Although relatively expensive and complicated to operate, the versatility of helicopters is invaluable. They are used for numerous tasks which no other vehicles can accommodate, in three dimensions.
Today's helicopters are produced with light weight, yet strong and durable composite materials which make them lighter and longer lasting. As the technology of the helicopter aircraft advances, they will be able to fly at greater speeds, carry greater payloads, and operate at lower costs.
The following helicopter types are the most popular that we are aware of. If you have a favorite helicopter type that should be added to these, please let us know.
YOU TUBE - Helicopter Types
Agusta A 129 Mangusta First all-weather military helicopter aircraft used in Europe.
Agusta-Bell AB.212ASW Anti-submarine helicopter aircraft using a P&W Turbo Twin Pac engine.
Bell AH-1 Cobra First dedicated attack helicopter aircraft ever built.
Bell AH-1Z Viper Latest USMC attack helicopter aircraft.
Denel AH-2 Rooivalk Attack helicopter aircraft, designed and built in South Africa.
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne Fast experimental military helicopter aircraft.
Boeing AH-64 Apache The primary U.S. Army attack helicopter aircraft.
Bell Airwolf From TV show Helicopter aircraft that could fly at supersonic speeds.
Aerospatiale Alouette II Small rescue helicopter aircraft known for high altitude operations and precise handling.
Aerospatiale Alouette III Larger, more powerful, higher flying rescue helicopter aircraft, successor to the Alouette II
Airbus/Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil Popular TV news small helicopter aircraft sold in 43 countries around the world.
Airbus/Eurocopter AS355 Relatively small, inexpensive, solid performing utility helicopter aircraft.
Airbus/Eurocopter AS532 Cougar Versatile medium size utility helicopter aircraft used in military and civil aviation around the world.
Agusta Westland AW101 Merlin Large helicopter aircraft used for ASW, SAR, mine detecting, utility, and as a VIP transport.
Agusta Westland AW109 Civilian passenger helicopter aircraft, holds the helicopter speed record for circumnavigating the earth.
Agusta Westland AW139 Medium size utility helicopter aircraft used by companies and governments throughout the world.
Agusta Westland AW609 Latest tiltrotor aircraft that should start deliveries to clients right after FAA certification anticipated in 2017.
Brantly B-2 Popular two seat light helicopter aircraft produced since 1953.
Bell 205 Civilian helicopter aircraft version of the widely used military helicopter.
Bell 206 Jet Ranger Civilian passenger helicopter aircraft. First helicopter ever to fly around the earth.
Bell 212 Helicopter aircraft twin engine version of the original Huey.
Bell 214 Powerful medium size utility helicopter aircraft developed from the UH-1.
Bell 214ST Largest heavy lift helicopter aircraft of the Bell series with twin engines.
Bell 222 First U.S. light civilian helicopter aircraft.
Bell 407 Medium light single engine utility helicopter aircraft with four blade main rotor known for its smooth hover.
Bell 412 Latest improved version of the 212 series military helicopter aircraft.
Bristol Belvedere The first British RAF twin engine, tandem rotor transport helicopter aircraft.
MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 German - Japanese joint production helicopter often used as an air ambulance rescue helicopter aircraft.
MBB Eurocopter BO 105 The first production helicopter aircraft with a rigid rotor system, used by the military.
Boeing 234 Civilian transport version of their Chinook helicopter aircraft.
Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave Twin piston engine U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and USMC transport assault helicopter aircraft that was the largest U.S. military helicopter aircraft from from 1953 to 1961.
Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight Main USMC medium transport helicopter aircraft since 1964.
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Mainstay medium transport helicopter aircraft for the U.S. Army since 1962.
Sikorsky CH-53 Largest helicopter aircraft ever produced in the U.S. used by the military.
Sikorsky CH-54/S-64 Sky Crane Large, heavy lift helicopter aircraft, a record holder.
Columbia 107 Civilian helicopter aircraft of the CH-46 Sea Knight.
Eurocopter Dauphin Popular twin engine, Fenstron equipped, utility helicopter aircraft.
Eurocopter EC 120 Popular low cost light small utility helicopter aircraft in use around the world.
Eurocopter EC 135 Said to be the quietest small helicopter aircraft.
Eurocopter EC 145 Twin engine, medium size rescue helicopter aircraft.
Eurocopter EC225 Latest Puma utility helicopter aircraft.
Focke Achgelis FA-223 Drach World's first helicopter aircraft to be used for transport.
Flettner FL 282 Kolibri First helicopter aircraft used successfully by Germany in WW II for reconnaissance by its Navy and for SAR missions by the Luftwaffe.
Focke Wulf FW-61 The world's first helicopter aircraft that was fully controllable.
