16 Types of Helicopters – Civilian Helicopters and Military Helicopters [with Pictures & Names]
16 Types of Helicopters – Civilian Helicopters and Military Helicopters [with Pictures & Names]: – A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which the forces of lift and thrust are applied simultaneously to keep the helicopter afloat and also to keep it maneuverable. This helps the helicopter to perform various functions depending on its usability and customer requirement. It can land vertically, hover around in the vertical and horizontal direction and also fly forward and backward with the help of thrust generated and its tail fins that keep the air circulating in a specific direction.
This gives helicopters the dynamism that allows them to be used in places where fixed-wing aircraft cannot operate. In areas adjoining heavy plantations, normal aircraft cannot operate at a low altitude but this problem is alleviated using a helicopter that can be operated in similar conditions.
History of Producing Helicopters
It is usually believed that a French bicycle maker, paul Cornu was the first person to frame a basic prototype of a helicopter way back in 1907. His invention is considered to be the earliest known invention related to helicopters as we know it today. But it is not considered a functional helicopter as it could not stay in the air for more than a few seconds.
Another French inventor by the name of Etienne Oehmichen is credited with the successful flight of people on a helicopter-like machine. There have been several modifications made to it since then. Igor Sikorsky is said to have designed a helicopter in 1939 which took off from Stratford. The specialty of this design was that it was the first helicopter design that incorporated the much popular single main rotor and tail rotor design. This was something that captured the minds of people back then.
Types of Helicopters
Broadly speaking, there can be mainly two types of helicopters that are in use today, i.e., civilian helicopters and military helicopters. These two broad categories can be further classified into a number of types of helicopters depending on their use, size, rotors, rotor position, etc. A helicopter flying past our heads is a very common experience that almost all of us might have had at least once in our lifetime. They are used for different applications as discussed below.
A) Types of Civilian Helicopters
1. Police Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They have been used by police forces across the world to track down criminals and wanted fugitives. Prisons have a special requirement for these as every time a prisoner succeeds in running away, these helicopters come to the rescue of the Police department for tracking them down.
2. Firefighting Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are used for dousing large fires that have the potential to bring down massive buildings. They have also been used in construction sites for bringing down spreading fires.
3. Coast Guard Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are used by Coast Guards across the world to launch land-to-sea and air-to-sea operations. They also operate well in fending off pirates from the coast of countries wherever they are posted.
4. Stunt Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are usually used by the movie industry where several action scenes need to be shot using several harnesses where the main character of the movie jumps off high rise buildings and showcases deadly action scenes. These helicopters are usually light in their build and have a decent climbing rate.
5. Search and Rescue Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They need to be steady in their speed and also be very dynamically operable. They are usually used for searching for people who get wandered away or lost in the woods. They have been used in several rescue operations too.
6. Transport Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are used for hauling up large quantities of goods from one place to another. They are heavy lifters and can be used for a big storage facility. They are among the heaviest helicopter deployed for civilian use. They usually have some kind of a military background which makes them heavy-duty.
7. Agricultural Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are usually used for crop harvesting and cloud seeding from the skies. Many countries have employed them for seeding large swathes of land that are very difficult to achieve from manual labor. They are not military-grade helicopters but have very sturdy frames that allow them to carry agricultural products like seeds, and manure and spread them over a large piece of land.
8. TV News Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They have been used by many TV media networks for covering breaking news for decades now. They have a lightweight body frame that allows them to zoom past many buildings and high towers, capturing the news. Many times they have also been used for tracking down prime suspects of a burglary that have been televised all over the television.
9. Multipurpose Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They can be used for a variety of operations ranging from long-distance hauling to search and rescue. They are usually heavy in build but they can be used for operations that are required for swift rotor movements for easy operability. They provide the best of both worlds and can be used for multiple purposes.
10. Utility Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are sued for specific utilities that can be achieved only through some special attachments or accessories that are mounted on such type of helicopter. They have the ability to carry long weights also depending on the situation they are in.
B) Types of Military Helicopters
1. Military Attack Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are used for the frontline attack on the enemy forces. They have high maneuverability and can carry large payloads including weapons. They have been tested in the harshest of conditions and have been known to be effective in war. Apache helicopters are known worldwide for their superior performance on battlefields. They can also carry air-to-air missiles that can make the life of enemies very difficult.
2. Military Observation Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
This helicopter provides a mid-air floating military command and control center with all the intelligence streams coalesced into one single information array that can be used for devising tactical strategies against the enemy.
3. Military Troop Carrier Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are used for deploying troops to front lines and for carrying logistics in times of war. In times of peace, they are used for hauling great distances to supply cargo, materials, arms, and ammunition to other military bases.
4. Military Maritime Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They have been used for several navy-operated reconnaissance and attack missions. With the development of different types of engines, they have only become more and more lethal as now they have the capability to even launch air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. They can be also used for hauling cargo across different navy theatre commands. Their build is heavy and has been specifically designed to attack and launch missiles apart from giving strategic stability to naval operations.
5. Military Utility Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They have been used for several military utilities that can be made possible only by carrying sufficient amounts of payloads, arms, ammunition, etc. They are usually light in weight and have a sturdy frame on which the tail and front rotor rests. Despite being lightweight, they can also carry a certain amount of troops and arms that can be very useful in war-like situations.
6. Military Search and Rescue Helicopter: ( Types of Helicopters )
They are used for search and rescue operations in naval and thick forest area covers. They have been sued both by the army and the navy for their missions. They have equipped with harnesses and extra accessories for puling up personnel and goods from the ground. That warrants a very heavy build on these body frames.