10 Amazing Things You’ll Experience on a Helicopter Tour

Bekaa Air Helicopter tours offers fun and exciting helicopter charters. Here are some fun facts about helicopters like some of the ones Bekaa operates.

1) While toy helicopters made from bamboo have been found to date back to 400 BC., with Leonardo Da Vinci credited with some early designs, the first written instance of the word “helicopter” is ascribed to French writer Ponton D’Amecourt who first used the term in 1863.

2) A few decades later in 1907, Paul Cornu invented the first piloted helicopter design, but it was Igor Sikorsky in 1938 that finally created a successful one.

3) Even until recent years, individuals have been setting new records involving the use of a helicopter. It wasn’t until 1982 that a heli’ was flown around the world. And in 2005 a helicopter landed on the peak of Mt. Everest.

4) Helicopters are the only vehicle that can go forward, back, side to side and hover. In order to accomplish these maneuvers, the helicopter pilot must utilize cyclic pitch that controls side and front-back movement, tail rotor control that allows for rotation, and collective pitch that controls rotor blade angle allowing for lift. Lastly, throttle is used to alter the speed of the blades.

5) While the prospect of taking a helicopter ride may be fear inducing to some, it should be noted that in the highly unlikely event of an engine failure, a helicopter can still land safely using what is called auto-rotation.

6) New innovations in the field of aeronautical engineering are still influencing the design of new helicopter technology. A new model of helicopterrecently set a new record by hitting a top speed of over 290 mph. While maximum altitude for a heli tends to be around 15,000 feet, the record for vertical height was set back in 1972.

7) Helicopters are used by military, fire departments, police, aerial photographers, coast guards and scientific researchers. Multiple rotors are employed to different effect for the increased stability or load bearing capacity. Some choppers even have four different rotors for maximum stability. This is particularly important for researchers and official personnel including rescue workers. The first person ever recovered from being stranded at sea was by helicopter in the year 1944. During both times of war and peace, it is estimated that roughly 3 million lives have been saved by helicopter intervention. Heli Buckets can be utilized to transport and drop water on forest fires for strategic effect. It’s interesting to note that rules and regulations regarding helicopter landing is greatly reduced compared to airplane landing. This is mainly due to the lack of needing a runway.

8) A funny incident occurred on April 1st, 1974 in Alaska. A gigantic bonfire made of 100 tires was made inside of a crater on Mt. Edgecumbe. When a helicopter was deployed by the Coast Guard to investigate the incident, they found “April Fool’s” spelled out in giant letters.

9) Currently, there are more than 11,000 civilian helicopters operating within the United States, and an additional 15,000 civilian helicopters operating within more than 150 other countries. If you were to include military choppers, the worldwide number exceeds 45,000.

10) And now, for a story of heroism: In 1975, at the end of the Vietnam war, when Vietcong forces moved into Saigon, a 35 year old Air Force major picked up his family after having absconded with a Chinook that was running low on fuel. After making a hasty attempt at resupplying with food and gas, he and his crew of family passengers headed out towards the South China Sea without any certainty that there would be anywhere to land. It just so happened that fortune would shine down on the Chinook that day, as the USS Kirk eventually appeared. The pilot was able to hover over the ship and allow his family to disembark safely. The Chinook, unfortunately, was too large to be accommodated by even a carrier like the USS Kirk. So the pilot had to fly a safe distance away, jump out into the open sea and ditch the helicopter. All was well and good though! The brave pilot was rescued and reunited shortly with his family.