Why private helicopters continue to be in high demand


Hill Helicopters, a company founded by Jason Hill, recently unveiled a new helicopter design. Hill, who had dreamed of designing his own aircraft since childhood, felt a sense of pride and jubilation at the grand unveiling. However, creating a new helicopter has been a challenging process due to the coordination and execution required. The five-seater Hill helicopter will be powered by a turbine engine and has a lightweight carbon fiber fuselage to keep the weight down. Despite the challenging economic climate, Hill has received 1,222 orders worth £540m, with buyers paying non-refundable deposits of up to £100,000. The helicopter’s first flight is projected for the middle of this year. While helicopter ownership is typically associated with wealth, it offers efficiency and time-saving benefits. Private helicopter owners can also lease their machines to flying schools when not in use. Hill Helicopters faces competition from companies like Robinson, which has sold nearly 14,000 small helicopters. Additionally, electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (Evtol) are emerging as potential competitors to traditional helicopters. These battery-powered aircraft promise to be cheaper, quieter, and easier to maintain. Hill’s vision involves designing and building all components in-house, which could result in significant cost savings. The company aims to extend the time between mandatory rebuilds and reduce associated costs. The Hill helicopter also features a fully automated start-up procedure, making it easier for private pilots to operate. The rush to pay deposits for the Hill helicopter can be attributed to word-of-mouth within the rotary wing community.

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