Kind Reader, when it comes to transportation, speed is always an essential factor to consider. This is particularly true in the aviation industry, where time is of the utmost importance. For those who are looking for the fastest civilian helicopters available in the market, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will be discussing the top contenders for the title of fastest civilian helicopter. So, buckle up and let’s take a closer look at these flying machines.
The Fastest Civilian Helicopters in the World
The race for the world’s fastest civilian helicopter is still ongoing with new advancements in technology. The speed of civilian helicopters is an essential factor in emergencies, search and rescue missions, surveillance, and air transportation. Most helicopter manufacturers are scaling up their research and development process to produce new models with increased speed and performance. Here are some of the world’s fastest civilian helicopters.
The Leonardo AW139 is a medium-sized, multirole helicopter produced by Leonardo S.p.A. It has a top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h) and a range of over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) making it one of the fastest, long-range helicopters in the world.
The AgustaWestland AW101 is a medium-lift helicopter with a top speed of 191 mph (307 km/h). It is designed for military use, but its speed and size have also made it an ideal helicopter for VIP transport and search and rescue missions.
The Sikorsky S-76C+ is a medium-sized helicopter with a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h). The S-76C+ is known for its versatility and is used for executive transport, offshore oil and gas transportation, and search and rescue missions.
Another helicopter produced by AgustaWestland is the AW109 with a top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h). It is a lightweight, twin-engine helicopter with a spacious cabin, making it a popular choice for VIP transport, air ambulance, and law enforcement agencies.
Bell 429 GlobalRanger
The Bell 429 GlobalRanger is a light, twin-engine helicopter with a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h). Designed for corporate, helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), and law enforcement transport, the Bell 429 sets the standard for speed, range, and utility.
MD Helicopters MD 600N
The MD Helicopters MD 600N has a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h), making it one of the fastest and safest six-seat helicopters in the world. Its advanced technology also makes it a popular choice for military and law enforcement agencies.
Airbus Helicopters H145
The Airbus H145 is a light twin-engine helicopter with a top speed of 153 mph (246 km/h). It has a range of up to 426 nautical miles (787 km), making it a popular choice for emergency medical services, law enforcement, and commercial transport.
The Fastest Civilian Helicopters in the World
Helicopters are known for their versatility and ability to fly in various terrains than fixed-wing aircraft. They are used for various purposes, including emergency medical services, VIP transportation, firefighting, and tourism, and many more. Nowadays, helicopters have become an essential part of the global transportation system. Their speed is one of the most important features that make them preferable over other modes of transportation. In this section, we will discuss the fastest civilian helicopters in the world.
1. Eurocopter X3
The Eurocopter X3 is the fastest civilian helicopter in the world, setting a new world record for helicopter speed in 2013. The helicopter achieved a top speed of 293 mph (472 km/h). The X3 is a hybrid aircraft that combines the best features of a helicopter and a fixed-wing plane.
2. Sikorsky S-97 Raider
The Sikorsky S-97 Raider is another fastest civilian helicopter in the world. The aircraft has a top speed of 276 mph (444 km/h) and features twin coaxial rotors, a pusher propeller, and a sleek, streamlined design. The Raider has been designed as a high-speed scout and recon helicopter for the US Army, but it has also great potential for civilian use.
3. Airbus Helicopters H160
The Airbus Helicopters H160 is a medium-sized twin-engine helicopter designed for civilian use. The helicopter has a top speed of 185 mph (300 km/h) and is equipped with the latest technology, including an advanced avionics suite and a fly-by-wire control system. The H160 has been designed to offer superior comfort, safety, and performance to its customers.
4. Sikorsky S-92
The Sikorsky S-92 is a medium-sized helicopter that has been used for various purposes, including offshore oil and gas transportation and VIP transportation. The helicopter has a top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h) and features a spacious and comfortable cabin that can accommodate up to 19 passengers. The S-92 has established a reputation for reliability, safety, and performance.
5. Bell 429 GlobalRanger
The Bell 429 GlobalRanger is a light twin-engine helicopter that has been designed for various purposes, including EMS, corporate transportation, and law enforcement. The helicopter has a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) and has a spacious and comfortable cabin that can accommodate up to seven passengers. The Bell 429 has proven to be popular with customers around the world.
6. Leonardo AW139
The Leonardo AW139 is a medium-sized helicopter that has been designed for various purposes, including EMS, offshore transportation, and VIP transportation. The helicopter has a top speed of 193 mph (311 km/h) and features a spacious and comfortable cabin that can accommodate up to 15 passengers. The AW139 has established a reputation for reliability, safety, and performance.
