When one is in the market for a helicopter there are many options to choose from. The first thing to consider are your priorities. What size you are looking for in terms of size, engine, and speed? There are three main types of helicopters— light piston-engines, light turbines, and twin-engines. Learning about these different types of helicopters will help you navigate the market.
The smallest of the three is the light piston engine helicopter. The Schweizer 300 and Robinson R22 are common light piston helicopters. They have between two to three seats with a speed range of 80-110 mph. They are the most economical of the three, however the fuel they use is expensive. The size is also a bit of a downside because it fits very few people, so most outgrow this model quickly. But it continues to be the most common model for helicopter training and private use, and a fantastic option for first-timers.
Another option is the light turbine helicopters, which are the most commonly owned. The Eurocopter Squirrel and Bell Jet Ranger are popular light turbine helicopters. They fit between five and six passengers! With its sporty look, relative comfort, and faster speed, this model is very popular for both charter and private owners.
The final option is the twin-engine helicopters like the Agusta 109 and Sikorsky S-76. They are very large and expensive compared the two previous options mentioned. This is because they are faster, seat up to 14 people, and are much safer. They are generally owned by corporate and charter companies; however, some are owned privately. Twin-engines can also fly over city centers and park on rooftop pads.