Design and Technology
Top 5 Helicopters for Superyachts
The world of private helicopters has presented an unparalleled level of efficiency for the most discerning superyacht owners.
Radically reducing journey time from shore to ship, and ensuring you arrive in ultimate style and privacy, superyachts and helicopters are a match made in heaven. Here’s our top five from the ever-growing range of superyacht helicopters to choose from.
Perhaps offering the most natural synergy between helicopter and yacht is the Airbus ACH145. With a small footprint ideal for a superyacht helipad, and a flexible cabin able to transport eight to ten guests in airborne luxury, this rotorcraft is unquestionably a top choice to adorn the deck of any superyacht. With over eight possible configurations, the ACH145 offers the industry’s most versatile cabin for the ultimate passenger experience. From the stunning interior choices Airbus provide, to a VIP fit out from a collaboration with Mercedes-Benz offering the style and class synonymous with the German luxury car brand, this superyacht helicopter combines best-in-class comfort with a staggeringly quiet ride which enables sightseeing from above or mid-air business meetings to take place unhindered by rotor noise. The helicopter of choice for the upcoming largest superyacht in the world, 182.9m REV Ocean, the AHC145 combines impressive performance with the latest in safety equipment, including advanced autopilot systems to offer the complete superyacht helicopter package that guarantees a safe and comfortable flight.
Superyacht helicopters must strike a fine balance between speed, comfort, and style. From affording passengers enough interior volume to ensure a comfortable flight, to being compact enough to fit on the deck of a yacht, designing such a piece of machinery is no small feat. The company responsible for designing the most capable helicopters for the job to date is Airbus, and with their all new ACH160 they have raised the bar yet again. Bringing the cutting edge of helicopter design to the fore, a composite airframe, impressive fuel efficiency, and a whisper-quiet ride thanks to a shrouded tail rotor, and Blue Edge rotor blade design, the ACH160 carries 12 passengers to the deck of their superyacht in total comfort. While its large side windows create a light flooded cabin to illuminate the stunning interior concept from renowned superyacht designer Harrison Edisgaard, the ACH160 also embraces new technology to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. A truly innovative product that is a far more sustainable mode of transport compared to its traditionally designed counterparts, the ACH160 is the height of aerial style and sophistication.
From the renowned Agustawestland the AW109 Trekker is the first ever fully Italian-built helicopter to be mass produced. With its best-in-class lifting capability and impressive range of 447NM, the AW109 Trekker offers an unmatched level of utility for a light-weight superyacht helicopter. Accommodating six passengers in a spacious and versatile cabin, the AW109 effortlessly transports its guests wherever they wish. A brilliantly soundproofed and elegantly styled interior affords passengers a quiet and comfortable ride, so a short hop from ship to shore, or visiting a remote island destination further afield is effortless. Boasting wide sliding doors for easy access, an extended baggage compartment so guests can bring all the luggage they desire, and rugged skid landing gear for true go anywhere capability, this helicopter brings a new dimension to life at sea. Able to explore even the hardest to reach destinations with complete peace of mind thanks to state-of-the-art safety features, the AW109 is the perfect addition to any explorer superyacht big enough to accommodate this 42-foot beauty.
Designed for short-medium flights and touchdowns in tight spaces, this helicopter is ideal for any superyacht platform. As one of the most compact five-seat helicopters on the market, the Bell 505 punches well above its weight. Packing an integrated glass flight deck, and Garmin G1000H avionics suite with twin 10.4in LCD screens into a five-seat platform is a truly masterful piece of helicopter design. While compact, with a main rotor just 11.2m wide and fuselage only 13m long, the Bell 505 does not forgo comfort. A luxurious and open Italian-designed interior, and glass cockpit, affords passengers an uninterrupted view to admire their yacht from a new angle in total comfort. An ideal helicopter to fit on any superyacht platform, the lightweight design provides impressive performance and versatility. While the two bladed rotor is an effective solution to offer powerful lift and limit drag, the quick release seats, flat floor, and large baggage compartment provide a great option for transporting luggage or supplies from land to sea. Stylish, sporty, and practical, superyacht helicopters don’t get much better.
Still just a concept but one of the most exciting prospects in the aviation industry, the Bell FCX-101 is a crescendo of technology yet to make it into helicopter production. A window into the future of what your superyacht helicopter may, one day, look like, this rotorcraft is touted to be powered by a hybrid propulsion system and incorporates a revolutionary anti-torque system within the tail boom rendering the tail rotor obsolete. The FCX-001 presents a significant step change in what helicopter design can be. By combining the benefits of the proven turboshaft engine with the rapidly evolving world of electric propulsion, a new level of efficiency could be achieved. Debuted at the Heli-Exbo 2017, this stunning concept utilises the bleeding edge of heli design in every area. From the pilot using augmented reality in the cockpit for near autonomous flying, to morphing rotor blades that adapt to different flight scenarios, and an ingenious interior with modular flooring design for the most versatile cabin ever, this gull winged rotorcraft for the future is set to change the landscape for superyacht helicopter transport forever.