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What it's like to fly in a next-generation lightweight helicopter

27 May 2021 • Written by Laura Nicholls for Hill Helicopters

In a sleepy old market town in England, something big has happened. After 13 years of intensive research and architectural design, a team of aerospace engineers have invented the next-generation style of private helicopters. Named the HX50, the futuristic helicopter is designed to offer a luxurious and exhilarating flight – all thanks to Hill Helicopters’ smart fusion of the latest technology from the aerospace and nuclear industries.

The HX50 is built to carry a pilot, four passengers and luggage up to 800kg to distances of up to 700 nm. Packaged into a perfectly sculpted and contoured exterior design, this new style of helicopter intends to revolutionise the capabilities of aerodynamic performance, so much so that this is the only heli of its kind that offers a custom-made GT50 turboshaft engine with a cruise speed of 140 knots and 500 shp, plus the choice of any bespoke colourway and interior finish.

Once inside, passengers will find a clean and uncluttered cockpit inspired by automotive design allowing the pilot to enjoy simple operation and first-class levels of comfort. By rethinking the norm when it comes to flight controls, the engineering team have come up with an all-new single pilot interface that gives the main operator every element close to hand.

The pilot will find that the system runs off a set-up led by a fully-integrated iPad-based navigation and flight planning apps that include electronic management, licensing, pilot status and logs, cloud-based flight data, video recording, weather and traffic information, safety monitoring, mentoring and support. All this convenient technology has brought the helicopter user experience right up to date, making flying a HX50 as simple and intuitive as driving a car.

The digital cockpit also comes with smart on-screen announcements to replace traditional warning lights to both alert the pilot to an issue and suggest the appropriate measures in an emotionally sensitive manner. And, not only will the pilot enjoy full visibility through the helicopter’s panoramic windows, but so will the passengers, as an added skylight ensures that every possible vista needn’t go amiss.

Whilst in their luxurious wide leather seats that are ever-so-slightly raised to enhance the visual range, all guests will have access to storage spaces, USB ports and four-point harnesses. Headset holders and jacks are integrated into the seat headrests, and climate control and Bluetooth connectivity are also provided throughout the cabin. Now, imagine all this added enjoyment after flying up into the sky from a superyacht’s helipad to take an already-thrilling experience to the next level.

Now taking pre-orders, Hill Helicopters are set to start production in 2023 and come with a base price of £495,000. Those interested should visit the Hill Helicopter website and register for a private presentation with the company’s sales team for more exclusive details.

Sponsored content created in collaboration with Hill Helicopters.