how far can a military helicopter fly

How Far Can A Military Helicopter Fly? We have researched how long can a police helicopter fly for. Hence, this article on how far can a medical helicopter fly and how high can a helicopter fly.

Only a few people know that helicopters can fly for an extended period or a considerable far distance before they need to stop or to refuel. Typically, before helicopters can stop and refuel, it can actually fly for about 2.5 to 5 hours or travel for about 250 miles. But of course, not all helicopters can do that. The distance or the time a helicopter can fly will depend on many factors, such as the type and size, among others.

Be it combat, troop deployment or supplies, speed is a critical requirement for military helicopters. lists the world’s fastest military helicopters currently in operation.

You might be curious how exciting it would be to ride in a helicopter and enjoy the view from above. If you have not experienced this yet, then I know you are wondering so many things about helicopters. You might also be thinking when helicopters fly, how far can it go? It’s pretty straightforward.

how high can a helicopter fly

 How Far Can A Military Helicopter Fly

Only a few people know that helicopters can fly for an extended period or a considerable far distance before they need to stop or to refuel. Typically, before helicopters can stop and refuel, it can actually fly for about 2.5 to 5 hours or travel for about 250 miles. But of course, not all helicopters can do that. The distance or the time a helicopter can fly will depend on many factors, such as the type and size, among others.

The Type Of Helicopter Determines How Far and High It Can Fly

Knowing the types of helicopters will be able to tell you how far they can go, how much weight they can carry, as well as the fuel tank size. These factors can determine how far do helicopters fly until they need to stop and refuel. Most of the helicopters can fly up to 5000 feet up in the air for about 600 miles when it runs out of fuel reserve.

There are different types of helicopters, such as the military, private, and even commercial ones. With these, no one can really tell what the exact distance or time a helicopter can travel continuously is. For instance, a military helicopter can travel faster than a civilian helicopter, which can only move between 150 to 175 miles an hour, The CH-47F Chinook helicopter, owned by the military, currently has the fastest speed to record. It can travel for about 170 knots or approximately 195 miles an hour.

The world’s fastest military helicopters

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CH-47F Chinook

With a maximum speed of 315km/h, the CH-47F Chinook is the world’s fastest military helicopter. Manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, the Chinook is capable of performing multiple missions and was first fielded by the US Army’s operational unit in July 2007 for the transportation of troops, artillery, equipment and cargo in support of combat and humanitarian relief operations.

The helicopter incorporates an upgraded airframe and a high-capacity fuel system, allowing it to cover twice the distance of similar helicopters. Its tandem rotor layout allows operability in adverse weather, high altitude and crosswind conditions.

Two powerful Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines generating 4,777shp (3,529kW) of power each enable the CH-47F fly at altitudes up to 20,000ft (6,096m) while carrying a load of 10,886kg. The helicopter’s fuel tank holds 3,194l of fuel, ensuring a mission radius of 370.4km.

Mi-35M Helicopter (Upgraded Mi-24)

The Mi-35M (Nato codename: Hind E) is a multi-purpose military transport helicopter designed to cruise at a maximum speed of 310km/h. Developed by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, the Mi-35M is an upgraded version of Mi-24 HIND helicopter and can conduct combat missions in adverse weather conditions day and night.

The Mi-35M entered the serial production phase in 2005 at Rostvertol plant and is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and armed forces of Venezuela, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Mali. It can be used to target armoured vehicles, fire support, landing and evacuation of troops, as well as transportation of cargo.

The helicopter is powered by two ТVЗ-117VМА or VK-2500 engines developing 2,200hp each. The power plant enables a maximum take-off weight of 11,500kg. The operational altitude and normal range of the helicopter are 5,400m (17,716ft) and 460km respectively.

AW101 Merlin (formerly EH101)

The EH101 Merlin (now known as AW101) is a flexible medium-lift helicopter, which can fly at a maximum speed of 309km/h, making it one of the fastest military rotorcraft. It is produced by Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) for military and civilian applications.

The EH101 made its first flight in October 1987 and the first helicopter entered service with the Royal Navy in June 2000. The helicopter can accommodate 38 soldiers and be fitted with missiles, torpedoes and personal weapons, as well as an advanced self-protection suite for countering missile threats.

how long can a police helicopter fly for

So How Far Can Helicopters Fly?

