eurocopter ec120 colibri hummingbird

The Eurocopter Ec120 Colibri Hummingbird 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 colibri price and where can you get the eurocopter ec120 colibri hummingbird for sale?

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.

Eurocopter Ec120 Colibri Hummingbird

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.

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.

eurocopter ec120 colibri hummingbird for sale

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

Average Prices

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

What is the most dangerous helicopter?

According to various sources, some of the world’s best, and most dangerous, attack helicopters include, but are not limited to: 

  1. The Russian Ka-52 “Alligator”
  2. The American AH-64 “Apache”
  3. The Russian Mi-28N “Havoc”
  4. The European Eurocopter (Airbus) Tiger
  5. The Chinese CAIC Z-10
  6. The Italian/Turkish TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK
  7. The Russian Mi-24 Hind
  8. The American AH-1Z Viper

What is the newest attack helicopter?

There are various new attack helicopters in development, but some of the most interesting are the Lockheed Martin “RAIDER” and the Sikorsky-Boeing “Defiant”

We’ll talk more about the “Defiant” a little later in this article, so for now, we’ll focus on the “RAIDER”.

interesting helicopter Raider
Source: Lockheed Martin

Touted as a “next-generation light tactical prototype helicopter”, the RAIDER has been designed to carry up to six personnel, and carries a range of external weapons that will “redefine helicopter flight during the 21st century”.

This chopper is based on the Sikorsky’s Collier Award-winning X2 Technology, and features advances in fly-by-wire, flight controls, vehicle management systems, and systems integration.

Such innovations enable the “RAIDER” to operate at high speeds and also maintain low-speed handling qualities and maneuverability of conventional single main rotor helicopters. The prototype has been clocked at 222 knots (407 km/h) and can operate at a ceiling of 10,000 feet (3,048 meters)

Designed to meet and exceed the requirements of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), the “RAIDER” could potentially be applied to U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps missions.

According to Lockheed Martin, “the X2 Technology at the heart of the Raider helicopter is scalable to a variety of military missions including light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications.”

interesting helicopters Raider
Source: Lockheed Martin

What are some of the most interesting helicopters?

And so, without further ado, here are some of the most interesting helicopters ever designed. Trust us when we say this list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.

1. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is one of a kind

interesting helicopters chinook
RAF CH-47 Chinook. Source: Airwolfhound/Flickr

One of the most iconic helicopters of all time is the Boeing CH-47 Chinook. First flown in 1961, this tandem rotor helicopter is a true workhorse of the skies. 

Designed as a heavy-lifter chopper, each of its 60-foot (18.3 m) rotor blades rotate in opposite directions, providing counter-acting torque and eliminating the need for a tail rotor.

The Chinook is specially designed to be able to independently adjust each rotor to enable it to adapt to the weight of different cargos. She was a development of the older Model 107 (CH-46) and saw service in Vietnam transporting troops, heavy artillery, and other supplies where needed. 

Since then, this helicopter has proved to be an invaluable asset to many militaries around the world. She also happens to hold the record as the third-fastest chopper around — the lastest CH-47F can reach a top speed of just over 195 mph (315 km per hour)

2. The Sikorsky H-60 “Black Hawk” Helicopter is an icon of American airpower

interesting helicopters black hawk
Source: Lockheed Martin

First flown in 1974, the Sikorsky H-60 “Black Hawk” is another iconic helicopter. It also happens to be a pretty mean looking machine. Named after a Native American warrior, it officially entered service in 1979 as the U.S. Army’s latest assault/utility chopper.

Since then, more than 4,000 units have been produced and they operate for various armed forces around the world including Japan, Turkey, Israel, and Columbia, to name but a few. The helicopter became world-famous after the 2001 blockbuster film “Black Hawk Down”. 

3. The Russian Mil Mi-24 “Hind” is possibly one of the best military helicopters ever built

interesting helicopters hind
Source: Airwolfhound/Flickr

Built during the Soviet-era, the Mil Mi-24 “Hind” is one of the coolest-looking helicopters ever built. She was designed to meet the Soviet requirement for a heavily armed and armored transporter helicopter and has become one of the most iconic choppers of all time.

The “Hind” first flew in 1969 and entered service in 1972. It went on to serve in various combat arenas over the following decades. The Mil Mi-24 is powered by 2 Isotov TV3-117 series turbine engines, each pumping out an incredible 2,200 hp.

Her armaments can vary, but typically a “Hind” is equipped with a four-barreled 12.7mm Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B gatling gun improved through the installation of a 30mm GSh-30K twin-barrel, fixed cannon. Depending on mission needs, she can be fitted with a 23mm GSh-23L cannon in a powered turret. She can also be armed with machine gun pods, anti-tank missiles, and rocket pods. 

