The helicopter you fly in has a huge impact on the quality of your air-tour experience. Compare Cape Town Helicopters’ state-of-the-art helicopters with some other tour helicopters used in Cape Town.
Eco-friendly tourism leading the way in responsible tourism in South Africa.
With the Cape Peninsula being declared a nature reserve it has been imperative to fly helicopters that have the least impact on the environment
Airbus EC 120 & 130 Helicopters, “…the best tourist helicopters in the world”.
The introduction of the incredible new Airbus fleet is the dawn of a new era in helicopter touring. Since the early 1990’s. The Airbus has been the tour helicopter of choice for professional tour operations worldwide.
BOSE Aviation-grade headsets top of the range, noise-cancelling headsets
Fenestron Tail Rotor the forefront of eco-friendly aviation. Eco-friendly tourism
Leading the way in responsible tourism in South Africa.
With the Cape Peninsula being declared a nature reserve it has been imperative to fly helicopters that have the least impact on the environment.
Cape Town Helicopters has taken the lead in Cape Town by purchasing a range of Airbus Helicopters. These machines are some of the few helicopters in the world that are certified to operate in noise sensitive areas. They are certified at 86 decibels flying at 1500 feet. This is the accepted noise limit for sensitive areas. So when you fly with us you are not spoiling someone else’s day in the Cape Peninsula Nature Reserve.
Airbus EC 120 & 130 Helicopters
“…the best tourist helicopters in the world”
The introduction of the incredible new Airbus fleet is the dawn of a new in helicopter touring. Since the early 1990’s. The Airbus has been the tour helicopter of choice for professional tour operations worldwide.
At Cape Town helicopters it is the standard-favoured by customer for its open cabin design that affords a 180° sweeping view for each passenger. This feature has been father enhanced in the revolutionary new Airbus 120 and 130- the first touring helicopter of the 21st Century.
Fenestron Tail Rotor
The forefront of eco-friendly aviation
Airbus 120/130 makes use of the high-tech, enclosed “Fenestron,” or “Fan in Fin,” which replaces conventional tail rotor systems. Fenestron is: Safer, Quieter and More efficient— using 25% less engine horsepower, which can now be utilized by the main rotor system.
Unevenly spaced blades break the frequency to allow for lower levels of noise output. Operating below 86 decibels, it is one of the few machines allowed to operate in sensitive areas.
BOSE Aviation-grade headsets
Top of the range, noise-cancelling headsets
These aren’t the $300 consumer models available to the public. Cape Town Helicopters spends approximately $1000 for each of these aviation-grade headsets—ten times what typical tour helicopter headsets cost. But the difference is so incredible that we couldn’t allow ourselves to outfit our guests with anything less. Cape Town Helicopters guarantees that every passenger on every one of our helicopters will fly with a Bose headset.
The Bose system electronically “reads” all outside noise then generates the precise opposing frequency wave-form to cancel that noise before it ever reaches your ears. You’ll arrive home rested and uplifted, without the noise exhaustion common in helicopters.
RuggedVideo™ camera systems
The future of onboard video
Each of our helicopters is fitted with a $10 000 camera system from Rugged Video™. Each tour is recorded on a memory stick. Four, 3CCD chip cameras are mounted in the helicopter, one in the nose, one on each side of the helicopter and one in the cockpit. The pilot selects the appropriate camera during the tour with a toggle switch mounted on the flight controls to capture the most interesting scene during the tour.
Brief takes are made of passengers during the tour to capture expressions to what you are seeing. All music, pilot narration and the microphone communication between you and the pilot are recorded. The music is specially chosen to compliment the changing scenery.
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 fire fighting, tours, logging, personnel transport, electronic news gathering, law enforcement and military.
A word on Helicopters:
“If you’re in trouble anywhere in the world, an airplane can land and drop your 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
“A helicopter is a machine that gave man the true freedom of the sky.”–Igor Sikorsky
In traditional aircraft, the wing profile which is known as the air foil 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 air foil area causes a net lift. However, the more the lift of the air foils 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.
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 smaller helicopters today.