Compcop G-1 Said to be the world's smallest helicopter aircraft, although none have been seen flying.
Aerospatiale Gazelle Light helicopter aircraft flown by the British Blue Eagles team.
GEN H-4 Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest helicopter aircraft.
Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly The first dedicated rescue helicopter aircraft.
Bell H-13 also known as the Sioux, was used by the military of Great Britain and the United States as a medivac and utility helicopter. It was produced by Westland in Great Britain and Bell in the United States. It was the first helicopter assigned to MASH field hospital units during the Korean War when it was equipped with body shields on both fuselage sides to protect patients being transported from wind and debris. Its shields were painted black. Wounded troops would sometimes be put into the body shields while unconscious and wake up in their darkness while the helicopter was in flight. One can only imagine how they felt. The Bell H-13 was also used as a scout and reconnaissance helicopter as well as a flight training aircraft. It was exported to U.S. allies throughout the world. Over 5,600 of the helicopters in both military and civilian variants were produced.
Piasecki H-21 First ever U.S. helicopter to fly non-stop coast to coast; a cargo transport helicopter aircraft.
Kaman HH-43 Huskie Used by the U.S.A.F. as a rescue helicopter aircraft and as an air tanker starting in the 1950's.
Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk Latest U.S.A.F. rescue helicopter aircraft.
Eurocopter HH-65A Dolphin US Coast Guard rescue helicopter aircraft.
Piasecki HRP-1 The original rescue helicopter aircraft, employing tandem rotors.
Hughes/Schweizer 300 The basis for one of the most successful light small helicopter aircraft families.
Piasecki HUP Retriever Rescue helicopter aircraft that flew with the U.S. Army, Marines, and Navy. Best known for rescuing downed Naval aviators, it was also used as a transport and ASW helicopter.
Kamov Ka-25 Used by Russia for submarine detection, SAR, and as a transport helicopter aircraft.
Kamov Ka-26 Utility helicopter aircraft with a wide range of missions, especially agriculture.
Kamov Ka-27 co-axial utility helicopter aircraft.
Kamov Ka-32 Utility helicopter aircraft exported around the world by Russia.
Kamov Ka-50 Black Shark Military attack helicopter aircraft. First helicopter with jet fighter-like ejection seats.
Kaman K-Max World's first dedicated cargo helicopter aircraft.
Westland Lynx helicopter aircraft. The model ZB500 is the official helicopter speed record holder.
MD Helicopters MD 500 Known as a reliable, economical, light small helicopter aircraft.
McDonnell MD 520N NOTAR light helicopter aircraft.
Boeing MH-47E All weather special operations version of the Chinook heavy lift helicopter aircraft used by the U.S. Army.
MH-68A USCG military helicopter aircraft used for maritime patrol against drug smugglers.
Mil Mi-2 Hoplite Russian utility helicopter aircraft, built by PZL in Poland, used by the military armed with air to surface missiles, in agriculture and civil aviation.
Mil Mi-4 Hound Military helicopter aircraft by the Soviet military, it was also used for agriculture and as an air tanker.
Mil Mi-6 Hook Largest helicopter aircraft, used primarily by the Soviet military as a transport.
Mil Mi-8 Widely used transport helicopter aircraft, mostly for troops.
Mil Mi-12 Largest helicopter aircraft ever built.
Mil Mi-14 Haze Primary anti submarine warfare and rescue military helicopter aircraft of the Soviet Union.
Mil Mi-17 Workhorse Russian utility helicopter aircraft , produced for export, used by military and civil aviation.
Mil Mi-24 Hind Famous Soviet attack helicopter aircraft used extensively in Afghanistan.
Mil Mi-26 Halo Powerful, largest helicopter aircraft currently in service.
Mil Mi-28 Havoc Russian Attack helicopter aircraft gunship for battlefield use against tanks and heavy armor most recently used by Iraq against the Islamic State.
Mil Mi-34 Hermit Light weight, highly maneuverable, economical to operate small helicopter aircraft used as a military trainer and for civil aviation.
Revolution Mini 500 Home built helicopter aircraft kit sold from 1994 to 1999, plagued with engine problems.
Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout Unmanned attack helicopter aircraft based on the Bell 407.
NH Industries NH90 Latest utility helicopter aircraft built for NATO countries.
Hughes OH-6 Cayuse Light helicopter aircraft used for observation that set the still standing helicopter distance without refueling record of 2,213 miles.
