To help you decide which flights would be best for you, we have complied some details and facts on all the aircraft we use for Trial Lessons and Pleasure Flights. Continue reading for more information..
Robinson R22 – Used for Trial Lessons only
The Robinson R22 is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility helicopter manufactured by Robinson Helicopter Company. The two-seat R22 was designed in 1973 by Frank Robinson and has been in production since 1979.
This aircraft is currently the most popular for training purposes (although this was never the reason the aircraft came into production). Due to the small size and hence low cost, many students have come to prefer this machine to train on. The well-known saying is that “if you can fly an R22, you can fly anything”.
This aircraft instead of using the more traditional floor mounted cyclic between the knees, opts for a unique design with a teetering “T-bar” control which is connected by a bar which is situated between the seats, thus allowing easier access in and out of the aircraft.
Guimbal Cabri G2 – Used for Trial Lessons only
The Guimbal Cabri G2 is a two-seat light helicopter produced by Hélicoptères Guimbal, powered by a reciprocating engine. It was designed by Bruno Guimbal, a former Eurocopter engineer. Following the granting of regulatory approval, the Cabri entered commercial service in 2008.
Different to the R22, the Cabri G2 has a three-bladed fully articulated main rotor and a Fenestron-type tail rotor. As with most French-designed helicopters, the main rotor blades advance to the left (in a Robinson R22 they advance to the right).
Similar to the R22, the Cabri G2 is preferred by those in training and even has the potential to overtake the R22 in favourability due to its newer and higher tech specifications including a glass cockpit with digital instrumentation. Unlike the R22 this aircraft has the more traditional style controls utilising a floor mounted cyclic.
Robinson R44 – Used for Trial Lessons and Pleasure Flights
The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter produced by Robinson Helicopter Company since 1992. Based on the company's two-seat Robinson R22, the R44 features hydraulically assisted flight controls and is the most-produced GA aircraft of the 21st century.
The R44 is a single-engine helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor, a two-bladed tail rotor and a skid landing gear. It has an enclosed cabin with two rows of side-by-side seating for a pilot and three passengers.
The controls and cockpit of this aircraft are the same as its smaller brother, choosing to utilise the teetering “T-bar” for the cyclic. Another favourite to train in owing to an increase in stability and control, but not as popular due to the increase in running costs and expense.
AS350 Single Squirrel – Used for Pleasure Flights Only
The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS350 Écureuil (Squirrel) is a single-engine light utility helicopter originally designed and manufactured in France by Aérospatiale and Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters).
The type is well known for its high-altitude performance and has seen frequent use by operators in such environments. The AS350 was also developed to comply with the stringent noise requirements in place in locations such as national parks; the in-cabin noise levels are such that passengers may also readily converse during flight.
The AS350 can seat pilot plus 5 passengers in comfort and luxury at 145mph.