4. The Bell 222A was the helicopter used in Airwolf

interesting helicopters airwolf
Still from the 1980s series Airwolf. Source: IMDB

The Bell 222A might seem like an odd choice, given some of the earlier listings, but bear with us. For any American child of the 1980s, the Bell 222A is probably one of the most recognizable helicopters of all for one reason — It was the helicopter used in the highly-popular series Airwolf

It is sleek, dare we say sexy, and really is a lovely-looking helicopter. Designed for civilian use, the Bell 222A is powered by 2 Honeywell LTS-1010-650 engines. This helicopter has a range of 230 nautical miles (425 km) and a service ceiling of 12,800 feet (3,900 mt). It can carry a crew of 2 and has seating occupancy for up to 5 passengers.

5. The Soviet V-12 is often cited as the biggest helicopter to ever have been built

interesting helicopters homer
Mil V-12 at Groningen Airport circa 1971. Source: GFDL/Wikimedia Commons

The Soviet-era Mil V-12 (Mi-12) is probably the world’s biggest-ever helicopter. Known to NATO as “Homer”, this helicopter was designed, among other things, to transport ICBMs. 

Unfortunately for the V-12, by the time it was ready for service, its main purpose was redundant and it never went into production. The idea behind this monster-chopper was to transport missiles in secret to remote bases wherever and whenever needed.

She first flew in 1968, and was longer than a Boeing 737 and could carry more people. It could also carry somewhere in the region of 88,000 pounds (almost 40,000 kg) of cargo. 

As US satellites become more advanced, and ICBMs became lighter, the Soviets found it more cost-effective to transport them by truck instead. 

6. The Focke-Wulf FW-61 was the world’s first

interesting helicopters fw
Source: Born2flie/Wikimedia Commons

First taking to the air in 1936, the Focke-Wulf FW-61 is generally regarded as the world’s first-ever helicopter. Designs for it began in the early 1930s and were inspired by autogyros developed by the British company Cierva Autogiro. 

A working model was produced in the mid-1930s, exploring the use of twin-rotors with articulated rotor blades. Each rotor had three blades that employed cyclic pitch — a key feature of helicopter control.

Two full-scale prototypes were built and showcased but the vehicle never went into production. No known originals exist today, but a replica can be found on display a the Hubschraubermuseum in Bückeburg, Germany.

7. The Bell 47 was the first helicopter certified for civilian use

interesting helicopters bell 47
Source: Peter Bakema/Wikimedia

First taking to the air in 1945, the Bell 47 was the first helicopter ever certified for use by civilians. The chopper became a workhorse of the Korean war and beyond, and was made famous by the T.V. series M.A.S.H.

Based on the design for the earlier Bell Model 30, the Bell 47 was first approved for civil use by the CAA in 1946. It was powered by a single Lycoming six-cylinder piston engine, and 18 variants of the helicopter were designed and built over the years. 

Today, thousands of them are still airworthy. 

8. The Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne could have been an excellent helicopter 

interesting helicopters ah-56
Source: Hohum/Wikimedia Commons

Another fascinating helicopter is the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne. Widely considered to have been a masterful piece of helicopter design, it never actually saw combat.

A revolutionary attack helicopter, it was once thought that it would revolutionize warfare forever. Sadly that was never to be.

She was developed to meet the United States Army’s desire for an advanced helicopter and was born out of a ten-year contract for Lockheed to prototype choppers. It made its first flight in 1967 and proved to have impressive performance and power. It had a top speed of somewhere in the region of just over 244 mph (394 km/h) and could be armed with an XM-140 30 mm cannon, various anti-tank missiles, and missile pods. 

A fatal crash, technical issues, excessive weight, and cost overruns, as well as a change in military planning, eventually led to the program being canceled. 

9. The Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant is another very fast helicopter

interesting helicopters defiant
The SB-1 is very fast indeed. Source: Boeing-Sikorsky/YouTube

On the cards to replace the aging UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the SB-1 Defiant is one hell of a helicopter. Currently in its prototype stage, the SB-1 Defiant recently hit a major speed milestone by reaching 236 mph (380 km/h).

A compound coaxial helicopter, this impressive speed was made using only 50% of the chopper’s potential power. In the following months, it is hoped to really push the helicopter to its limits. 

Its manufacturers are confident it should be able to reach a speed of 290 mph (466km/h). This is well above the U.S. Army’s cruise speed requirements for its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. The Defiant is currently in competition with Bell’s new V-2380 Valor advanced tiltrotor, which has reached eye-watering speeds of 345 mph (555 km/h). 

10. The first jet-powered helicopter was the Aerospatiale SA-313 Alouette II

interesting helicopters SA-313
Source: Airwolfhound/Wikimedia Commons

Taking its first flight in 1955, the Aerospatiale SA-313 is a very interesting helicopter indeed. Developed by the then French state-owned Sud Aviation, various rotary designs were trialed before settling on the design used in the SA-313.

Although a very capable and fast helicopter, Sud Aviation decided to include a single shaft turbine from another design, the X.301G. This resulted in the Alouette II becoming the world’s first production jet-powered helicopter.

