Helicopters are not all created equal. Some are designed to handle the most treacherous conditions on the planet, while others combine performance and luxury to suit the commercial side of the industry. However, the focus here today is on operation-ready helicopters which have stood the test of time.
Crowned as a winner in the US Army’s Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) competition, the MD 500 is a light aircraft which is easy on the eyes. It is an upgrade to the Hughes Model 369, which was designed and built by Malcolm Harned and his team in Culver City, California. And it was an instant hit. People love this rotorcraft for its manoeuvring abilities, long-range and it’s surprisingly good safety record.
The S-92 is a 19-seater helicopter designed to fly in any situation; commercial or military. It has become a workhorse for offshore operations because of its impressive range, remarkable performance, and its adequate payload capacity. That’s part of the reason why heads of states, corporates and the wealthy choose the S-92 over its competitors. The aircraft also has an excellent safety record, even when working under challenging conditions. And when it’s designed to carry VIPs, this rotorcraft transforms into a floating palace. Nobody ever forgets a ride in one of these bad boys.
Bell 206 Jetranger
The Bell 206 might not have a striking exterior design, but it sure is reliable and robust. It is a replacement of the Bell YOH-4A which failed to impress judges in the US military LOH competition. They took the failed design and added some cabin space, and storage, and redesigned the exterior, making it one of the most reliable helicopters in the process. People have landed this aircraft in confined spaces, used it in search and rescue missions, plus for a whole bunch of commercial purposes.