Tenth Greatest: Erickson Air Crane (06:11)
Erickson Air Cranes are the most powerful, versatile helicopters in the West, hefting and precision loading cargo weighing almost 13 tons. The utilitarian aircraft is used for logging, firefighting, and construction, but limited to external lifting.
Ninth Greatest: Lama (03:25)
Highest flying helicopter ever is the Lama, reaching 41,000 feet. It was designed for mountain missions, including a powerful engine compensating for oxygen deficiencies.
Eighth Greatest: Chinook (04:38)
Chinooks are best transport helicopters, lifting 12 tons internally or externally while smoothly maintaining altitude and speed. It is easy to fly with excellent thrust and can land on water.
Seventh Greatest: Jet Ranger (03:05)
Jet Rangers were the first civilian helicopters; the 4,500 sold were used by various commercial and private entities. It was stylish, safe, and offered good range.
Sixth Greatest: Sea King (06:30)
The Sea King has good lifting capacity, speed, and range; turbine-powered twin engines and autopilot operating on Doppler radar and radio waves allow optimum performance in all conditions. Safe, precision flying makes it an ideal search and rescue aircraft.
Fifth Greatest: Westland Lynx (04:21)
The fastest production helicopter is the Westland Lynx; it is powerful and responsive, with fused titanium rotor head and swept tipped rotors increasing agility and maneuverability. It was developed to ambush tanks with optically tracked missiles.
Fourth Greatest: Mil 26 (04:28)
The Mil 26 is the largest, most powerful helicopter, designed to transport nuclear missiles through hostile weather conditions. It hauls 20 tons; lift is provided by two 12,000 horsepower engines powering an eight blade rotor head.
Third Greatest: Apache Longbow (05:25)
Apache Longbows are efficient killing machines fitted with expensive and advanced technologies; from five miles, night vision and radar systems identify targets while Hellfire missiles destroy them. Integrated headsets allow precision sighting while chain gun and arrow rockets allow aerial combat.
Second Greatest: Robinson R 22 (04:26)
Frank Robinson developed the Robinson R 22 as a personal flying vehicle requiring little maintenance. Six thousand have been sold; it is reliable, flying faster and further than other civilian use helicopters.
Greatest Ever: Bell UH 1 (07:08)
Iconized by "Apocalypse Now," the Bell UH 1 is most recognized and toughest helicopter; it was the first mass produced with turbine engines, doubling speeds and payload capacities. It took damage well; during Vietnam battles, one was lost for every 8,000 missions deployed.
Credits: Episode V: Helicopters (00:30)
Credits: Episode V: Helicopters
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