Adding to this interesting design choice, the helicopter immediately began setting records. It managed to reach an altitude of 26,392 feet (8 km) in June of 1956, when it was used to perform a mountain rescue in the Alps. 

The helicopter would go on to serve in many armed forces around the world, and more than 1,500 were built. It also became the first helicopter to be equipped with anti-tank munitions. 

11. The Bell AH-1 Cobra was the world’s first dedicated attack helicopter

interesting helicopters cobra
Source: + -/Wikimedia Commons

Nothing symbolizes pure aggression more than this, first-ever dedicated attack helicopter. The Bell AH-1 Cobra first flew in 1965 and would set the standard for all attack helicopters that would follow.

It was born out of the U.S. Army’s desire for a heavily armored and fast helicopter as part of its Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFS). With its narrow forward fuselage, stub wings, and fighter jet-like stepped-up tandem seating, it was like nothing ever seen before.

Quite a few of its components were borrowed from the UH-1 Huey, like its main rotor, engine, and tail boom. The “Cobra” would first see action in the 1968 Tet offensive, where it performed perfectly.

The AH-1 is still in service for the U.S. Marine Corps today along with its younger sibling the Viper

12. Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8 is the first fully autonomous helicopter

interesting helicopters mq-8
Source: Northrop Grumman

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8 first flew in 2002, and it is the first autonomous helicopter deployed en masse. First used aboard the US Navy frigate, McInerney, the MQ-8 is an autonomous, unmanned, rotary-wing scout aircraft.

Arising from the need to replace the aging RQ-2 Pioneer fixed-wing UAV, the Navy required similar capabilities in a larger, unmanned, vertical takeoff launch and recovery scout. The Navy chose Northrop Grumman’s design, as it met the Navy’s need for range, endurance, and payload (125 NM/3 hours/200 lbs).

The MQ-8, also known as the Fire Scout/Sea Scout, has seen action in Afghanistan and Africa, and been launched from Frigates, Littoral Combat Ships, and Coast Guard cutters. A single Fire Scout set a world record in 2012 when it provided intelligence, surveillance, recon (ISR) coverage for 24-hours over the course of ten flights. 

13. The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (“Huey”) is one of the most iconic of all time

interesting helicopter huey
Source: Museum of Flight

First flying in 1956, the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (“Huey”) is probably one of the world’s best-known helicopters. Cementing its place in history during the Vietnam war, when people think of helicopters, the “Huey” is probably the first to spring to mind.

It is estimated that somewhere in the region of 16,000 military (UH-1Y) and civilian (Bell 412) craft have been built to date, and it is still in production.

Initially called the Bell 204, this two-blade main rotor, single shaft turbine-powered helicopter was designed to meet the Army’s need for a medical evacuation/instrument trainer/general utility helicopter.

While officially called the “Iroquois”, the moniker “Huey” came from its early HU-1 designation. Throughout its history, the “Huey” has seen action in many parts of the world, performing firefighting missions, humanitarian aid efforts, research operations, and search and rescue duties.

14. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is awesome

interesting helicpters osprey
Source: FOX 52/Wikimedia Commons

First flying in the late-1980s and entering service in 2007, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is another very interesting helicopter. Combining the vertical lift capabilities of a helicopter, with the fast-cruise forward flight efficiencies of a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft, the V-22 Osprey officially went into development in the mid-1980s.

By 1989, six prototypes had been built, but the program had a serious setback in the early-1990s when the fourth prototype crashed. The Osprey was approved for full production in 2005, and by 2012, between 24 to 48 were being built each year.

The V-22 has greater speed, range, and lift capability over more conventional helicopters, and can operate easily from ships. This craft is very versatile and carries troops, supplies, weapons, and vehicles wherever they are needed.

It comes armed with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine guns and can have a 7.62 mm minigun mounted on its ramp. Plans are in place to put a Gatling gun in the nose of future models, as well as, adding the capacity to carry air-to-ground missile launchers. 

The Osprey has seen action all over the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also regularly used for humanitarian missions and has been used in Haiti and Nepal. 

15. The Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe is a very funny looking helicopter

interesting helicopters skycrane
Source: Mark Holloway/Wikimedia Commons

Another interesting, but perhaps lesser-known helicopter is the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe. Also known as the Skycrane or flying insect, the CH-54 was a heavy load cargo carrier.

First entering service in 1962, its unusual design made it a very versatile helicopter that had various uses, including recovery, rescue, infantry transport, medical supply, and even armored transport operations.

Powered by a pair of Pratt and Whitney T73-P-700 turboshaft engines, the helicopter also came with a crane in the center of its fuselage. The helicopter cut its teeth in the Vietnam war and was widely considered one of the safest to fly. 

It was capable of transporting heavy ground vehicles, as well as containers, and parts for engineering projects like bridges and fortifications with its maximum payload of 12 tonnes. The Skycrane was officially retired from military service in 1991, but continues to be used for government and civilian operations. 

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