Bell OH-58 Called the Kiowa, was the first U.S. military helicopter with an all glass cockpit. It has two-place pilot seating, and two place rear seating. The controls for the left seat are removable in order to seat a passenger in front. While serving in Vietnam, the Bell Oh-58 was armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun remotely operated by the pilot. The model D features an upgraded engine and transmission, plus a new 4-blade main rotor that enables quieter operation. It has a sight mounted on the mast at the top of the rotor system. The entire system is kept stabilized by the helicopter main gyro. This provides a base for a weapons range finder that uses lasers for pinpoint accuracy. Also located in the mast is an infrared imaging system. With its latest avionics, the Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior is able to perform its missions with all weather capabilities. Bell OH-58 helicopters were deployed in the Vietnam War, Afghanistan and most recently in Iraq. They are currently operational in many countries around the world. A total of over 2,200 Bell OH-58 helicopters of all types have been manufactured to date.
Sikorsky R-4 Hoverfly Small rescue helicopter aircraft, the first to go into mass production.
Robinson R22 Simple, inexpensive, reliable, economical, easy to fly, forgiving, all describe this popular light helicopter aircraft.
Robinson R44 Four seat helicopte version of the R22 light helicopter aircraft.
Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Costly experimental stealth helicopter aircraft project that was canceled in 2004.
Schweizer 330 Originally designed as a U.S. Army training light helicopter aircraft, it went on to become a popular utility helicopter.
Sikorsky S-55 First helicopter aircraft of the U.S. Army used as a dedicated transport.
Sikorsky S-58 Choctaw Versatile 18 seat transport helicopter aircraft used by the U.S. military, and later exported throughout the world.
Sikorsky S-61 Sea King Official helicopter aircraft of the U.S. president, designated Marine One, also used as a oil platform supply, passenger transport and rescue helicopter.
Sikorsky S-62 Seaguard Single turbine engine rescue helicopter aircraft used by the U.S.C.G. from 1963 through 1989.
Sikorsky S-69 Experimental helicopter aircraft, first flown with jet power in 1977, that primarily used its rotors only for lift. It was capable of 300+ mph speeds.
Sikorsky S-70 Civilian Black Hawk utility helicopter aircraft.
Sikorsky S-76 Spirit High performance civilian executive transport helicopter aircraft.
Sikorsky S-92 Mid size,twin engine, single rotor transport helicopter aircraft used by the military, in civil aviation, and for rescue.
Aerospatiale SA-315 Lama Small helicopter aircraft that holds the world altitude record.
Aerospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon European largest helicopter aircraft used as a heavy transport.
Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma Transport helicopter aircraft, it is the first all-weather helicopter to be produced outside of the Soviet Union.
Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk Twin turbine powered military helicopter aircraft primarily used by the U.S.N. for ASW, SAR, mine sweeping, and anti-shipping duties.
Atlas Rooivalk Advanced armed attack helicopter aircraft built in South Africa.
Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
Kaman SH-2 Seasprite Military helicopter aircraft used by the U.S. Navy primarily for anti-submarine warfare.
Enstrom Shark Successful piston engine light helicopter aircraft used for training, transport and agriculture.
Bell Super Cobra Improved twin engine version of the original Cobra attack helicopter aircraft.
Super Puma The Airbus H215 Super Puma is a more powerful version of the Puma, a medium/large helicopter aircraft used for off shore oil rig and VIP transport.
KAI Surion Korean built helicopter aircraft, anticipating full deployment by 2022.
Bristol Sycamore First helicopter aircraft produced by the British, certified as air-worthy. Used for SAR and air ambulance by the military.
Eurocopter Tiger Attack helicopter aircraft of Europe.
Bell UH-1 Huey Well known as the primary Vietnam transport helicopter aircraft.
Bell UH-1Y The latest helicopter aircraft in the line of the most widely produced helicopter in the West today.
Hiller UH-12 Raven Light helicopter aircraft, made in the U.S., that pioneered the "rotor-matic" control system.
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Primary United States Army transport helicopter aircraft of today.
American Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota Latest U.S. Army light utility helicopter aircraft.
Boeing Bell V-22 Osprey Tilt rotor type helicopter aircraft, lifting off as a helicopter and flying with the speed of an airplane.
Westland Scout Light helicopter aircraft used for observation anti-tank attack by the British Army through 1994.
PZL Swidnik W-3 Sokol Twin turbine engine middle weight military and civilian transport helicopter aircraft, built in Poland.
Westland Wasp Primary English Royal Navy ASW and SAR military helicopter aircraft used through 1965.
Westland Wessex Version of the Sikorsky H-34 built in Great Britain, used as a ASW and tactical support helicopter aircraft.
Westland Whirlwind The first English Royal Navy military helicopter aircraft used for ASW missions from 1957 through 1977.
Sikorsky X2 The fastest rotorcraft helicopter aircraft in the world.