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US Helicopters. Light aircraft and helicopters

In our time, the world of US aviation can not be imagined without such representatives of the light class, like helicopters and airplanes. Today, this small air transport is used in all spheres of modern economy and performs various functions such as civil protection, patrolling of highways and pipelines for various purposes, rescue and search operations, cargo delivery, forest monitoring, fire extinguishing, agricultural work. Airplanes and light helicopters have an incomparable advantage over other aviation representatives due to the possibility to operate in remote and hard-to-reach areas and regions with underdeveloped transport infrastructure. Also, smaller aircraft are becoming more available for use in the private sector. Airplanes and light helicopters are increasingly being used in the field of travel, sports and as personal transport.

Bell Model 30 - the first lightweight US helicopter

The history of the creation of light helicopters in the United States began during the Second World War. In 1942, engineers at Bell designed and built three small helicopter models, called the Model 30. Such a light US helicopter had a closed fuselage, a tail wheel chassis, an open cab with a motor installation at the rear. The machine had a gyroscopic stabilizing device, which later became a trademark of Bell. With its help, a rotor with two blades was operated.

The first flight was made on June 26, 1943 and ended in failure: the helicopter crashed. After this incident, the engineers made changes to the Bell Model 30. The second instance had a more advanced screw and fuselage of the "semi-monocoque" type. Significant changes have undergone the structure of the cabin. Now it was closed and could accommodate two pilots. Also in the cab appeared doors, similar to automotive.

The third model of the light helicopter Bell Model 30, unlike its predecessors, received a four-wheel chassis, a beam of cylindrical shape, an open cabin for one pilot and more modern equipment. The flight of this helicopter took place on April 25, 1945 and ended successfully. Based on the development of the Model 30, Bell has created and in the future began to produce light civilian helicopters Model 47, the description of which is given below.

Bell Model 47 - the first lightweight mass-produced helicopter

Bell Model 47 - the first light helicopters of the USA, received the certificate of the American Aeronautics Administration. These machines immediately gained popularity among institutions of various types. In 1947, Bell mastered the first military orders for such helicopters. In the army of the US Air Force these helicopters received the designation YR-13, and in the navy - HTL-1. The ground forces also purchased large quantities of light helicopters Bell Model 47.

On the wave of commercial success, the company's engineers immediately began to make constructive changes to improve the flight characteristics of manufactured products, which increased the number of orders for civil and military models. The latter was successfully used by the US Army to carry out activities to evacuate the wounded in the Korean War Conflict. For the first time, light helicopters were used as military vehicles during search and rescue operations. They also engaged in providing communication between combat units in armed conflicts.

Bell Model 47 was the first model in the world of a light helicopter, which turned out to be really successful. It was produced in more than thirty modifications and had different types of cabs and fuselage. Also light helicopters USA Bell Model 47 had the ability to use several types of power plants. They were assembled in Europe and Asia. Over the course of its history, more than five thousand such helicopters have been produced.

Robinson R22 - the leader among light helicopters USA

In 1973, the head of Robinson Helicopter Company, Frank Robinson, set before his designers the task: to create a lightweight double helicopter, the production and operation costs of which would be lower in comparison with those of competitors.

The first prototype of such a small new type of helicopter was designated R22. It was created in a hangar. The frame of this machine was made of steel trusses and sheathed with metal and composite panels. Robinson R22 had a closed cabin for two people, a skid-mounted chassis and two double-bladed propellers: a carrier and a helmsman.

The helicopter of this model successfully landed on the air on August 28, 1975, and in 1979 the first produced cars went to their customers. Since the release of the initial modification of Robinson, the company's engineers have been constantly working on improving the characteristics of the helicopter. That's why this light helicopter is produced today.

In addition to a variety of civilian versions, a special model was developed for power structures. It is called R22 Police and is equipped with a xenon searchlight, siren, loudspeaker and other special devices. Also this model Robinson has the opportunity to use the water surface as a take-off site.

The light helicopter R22 is by far the best-selling car of its class. It belongs to him all world records among small helicopters, including speed, altitude and flight range.

Light helicopters in the service of the US Army

Light helicopters from the moment of their appearance have always been the object of close attention of the US military department. After all, they have such unique qualities as versatility, maneuverability, ease of control and quick training of pilots. Small helicopters successfully replace heavy vehicles during search and rescue operations in military conditions, providing reconnaissance operations, delivery of cargo for various purposes.

Below we will consider some light combat helicopters of the US Army.

Light combat helicopter MD 530MG Defender

Engineers and designers of the firm McDonnell Douglas, which is the flagship of US aviation, designed a small helikopter 530MG Defender. This light attack helicopter is one of the brightest representatives of combat vehicles of this class.

MD 530MG Defender successfully copes with the tasks of a sanitary helicopter, can carry passengers in the number of up to seven people and transport cargo weighing up to 900 kilograms. Its main military functions are reconnaissance and destruction of enemy armored vehicles. To accomplish combat missions, this light helicopter is equipped with anti-tank guided missiles, six-barrel M-134 machine guns and other weapons.

Light helicopter Boeing AN-6 - a novelty in the US Army

AN-6 is the latest development in the field of light attack helicopters in the United States. This machine was created on the basis of model 369 helicopter of the firm Hughes Helicopter, which was developed in the 1960s.

The helicopter AN-6 is equipped with the newest power unit and modern avionics, the permissible useful load is increased. The helicopter can be equipped with a machine gun, an automatic cannon, two types of missiles: with laser guidance and an air-to-ground class. Also on Boeing AN-6 is installed and other modern equipment, which increases the level of safety and service in combat conditions.

Light aircraft United States

In the United States, light aircraft also gained great popularity. In America, there are many companies that offer customers a variety of small liners: from simple single-engine to business jet cars.

Light aircraft and helicopters carry out various tasks and are indispensable assistants in civil and military spheres. A wide application of small liners was received in the private and corporate sectors. The most recognizable and mass brands in the light aircraft industry are the companies Adam, Cessna, Bombardier and others.


Nowadays, light aviation is becoming more popular, because its representatives are universal assistants in different industries. Possessing low operating costs and excellent maneuverability, modern aircraft and light helicopters successfully replace their heavy counterparts, which do not have high performance indicators in performing a certain number of tasks. Today, anyone can become the owner or pilot of a small modern aircraft.

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