How Much Do Helicopters Cost? A Helpful Price Guide

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So you’re thinking about buying a helicopter? 

Congratulations. You’re either a Bond villain or the kingpin of an international crime syndicate. Either way, you’re about to join an exclusive club. 

A helicopter represents one of the most sophisticated pieces of technology ever designed. As a means of transportation, it’s difficult to beat the versatility, range, and accessibility of a helicopter. 

But how much do helicopters cost, really? The short answer is: they’re not cheap. But there’s a lot more to it, so let’s dig in and find out the cost of a helicopter in 2020. 

How Much Do Helicopters Cost?

Look, when it comes to private helicopter cost, you have to consider more than just the price tag. You have to decide what kind of helicopter you need, and that will depend, of course, on how you intend to use it. 

Do you need a twin-engine chopper, or will a single-engine suffice? A single-engine is fine for puttering around the city. But a twin-engine vehicle, like some of the top-line luxury helicopters, is perfect for getting to that secret lair on your private island. 

Operating Costs

The cost of operating and maintaining a machine as complicated as a helicopter can be steep. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Routine Maintenance: as with any machine, a helicopter is liable to need repairs and upgrades over time
  • Fuel Costs: this is just the price of doing business
  • Hiring a Pilot: unless you’re going to fly the helicopter yourself, you’ll need to hire someone to fly the thing
  • Hangar Fees: beside the helicopter cost itself, ongoing hangar charges may constitute some of your biggest expenditures

So How Much Does a Helicopter Cost?

Okay, so now that we know there are additional costs to consider, let’s look at the upfront helicopter pricing. Here’s a handy helicopter price comparison for some popular private helicopter models: 

Robinson R-22

The piston-engine, two-seater Robinson R-22 is a popular low-cost helicopter.

It’s frequently used as a trainer, and a new one will typically set you back about $250,000. However, it’s possible to get a used one for considerably less, usually for about half the price of a brand-new helicopter. 

MD 500

If you’re a fan of Magnum, P.I., then you’ll recognize this compact little chopper as the one that T.C. flew in the series. You might be able to get a new one in the $500,000 range, but for a new one expect to shell out upwards of $2 million. 

Eurocopter EC145

This twin-engine, mid-size utility helicopter is fast and powerful, with a roomy cabin and sophisticated electronics. Obviously, this one’s not cheap: it’ll cost you about $5.5 million. 

Sikorsky S-76

The Sikorsky S-76 is a powerful and versatile helicopter, with a long and proven track record. It can seat twelve persons, and it has a range of over 400 nautical miles. 

You can expect to pay up to $15 million for this popular and long-serving helicopter. 

Find the Right Helicopter for Your Tastes

So, how much do helicopters cost? Quite a bit. 

Owning a helicopter is a pretty expensive luxury. But when you’re shelling out beaucoup bucks, you want the best money can buy. So do your homework, compare prices, and find the right chopper for you. 

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Ted Jones

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