7. Robinson R66 Turbine
The Robinson R66 Turbine is a light single-engine helicopter that has been designed for various purposes, including tourism, corporate transportation, and law enforcement. The helicopter has a top speed of 152 mph (245 km/h) and features a spacious and comfortable cabin that can accommodate up to five passengers. The R66 has proven to be popular with customers around the world due to its low operating costs and superior performance.
|Max Speed (km/h)
|Sikorsky S-97 Raider
|Augusta Westland AW169
|Agusta A109S Grand
|Bell 525 Relentless
The Fastest Civilian Helicopters in the World
Some helicopters, unlike the most common versions, are built to fly fast, reaching top speeds of up to or over 400 km/h. The fastest military helicopter in the world is the Eurocopter X3, which set an unofficial speed record of 472 km/h in 2013. However, this article will focus on the fastest civilian helicopters that are commercially available for purchase. Here are the top three.
Bell 525 Relentless
The Bell 525 Relentless is an aircraft that can reach speeds of up to 306 km/h, making it one of the fastest civilian helicopters available for commercial use. This helicopter’s unique design includes a fly-by-wire flight control system that manages the environment in which it operates, contributing to a smooth and comfortable flying experience. It’s leading the way in performance, comfort, and safety as the first helicopter to incorporate Safe Flight’s rotorcraft collective and cueing system that assists pilots in preventing over-speed and over-torque events, helping prolong the aircraft’s service life.
The Sikorsky S-76D is another fast and reliable civilian helicopter capable of flying at a top speed of 287 km/h. Its semi-rigid main rotor blade system, with a low 3-bladed version, ensures smooth handling and enables modifications to the rotor blade that result in a simpler, more rugged, and easy-to-maintain design. The helicopter is used for many purposes worldwide, including executive transportation, search and rescue operations, and helicopter ambulance flights for medical care, among others.
The Robinson R66
The Robinson R66 is a turbine-powered civilian helicopter that can carry five passengers and has a cruising speed of 140 knots. The R66 is manufactured by Robinson Helicopter Company, and features a Lycoming engine, a two-bladed rotor system, and a T-shaped tail rotor. It also has a spacious cabin, which makes it suitable for corporate transport, as well as utility missions.
Maximum Operating Altitude
The Robinson R66 has a maximum operating altitude of 14,000 feet, making it suitable for a wide range of missions, including search and rescue, aerial photography, sightseeing, and firefighting.
The R66 has a climb rate of 1,000 feet (305 meters) per minute, which makes it one of the fastest helicopters in its class. This feature is especially useful for emergency situations, when the helicopter needs to quickly reach high altitudes.
The Eurocopter AS350
The Eurocopter AS350, also known as the AStar, is a single-engine, light utility helicopter that seats up to six passengers. The AS350 is designed for versatility and can perform a wide range of missions, including aerial work, tourism, and law enforcement.
The AS350 has a cruising speed of 133 knots, which is one of the fastest in its class. This speed, combined with the aircraft’s agility and maneuverability, makes it ideal for emergency medical services and search and rescue.
The AS350 has a maximum endurance of four hours, making it one of the longest-range civilian helicopters available. This feature is particularly useful for extended missions, such as firefighting or wildlife conservation.
Bell 525 Relentless
The Bell 525 Relentless is a medium-lift helicopter that can travel at a maximum speed of over 200 knots (370 km/h). This helicopter is the worldâ€™s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, which means that its controls are electronically operated. The Bell 525 Relentless has been designed to operate in a variety of conditions and can perform a range of missions, including offshore oil and gas transportation, air medical services, and VIP transport.
Features of the Bell 525 Relentless
The Bell 525 Relentless has a range of features that make it one of the fastest and most advanced civilian helicopters on the market:
|Fly-by-wire flight controls
|Advanced noise and vibration technology
|Spacious cabin with room for up to 20 passengers
|Large, high-visibility cockpit with advanced systems
|Dual-currency digital flight control system
Applications of the Bell 525 Relentless
The Bell 525 Relentless has been designed to fulfill a variety of missions. Some examples of its applications include:
- Offshore oil and gas transport
- Search and rescue operations
- EMS transport
- Corporate and VIP transport
- Law enforcement and public safety
The Fastest Civilian Helicopters – Robinson R66
Robinson R66 holds the title of being the fastest rotorcraft of the Robinson series. The Robinson R66 is the first five-seat turbine helicopter produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company. This helicopter can travel up to 140 knots (161 mph) in the air with a range of 325 nautical miles.
Top features of Robinson R66
- Powerful 300 hp Rolls Royce RR300 turboshaft engine.
- Fuel-efficient and reliable aircraft.
- Large windows for enhanced natural light and clear view.
