Our preferred, locally-based machines are the Hu-269 (Schweitzer) and the Hu-369 (Hughes 500).
An R44 rating will be added imminently, and the MD600 rating is likely to follow shortly thereafter.
Schweizer S300 (Hughes 269)
Designed for the US Army, specifically as a training platform, these helicopters serve their intended purpose exceptionally well. With a robust, fully-articulated fixed-head rotor system, the Schweizer is a forgiving machine in which to gain your Private Pilot's Licence. Powered by a 190hp Lycoming piston engine, our machines have an endurance of nearly 4 hours with their extended fuel tanks.
Once you have obtained your PPL(H), you are then able to self-fly hire and explore the Westcountry (and beyond) on your own!
Hughes 500D / E (aka MD500)
Again, designed originally for the US Army for the Light Observation Helicopter role, the 500 beat its main competitor, the Bell Jet Ranger, in every category. Fast, light, extremely agile and with high crash survivability, the 500 became incredibly popular with her crews in Vietnam, and are still the preferred machines for US Special Forces.
Typically, we would direct you to G-BIOA (a Hughes 500D), with leather interior and able to carry pilot + 4 passengers. Although not the last word in interior space, these helicopters are fast, manoeuvrable and compact, with a terrific power-to-weight ratio. Often referred to as "The Ferrari of The Skies", these make a very effective form of transport for 2-3 passengers, with luggage - we can cover the ground at similar speed to the bigger, executive helicopters but at nearly half the price.
Powered by an Allison 250-C20B gas turbine, they have a cruise-speed of circa 130kts, endurance of nearly 3 hours and can sling external loads of up to 700kg. With a fully-articulated, 5-blade rotor system, the 500 D & E Models also make very good, smooth camera-platforms for our filming & photography work.
Essentially an extended MD500, this helicopter has an upgraded power-plant, 6-bladed rotor and McDonnell Douglas's NOTAR system - a quieter alternative to the more familiar tail-rotor.
Very fast, and with room for pilot + 7 passengers, she makes an ideal public transport / charter helicopter, but also has the capacity to lift considerable external loads if required. Watch this space for further updates!