As a general rule, helicopters usually fly around 2.5 to 5 hours before they have to stop and refuel. This translates to a distance of roughly 250 miles, which means that they can fly a lot farther than many people realize before they have to stop. However, this can vary depending on the type and size of the helicopter as well as many other aspects that you have to take into consideration.

How Far A Helicopter Can Fly Depends on The Type Of Helicopter

Looking into how far helicopters fly without having to stop means first learning about the types of helicopters, the amount of extra weight being carried, and the size of the fuel tank.

All of these things can affect how long helicopters remain in the air before having to land to refuel. Many helicopters with no reserve are able to fly at 5000 feet for nearly 600 miles at a time.

Of course, there are also many types of helicopters, including commercial, private, and military ones, so in essence there is no hard-and-fast rule regarding the length of time or distance that a helicopter can fly without stopping.Gulfstream G700× 0% 

Civilian helicopters, for example, usually have an average speed of 150 to 175 miles per hour while military helicopters can be even faster.

Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne at Airfield
Editorial TeamLockheed AH-56A Cheyenne at Airfield. This is the longest range helicopter with a flight range of 1225 miles.

Today, the fastest military helicopter is the CH-47F Chinook, which can fly at 170 knots or roughly 195 miles per hour.

In the civilian world, the Airbus Helicopters’ H155 helicopter is the fastest and has a speed of approximately 200 miles per hour or 174 knots.

Overall, the absolute fastest chopper is the Eurocopter X3, which can fly at roughly 295 miles per hour or 255 knots.

How High Can A Helicopter Fly?

Most helicopters stick to the 5000-foot range, mainly because it is the perfect range when they’re looking for the flexibility to fly safely without the fear of crashing into something.

Some high-performance helicopters can fly up to 10,000 feet. If they make it to the 14,000-foot range — which some of them do — the passengers usually need an oxygen supply.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
Editorial TeamThe Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has the second longest range with 1011 miles.

If you’re curious about the record for how far up a helicopter has been able to fly, that record was set by a man named Fred North in 2002 when he reached 42,000 feet with his AS 350 B2 Squirrel helicopter.

Some interesting statistics when it comes to determining how far helicopters fly include:

  • The longest helicopter flight is 2213 miles; the chopper was a Hughes OH-6 Cayuse.
  • Single-rotor helicopters generally travel 40 to 50 miles every 15 minutes.
  • The average speed for helicopters is 150 to 200 miles per hour.
  • Helicopters generally cost $200 to $750 per hour to operate depending on their gear, maintenance, fuel, and operating costs.

One of the reasons why different helicopters have different abilities to fly at various lengths and heights is because of their fuel tank sizes.

Obviously, the smaller tanks accommodate less fuel, which means that particular helicopter won’t be able to fly as far or as high.

The Sikorsky S92 helicopter, which is a larger model, is able to fly at 160 miles per hour for more than 600 miles.

Legal Requirements That Influence A Helicopters Flight Range

Just as with airplanes, helicopters have to obey certain laws and rules set by governmental and aviation authorities. Rules can change from one situation to another and can be affected by factors such as:

  • Flying in busy areas, such as commercial airports
  • Flying on private property, such as that belonging to some businesses
  • Whether or not bad weather is present
  • Flying from one border to another or one country to another
  • Whether or not you have to go through customs

In other words, helicopters are held to certain legal requirements and therefore cannot just take off and do whatever they like.

Because of this, how far helicopters fly is affected by the laws that chopper pilots must abide by when planning their trips.

Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne
Editorial TeamThe Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne is the longest range helicopter with a flight range of 1225 miles.

Other Factors That Affect the Range Of A Helicopter

As you have undoubtedly already figured out, determining how far helicopters fly means realizing that the numbers are affected by things such as the payload and how much fuel you have in the tank.

Because in-air refueling is expensive and often complicated, most helicopter pilots come down frequently to refuel that way.

Two to five hours at a time seems to be the average that a helicopter can fly without refueling; again, these are average numbers.

In addition to the Sikorsky S92, the EC155 also has the possibility of flying for roughly 600 miles without stopping.

Choppers such as the Apache Attack helicopter are able to fly for around 1200 miles without stopping.

You have to realize that a lot of things come into play when it comes to how far or high a certain helicopter can fly.

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