Specifications of Robinson R66
|Rolls Royce RR300 turboshaft
|Approximately 125 knots (144 mph)
|325 nautical miles
Fastest Civilian Helicopters – Sikorsky S-76C+
The Sikorsky S-76C+ is a powerful and reliable medium-size twin-engine helicopter. It is known as the best civilian helicopter series of Sikorsky. This helicopter can reach a top speed of 155 knots (178 mph) with a range of 411 nautical miles.
Top features of Sikorsky S-76C+
- Two powerful turboshaft engines that deliver exceptional performance.
- Advanced automatic flight control system for added safety.
- Spacious cabin with large windows for superior comfort.
Specifications of Sikorsky S-76C+
|155 knots (178 mph)
|411 nautical miles
Robinson R66 Turbine
The Robinson R66 is another single-engine helicopter that is widely used in a range of operations, from utility work to sightseeing tours. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, which gives it a top cruise speed of 140 knots or 161 mph. This helicopter also has a maximum range of 348 nautical miles and can fly up to an altitude of 14,000 feet. However, it is worth noting that the R66 has a smaller cabin size compared to other helicopters in its class, and it can carry up to four passengers only.
Robinson R66 Turbine Top Speed
The Robinson R66 has a top cruise speed of 140 knots or 161 mph, making it one of the fastest single-engine helicopters on the market. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce RR300 turbine engine, which delivers impressive power and performance.
Robinson R66 Turbine Performance
The Robinson R66 can fly up to an altitude of 14,000 feet and has a maximum range of 348 nautical miles. It is a versatile helicopter that is widely used in a range of operations, from utility work to sightseeing tours.
Fastest Civilian Helicopters – FAQ
1. What are the fastest civilian helicopters available?
The fastest civilian helicopters available are the Bell 525 Relentless, Sikorsky S-76D, and AugustaWestland AW139.
2. How fast can these helicopters fly?
The Bell 525 Relentless has a maximum speed of 162 knots, the Sikorsky S-76D has a maximum speed of 155 knots, and the AugustaWestland AW139 has a maximum speed of 165 knots.
3. What is the range of these helicopters?
The Bell 525 Relentless has a range of 500 nautical miles, the S-76D has a range of 416 nautical miles, and the AW139 has a range of 573 nautical miles.
4. What is the seating capacity of these helicopters?
The Bell 525 Relentless can seat up to 20 passengers, the S-76D can seat up to 12 passengers, and the AW139 can seat up to 15 passengers.
5. How much do these helicopters cost?
The Bell 525 Relentless costs around $20 million, the Sikorsky S-76D costs around $13 million, and the AugustaWestland AW139 costs around $15 million.
6. Can these helicopters be customized?
Yes, these helicopters can be customized to suit the needs of the buyer, with options such as different seating arrangements, cabin configurations, and avionics systems.
7. What safety features do these helicopters have?
These helicopters have a range of safety features, including redundant systems, advanced avionics, and crash-resistant fuel systems.
8. Can these helicopters be used for commercial purposes?
Yes, these helicopters are often used for commercial purposes, such as executive transport, offshore oil and gas support, and emergency medical services.
9. What kind of maintenance do these helicopters require?
These helicopters require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure they are safe and reliable. Maintenance schedules will vary depending on the specific helicopter and its usage.
10. How long is the lifespan of these helicopters?
The lifespan of these helicopters will vary depending on their usage and maintenance, but they are typically designed to last for several decades.
11. Are these helicopters difficult to fly?
These helicopters are designed to be flown by experienced pilots and require specialized training and certifications.
12. How much fuel do these helicopters consume?
The fuel consumption will vary depending on the specific helicopter and its usage, but they typically consume several hundred gallons of fuel per hour.
13. Can these helicopters fly in bad weather?
These helicopters are equipped with advanced avionics systems that allow them to fly in poor weather conditions, but they may be grounded in extremely severe weather.
14. What is the maximum altitude these helicopters can reach?
The maximum altitude will vary depending on the specific helicopter, but they are typically capable of reaching altitudes of up to 20,000 feet or higher.
15. What is the lead time for ordering one of these helicopters?
The lead time for ordering one of these helicopters will depend on the specific helicopter and its availability, but it can range from a few months to several years.
Find out about the fastest civilian helicopters in the world and take your knowledge to new heights!
A Quick Farewell from Above
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the fastest civilian helicopters currently available. Whether you’re a helicopter enthusiast or just enjoy experiencing the thrill of speed, these aircraft are sure to impress. Don’t forget to come back and visit us again, Kind Reader, as we’ll be bringing you even more exciting articles about the world of aviation. Till then, stay safe and keep reaching for the skies!