“A helicopter is a machine that gave man the true freedom of the sky.” – Igor Sikorsky
Hover over the scenic beauty of South Africa’s wild and majestic landscape when you treat your partner to the ultimate romantic adventure in the sky. With Helicopter flights offered all around South Africa you can take your pic on your next flying adventure.
#PickYourPlayground in the air toady!
- The Huey Helicopter | Helicopter & Yacht Rides | Cape Town
- Sky Safaris | Helicopter Rides | Durban
- SkyView Helicopter Charters | Helicopter Tours | Johannesburg
- Sky Adventures | Aviation Adventures | South Africa
About Helicopter Flights:
A helicopter is the most manageable aircraft in existence. It is lifted and propelled by one or more horizontal rotors consisting of two or more rotor blades. Helicopters are classified as rotorcraft to distinguish them from fixed-wing aircraft because the helicopter derives its source of lift from the rotor blades rotating around a mast. A ride in a helicopter is extremely exhilarating.
The main advantage of the helicopter is the ability to take off and land vertically and to keep up a steady hover in the air over a single point on the ground. These features allow the helicopter to land on and take off from pinnacles and confined areas.
The helicopter makes a great a rescue, medical evacuation and observation vehicle. Other sectors that enjoy the benefits of a helicopter’s nifty skills are firefighting, tours, logging, personnel transport, electronic news gathering, law enforcement and military.
South Africa has many Flight Schools and Charter Operators that have a fleet of Helicopters. Whether it is an Introductory Helicopter Lesson, or a scenic flight to take in some breathtaking scenery, you’ll find it right here.
Interesting Facts About Helicopters:
In traditional aircraft, the wing profile which is known as the airfoil, is designed to deflect air efficiently downward. This downward deflection causes an opposite lifting force on the wing and a lower pressure on the upper surface, higher pressure on the lower surface. This pressure difference integrated over the airfoil area causes a net lift. However, the more the lift of the airfoil, the more drag that is caused.
A helicopter makes use of the same principle, except that instead of moving the entire aircraft, only the wings themselves are moved in a circular motion. The helicopter’s rotor can be regarded as rotating wings, from where the military name of “rotary wing aircraft” originates.
A Short History of Helicopters:
Since 400 BC the Chinese had a bamboo flying top that was used as a children’s toy. Eventually, this flying top toy made it to Europe, and is depicted in a 1463 European painting. Leonardo da Vinci first conceived the semi-practical, manned helicopter in the 15th century.
The word “helicopter” (hélicoptère) was coined in 1861 by Gustave de Ponton d’Amécourt, a french inventor who demonstrated a small steam-powered model. Much later on the 20th century, helicopters were manufactured. Aircraft developers Jan Bahyl, Oszkár Asbóth, Louis Breguet, Paul Cornu,Traian Vuia, Emile Berliner, Ogneslav Kostovic Stepanovic and Igor Sikorsky pioneered the helicopter.
In the early 1920s, Raúl Pateras de Pescara, an Argentinian working in Europe, demonstrated one of the first, successful models of cyclic pitch. This let the helicopter move laterally without a separate propeller to push or pull it. By January 1924, Pescara’s helicopter No. 3 was capable of flights up to 10 minutes.
In 1931, Soviet aeronautical engineers Boris Yuriev and Alexei Cheremukhin began experiments with the TsAGI 1-EA helicopter, also a single lifting rotor helicopter, with forward and aft anti-torque rotors. It reached an altitude of 605 meters (1,984 ft) on August 14, 1932 with Cheremukhin at the controls.
The German Focke-Wulf FW 61 was the first viable helicopter and had its first flight in 1936. The FW-61 broke all of the helicopter world records in 1937. Nazi Germany used a few helicopters during World War II.
Mass production of the military version of the Sikorsky XR-4 began in May 1942 for the United States Army and was used over Burma for rescue duties. It was also used by the Royal Air Force, the first British military unit to be equipped with helicopters being the Helicopter Training School, formed in January 1945 at RAF Andover with nine Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly I helicopters.
The Bell 47 designed by Arthur Young became the first helicopter to be licensed (in March 1946) for certified civilian use in the United States. Twenty years later the Bell 206 became the most popular commercial helicopter built.
Reliable helicopters capable of stable hover flight were developed decades after fixed wing aircraft. This is mainly due to higher engine power density requirements than fixed wing aircraft. Igor Sikorsky is reported to have delayed his own helicopter research until suitable engines were commercially available. Improvements in fuels and engines during the first half of the 20th century were a critical factor in helicopter development. The development of lightweight turboshaft engines in the later 20th century led to larger, faster, and higher performance helicopters. Turboshaft engines are preferred for most smaller helicopters today.
A Word on Helicopters:
“If you’re in trouble anywhere in the world, an airplane can land and drop you flowers; a helicopter can land and save your life.” –Igor Sikorsky
“I have discovered that a screw-shaped device such as this, if it is well made from starched linen, will rise in the air if turned quickly.”–Leonardo da Vinci, describing the helical air screw, 1480