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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.