While flying cars are more fantasy than reality, maybe take a closer look at helicopters? We have tried to do this and will tell you.
What to choose
If we compare buying a car and buying a helicopter, then there are both differences and common points. Like a car, a rotary-wing aircraft can be bought both new and used. By the way, a helicopter that has already been operated earlier is called a resource helicopter. There is also a third option - the purchase of a so-called kit-kit, that is, a set of components and assemblies, including an engine, intended for self-assembly. You can assemble it yourself, or entrust the assembly to professionals in the service center.
It's not always possible to go out and buy a new helicopter right away. As a rule, new helicopters are delivered to order. So, the American helicopter Robinson R44, popular in Russia, will have to wait from 3 to 6 months, the French Eurocopter EC-130 T2 - up to one year. True, official dealers always have their own, pre-ordered helicopters with a close delivery time. As for the resource helicopter, its advantage is that there is no need to wait for it. Therefore, a helicopter 1-3 years old is almost as good as new. But in the future, the price of cars falls rather slowly.
In addition, you will have to choose between a piston helicopter and a gas turbine one. The advantage of the first will be its low fuel requirements. The piston Robinson is fueled with aviation gasoline, but the automobile AI-95 is also used, the main thing is that the quality of the fuel does not disappoint. Gas turbine helicopters fly on aviation kerosene, which is much more expensive. In addition, when choosing, one must take into account the purposes for which the helicopter is purchased. Reciprocating machines are intended primarily for amateur pilots who fly for their own pleasure. Gas turbine ones involve flights in various weather conditions and high intensity of operation. But they are also much more expensive.
The registration of helicopters is handled by the Federal Air Transport Agency - Rosaviatsia. Helicopters, as well as airplanes, are subject to registration in the State Register of Civil Aircraft of the Russian Federation.
Celestial "Robinsons" and others
It just so happened that the main machines in this segment, presented in Russia, are the helicopters of the American company Robinson Helicopter. The company has three types of rotary-wing aircraft in the arsenal - two-seater R22, four-seater R44 and five-seater R66. In addition, the company manufactures Robinson Helipad helipads for rooftop installations. The share of our country in the company's sales is approximately 15%. In total, the company produces 800 cars per year.
Robinson R22 is a light single engine helicopter. Powered by Lycoming O-360 four-cylinder piston gasoline engine. The helicopter is two-seater, designed for a pilot and one passenger. Produced since 1975. The R22 Beta II starts at $ 288,000 as standard. But this is in the USA. Transportation and customs clearance will increase the price by about one and a half times. The R44 Cadet, announced at the end of last year, is also a two-seater, but unlike other helicopters of the 44 series, it starts at $ 339,000. Apparently, it is going to replace R22. The R44 Cadet has the same overall dimensions as the four-seater R44 Raven II, but instead of the rear seats it has a spacious cargo compartment.
Robinson R44 first flew in 1990. It is one of the most popular helicopters in its class. Like the R22, it is also powered by a piston engine. The helicopter is designed for 4 people. The standard R44 Raven II helicopter is priced at $ 461,000.
The Robinson R66 is the first gas turbine Robinson Helicopter. Delivered since 2010.It is powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft engine. Has five seats and a separate cargo compartment. It no longer consumes gasoline, but aviation kerosene. The basic R66 Turbine helicopter is priced at $ 869,000.
The Rotorway A600 Talon is a lightweight two-seater piston helicopter manufactured by the American company RotorWay International. The model has been produced since 2007. Supplied unassembled. The complete assembly takes about 450 hours. As fuel, ordinary automobile 92nd gasoline is used. The factory cost of the kit is $ 98,000. The Russian price will include VAT, customs duties and, if you do not collect yourself, then the cost of assembly.
The Italian Heli-Sport CH-7 has been produced by Heli-Sport aircraft since 2009. It is also a two-seater piston helicopter with tandem seats. The self-assembly kit will be priced at $ 115,000. The seats of the pilot and passenger are located, as on a motorcycle, one after the other. There is a version with a classic in-line arrangement of seats - HeliSport CH77.
If you have sufficient funds, you can look at the Eurocopter helicopters from Airbus Helicopters, a subsidiary of the famous Airbus Group and Bell from the American Bell Helicopter, which is part of the Textron conglomerate. But their cost will be significantly higher.
It is still difficult to choose something from domestic helicopters for personal use. Russian Helicopters, the main domestic manufacturer of civil and military helicopters, can offer Ansat and Ka-226T in a relatively light segment. In the future, perhaps, and Ka-62, which first took to the skies in April this year. Light domestic helicopters - Kazan "Aktai" and Togliatti "Berkut" - never went into production.
Where to store and where to fly
Since a helicopter does not need a runway, unlike an airplane, it can be stored at home. Of course, if it is a country house. But this requires registering the helipad. This requires a flat piece of land with an area of 35 by 35 meters. And on the take-off course at an angle of 45 degrees, there should be no obstacles. Can also be stored at the heliport. Depending on the type of storage, street or hangar, and the list of related services, the price of storage will also depend. Like an airplane, a helicopter can be rented between flights, which can pay for its storage and maintenance.
The airspace of Russia is divided into zones of three classes: A, C and G. For flights of small aircraft, including helicopters, zones C and G are used. In the first case, an air traffic control clearance is required (for example, flights in the airfield zone) the second case does not need permission. There are also areas where flights are prohibited, for example, within the Moscow Ring Road. For flights in class G airspace, a notification procedure has been established for flights. Notification can be submitted no earlier than 5 days and no later than an hour before departure. Such notification can be submitted either by phone or fax, or via the Internet.
Helicopter control training
Helicopters are more difficult to fly than airplanes. And learning to fly a helicopter will also cost more. If you have to pay for an amateur pilot training course from 300,000 rubles, then prices for helicopter courses start from 800,000 rubles. The cost of training, as a rule, includes the cost of renting a helicopter and an instructor, as well as aviation fuel. By the way, helicopters consume more fuel compared to aircraft of the same mass, this also affects the cost of training. In addition, for a fee, the instructor can be called at home.
In the process of training, cadets need to listen to theoretical courses and fly more than 42 hours. The theoretical course includes: the study of the design of a helicopter, engine, instrumentation and radio equipment, aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation and helicopter navigation. The practical part of the training includes: flying in a circle and along a route, hovering, moving and turning near the ground.Upon completion of training, the cadet will have to pass an exam and obtain a private pilot certificate.
Or maybe a gyrocopter?
The world of light aviation is not limited to helicopters and airplanes. There are also gyrocopters, other names: gyroplane and gyroplane. Externally similar to a helicopter (helicopter), a gyrocopter, however, is arranged differently. In a gyrocopter, as in a helicopter, the main rotor is designed to create lift. However, the gyrocopter propeller rotates freely in the autorotation mode under the action of aerodynamic forces. It only creates lift. The propulsion force is created by the propeller, which imparts horizontal speed to the gyroplane. In a helicopter, on the contrary, the lifting and driving force is created by the rotor.
Unlike a helicopter, a gyrocopter requires a runway to take off. In addition, the gyrocopter will not be able to hover in the air. But if necessary, he can land anywhere. Since the gyrocopter is constantly in autorotation mode, if the engine fails during flight, it is able to descend to the ground without any problems. In addition, the cost of a flight hour is several times less than that of a helicopter due to lower fuel consumption. Prices for gyrocopters (autogyros) are also noticeably lower than for helicopters. Russian ones cost from 2 million, foreign ones - from 4 to 7 million rubles.