How Fast Do Helicopters Fly?

Helicopters are flying machines that rely on rotary wings to generate lift.

They are widely used by military forces, police departments, fire departments, and other emergency services.

Helicopters are also used for commercial purposes such as aerial photography, crop dusting, and air ambulance services.

How Fast Do Helicopters Fly?

They are one of the coolest vehicles out there. While helicopters may not be as fast as other vehicles, they remain very efficient.

This is why they are so widely used. Plus, you cannot deny that helicopters look incredibly slick.

On the other hand, you might be taken aback by how speedy helicopters really are. Find out just how quick they are below.

How Fast Are Helicopters?

The speed of a helicopter depends on many factors including its size, weight, engine power, and load.

After all, bigger helicopters will be bulkier, which could slow them down. In contrast, smaller models are more nimble.

On the other hand, larger helicopters tend to be fitted with more powerful engines.

As a rough guide, most helicopters fly with an average of 140 knots. However, this may cause you to be more confused than before.

A knot is a unit of measurement used in airspace. 140 knots is equivalent to 160 MPH. As you can imagine, this is very fast!

You will need to take cruise speed into account. Cruise speed is the speed at which a helicopter can comfortably fly.

The cruise speed tends to be lower than its highest speed. This is because it will use less fuel, while the maximum speed will use up lots of fuel.

As a result, helicopters are rarely flown at their top speed unless it is an emergency, as it is not very economical.

The Fastest Helicopters

Now that you know how fast the average helicopter can go, you may be interested to learn about some of the quickest helicopters out there.

These incredible machines are capable of reaching speeds that are much higher than 140 knots. Here are some of the speediest helicopters out there:

Airbus H155

This medium-sized helicopter, which was first used in 1997, has a maximum speed of 144 knots.

This vehicle can fit 6 people. The Airbus H155 is often used by law enforcement.

Airbus H160

Next, this model of helicopter tends to have a maximum speed of between 150 and 155 knots.

It is a fairly modern helicopter, having first flown in 2015.

Airbus H175

Yet another Airbus helicopter, the H175 is suited to long-range flights. It is used by law enforcement and can act as a medical helicopter.


This is a multi-use type of helicopter. For example, it could be used if you need an emergency medical helicopter.

However, it is also commonly used by the armed forces. Its cruise speed tends to be a maximum of roughly 142 knots.

Leonardo AW169

Created by Leonardo, the AgustaWestland AW169 can hold up to 10 people.

Having debuted in 2012, this helicopter is used to enforce the law. It has a maximum speed of 145 knots.

Leonardo AW189

Leonardo AW189

Another Leonardo helicopter, this unit is faster than the previous model. Its top speed tends to be between 155 and 158 knots.

It can withstand harsh weather conditions, making it a brilliant tactical transport helicopter.

Sikorsky S70i

Sikorsky is another famous helicopter manufacturer. It has been around for a long time, having first flown in 1974.

It is used as a military chopper. Despite having been around for a few decades, this model is quite advanced. It can reach speeds of 160 knots.

Sikorsky S92A

Last but far from last, the Sikorsky S92A has been around since 1998. It is both a military and civil helicopter.

It reaches impressive speeds that are between 150 and 165 knots.

You will need a lot of money if you want to invest in one of these Sikorsky helicopters.

How Do Helicopters Work?

Helicopters are incredibly complex machines. They are powered by blades. When these blades spin, they generate lift.

Lift is often considered the opposite of drag, which is another type of force.

This lift allows the helicopter to fly from the ground, acting as a contrast to gravity.

These blades are occasionally referred to as rotors.

These rotors are not just found on top of the helicopter, but they may also be positioned on the back.

This gives them a different range of movement to airplanes. For instance, helicopters can move in straight up or down motions.

Moreover, helicopters can hover. This means that they can remain in the sky in the same position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is A Helicopter Faster Than An Airplane?

No, airplanes are much faster than helicopters. A typical airplane can reach speeds of around 400 miles per hour.

Most aircraft are capable of flying at least 500 MPH (miler per hour). The quickest airplanes have a maximum speed of 2,000 MPH.

This is much faster than a helicopter can fly, even quicker versions, such as a military helicopter.

What Is A Rotor Blade?

The rotor blade is a term used to describe any rotating part of a helicopter. It is usually made of metal.

Some rotor blades are attached to the main body of the helicopter while others are fixed to the back.

Helicopters are renowned for having rotating blades on top of the vehicle.

How Much Do Helicopters Cost?

Compared to cars and other vehicles, helicopters are expensive. If you want to buy one, you should expect to spend thousands of dollars.

This is why so few people own private helicopters. Many people end up spending millions on these helicopters.

When Were Helicopters Invented?

Designs for helicopter-like machines have been around for centuries. Because of this, it is hard to say exactly when the helicopter was created.

However, many people consider the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 helicopter to be the first helicopter because it was the first of its kind.

This model first flew in 1939.

Closing Remarks

Overall, helicopters are cool because they can hover over objects without touching them.

They are also capable of moving at high speeds. The only downside is that they are extremely expensive.

But if you have enough money, then it’s worth considering buying a helicopter.

If, like most people, you are unable to afford a helicopter, you can instead pay to ride in this vehicle as a one-off.

Many people find this to be an exhilarating experience.

Jacob Stern
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