Understanding the Different Types of Charter Helicopters in the Marketplace

When it comes to selecting the right helicopter to charter for your business trip, luxury getaway, short-haul flight in urban areas, or if you are venturing off to tropical islands and hard-to-access destinations, there are only a few categories of helicopter to consider.

We look at the differences between light-piston helicopters, single, and twin-engine helicopters, and understand which is tailor-made for your charter experience.

Which types of private helicopters should I charter?

Helicopters are categorised by their engines in simple terms and are loosely classified into three core categories.

Helicopters offer flexibility compared to chartering a private fixed-wing aircraft - mainly the advantage of point-to-point travel and reaching areas that planes simply can't, especially within city centres or mountainous and rural areas with no set landing strips as well as ski resorts, yachts, and famous sports stadiums for major events.

This ability to access remote areas and sprawling city centres, as well as tropical islands, means that helipads at iconic hotels, private properties, or other crowded or difficult-to-reach destinations are within reach of the passenger with a chartered helicopter.

Some of the key characteristics passengers might want to look for in a charter luxury helicopter are whether the seats are forward facing or if the passengers face each other (do you need to discuss business mid-flight?) as well as the type of views from the seats (is it for sightseeing?) and any other added comforts or requirements that suit the intended flight as well as the range and number of allowed passengers.

Some of the reasons you might be chartering a helicopter include:

  • Transfers to and from an airport to avoid traffic or in a remote area
  • Executive business and corporate trips
  • Helicopter city or prospecting flight
  • From and to ski resorts, heliskiing, attending tropical weddings and transferring to an island
  • Medical flights (medevac)
  • Tourist flights, customer lunches, special events such as birthdays & marriage proposals

Read More About Understanding the Three Different Private Jet Categories

Twin-engine Helicopters

Twin-engined helicopters logically are among the fastest helicopters on the market and can reach speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, and the dual engines also allow for heavier luggage loads and longer ranges, with some types of helicopters in this category able to travel up to 500 miles (900+ kilometres).

These helicopters are sought after by executive travellers who require high performance, added comfort, and size for their charter helicopter.

In terms of examples, on the larger side, the Sikorsky S92 can fit in a huge passenger load of up to ten passengers as well as offer greater luggage space.

The Airbus’ twin-engine H155 is a popular private and business aviation charter helicopter which provides long-range medium-lift passenger transport and can accommodate up to 13 passengers.

The Airbus H135 is suitable for executive and VIP transport, and offers an excellent range of up to 6ookm with its two reliable turboshaft power plants providing outstanding performance and fuel consumption. The cabin is roomy and quiet with comfortable seating for up to five or six passengers. Airbus says there is a combination of rear- and forward-facing seating which can create an environment conducive to conversation or work mid-flight.

Twin-engine helicopter charters are safer and are preferred for night flights and by virtue of being bigger and faster than single-engine choices,  twin-turbine helicopters remain a popular choice.

There are several popular twin-engine helicopters from famous and respectable brands such as Airbus, Sikorsky, Kawasaki and others.

Explore the best twin-engine helicopters to charter through YUGO’s global network.

Single-engine Helicopters

Single-engine helicopters offer a choice of quality, safety and versatility and unless you need to be somewhere urgently or require space for a large group, this category is a great option.

Light turbine or single-engine helicopters such as the Bell 206B Jet Ranger or the Airbus H125 is a superior helicopter which offers versatility while excelling in high and hot and extreme environments and are popular among business executives and still provide a great standard of comfort and can accommodate up to 4-6 passengers easily so are still a great choice for corporates.

For this category of helicopters, a single flight attendant might even be made available but possibly at the expense of a customer seat. The luggage space might be small so probably one item per passenger  (which still might be ample) for short-haul flights to sign key contracts, and attend business conferences or intra-country meetings.

Generally, these types of helicopters will be more affordable than a twin-engine helicopter charter and these are great for short-haul flights, sightseeing and other small trips for small groups of passengers.

Major aircraft manufacturers such as Bell, McDonnell Douglas, Robinson and many more all offer a variety of single-engine helicopters.

Find out more about some of the best single-engine helicopters to charter with YUGO.

Light-piston Engine Helicopters

Light-piston engine helicopters are still available but less popular as they are more limited as most of these are only suitable for up to two passengers.

The Enstrom F28F is an example and might still be great for surveying over short distances and short-range trips with the type of helicopter able to reach 100 miles per hour while carrying a relatively small load.

There are over 150 single-engine & twin-engine helicopters available with us -  Yugo operates charter flights globally allowing you to reach your destination with tailored charter flight experiences.

Read more about our exciting new membership packages that allow members to book their air charter experience with YUGO