance and also to display the engine and aircraft main parameters, including true heading (T4), gas generator rpm (NG), torque, oil pressure, fuel quantity, outside air temperature (OAT) and the generator and battery voltage and current.

Adjustable configuration cabin

The cabin has a floor area of 3m². The cabin can be easily and rapidly changed for different operations. The pilot, co-pilot and passengers have crashworthy seats conforming to FAR Part 27 and rated to withstand vertical and horizontal
deceleration of 30g and 18g.“The EC120 Colibri’s cabin can be easily and rapidly changed for different operations.”

The 0.8m³ luggage compartment, installed beneath the engine and at the same level as the cabin floor, is able to contain up to five large suitcases and can be accessed either through the passenger cabin or by the rear doors or side door. The
cabin area and luggage compartment can be combined to provide 3m³ of available cargo space allowing transportation of bulky loads.

The unobstructed cabin and flat floor with wide doors make loading and unloading quick and easy.

Turbomeca TM 319 Arrius 2F two-module engine

The helicopter is powered by the Turbomeca TM 319 Arrius 2F two-module engine, rated at 335kW continuous power and fitted with FADEC (full authority digital electronic control). The two crashworthy tanks have a fuel capacity of 416l which gives
a range of 731km and flight endurance of four hours and ten minutes.


The maximum speed of EC120 is 278km/h. The cruise speed is 226km/h and rate of climb is 396m/min. The helicopter’s service ceiling and range are 5,190m and 730km respectively.

The Eurocopter EC 120 is a light, five-seat single engine helicopter designed for both commercial and military applications. Developed with the latest technologies, the Eurocopter EC 120 features a wide, comfortable cabin (4.4 ft long), a state-of-the-art ergonomic cockpit and a powerful engine, renowned for low fuel consumption. The Eurocopter EC 120 can carry a maximum of four passengers for a range of up to 383 nm at a cruise speed of 140 mph.

The average hourly rental rate of the Eurocopter EC120 Colibri is around 1,000 USD per hour.

Aircraft Size

Eurocopter EC120 Colibri Exterior
Aircraft SizeEnglishMetric
Length37.80 ft11.52 m
Rotor Diameter32.81 ft10.00 m
Height10.11 ft3.08 m
Bag. Capacity28 ft³1 m³

Cabin Size

Eurocopter EC120 Colibri Interior
Cabin SizeEnglishMetric
Length7.55 ft2.30 m
Width4.43 ft1.35 m
Height4.10 ft1.25 m
Area137 ft³4 m³

Aircraft Seats

Max Seating5
Typical Seating4

eurocopter ec120 price

Purchase New
Purchase Used
Charter Rate1,000 USD/hour1,000 EUR/hour

Performance Specifications

IFR Range383 nm709 km
Cruise Speed120 KTAS222 km/h
Certified Ceiling17,000 ft5,182 m
Rate of Climb1,151 ft/m351 m/m
Takeoff Distance50 ft15 m
Landing Distance50 ft15 m
Max Takeoff Weight3,968 lbs1,800 kg
Max Landing Weight– lbs– kg
Useful Weight– lbs– kg
Payload with Full Fuel– lbs– kg

How to Buy a Private Helicopter: 5 Things You Need to Know When You Are Buying a Private Helicopter

There are many benefits of owning a helicopter, including getting to work on time when living 100 miles (ca. 161 km) away from your office. The main advantage of owning a helicopter is freedom. Once you have permission and some space, you can set your course for any destination.

soaring over the sky!

Content List

  1. Will You Be the Pilot or the Passenger?
  2. Predetermine Your Budget
  3. How Far Will You Travel?
  4. Other Considerations
  5. Payment

A private owner in the United Kingdom can fly to Devon and back to London without stopping to refuel. A pub in Oxford, the Manson’s Arms, has a helipad. The photographs of helicopters that visit adorn the walls of the pub. It is a thrilling and bizarre place to visit.

Modern helicopters have engines that are quieter and more efficient with advanced glass cockpits that offer fewer distractions for pilots. Airbus Helicopters’ Ed Sale responded to GQ at the Elite London event giving insight into what to consider when buying a private helicopter.

1. Will You Be the Pilot or the Passenger?

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.

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