At what altitude does a helicopter fly? Helicopter maximum flight altitude

At what altitude does a helicopter fly? Helicopter maximum flight altitude
At what altitude does a helicopter fly? Helicopter maximum flight altitude

For a helicopter (helicopter), the maximum flight altitude is determined by two "ceilings": static and dynamic. In the first case, we are talking about vertical lifting only with the help of a main rotor. This figure is usually lower. In the second case, lifting is carried out both with the help of a screw and due to the speed of linear movement. In this case, you can go higher.

Helicopter maximum flight altitude

Helicopter features

Aircraft lift is generated by the speed and configuration of the wing. The helicopter rises in a completely different way. The maximum flight altitude rarely exceeds 3000-3500 m. For lifting, a power plant and a main rotor are used. The speed is not comparable to airplanes, but a helicopter can easily take off without a takeoff run, land on an unprepared runway, hover in place, move sideways.

According to the instructions, pilots are forbidden to turn off the engines during landing on high- altitude platforms from 3000 meters. Normal operation for most helicopters in normal mode is possible up to 4.5 km. Above this threshold, the air becomes rarefied and the propeller blades must be given maximum angles of attack. And thismay lead to abnormal situations.


To objectively determine the indicators, it is necessary to highlight what type the helicopter belongs to. The maximum flight altitude can be set for the four sub-classes of rotorcraft, into which they are divided by the International Aviation Federation (FAI) in accordance with design features.

In addition to helicopters, gyroplanes are also defined, in which the main propeller does not change the angle of inclination and is used only to create lift. Another subclass is convertiplanes. Their propellers, together with the engines, are directed upwards during takeoff, and during horizontal flight they turn and work like aircraft. Separately, a subclass of rotorcraft is distinguished, in which, in addition to the main propeller, lateral aerodynamic planes on the hull (wings) are used to create lift.

Still all helicopters are divided into five groups depending on the takeoff weight: from 500 kg to 4500 kg. In addition, the type of assignment is determined: civilian or military. Among them, separate subclasses can be distinguished depending on the specifics of use: transport, multi-purpose, search and rescue, fire, agricultural, crane helicopters and others.

Helicopter maximum flight altitude

Helicopter: maximum flight altitude

Both static and dynamic "ceilings" have limits. Restrictions are introduced to determine the boundaries, the excess of which can lead to the separation of the air flow from the rotor blades. More confident rotorcraftstay in the air at altitudes up to 4500 m with the definition of the maximum "ceiling" for individual machines up to 6 km.

The maximum height of a helicopter flight, recorded as an absolute record, is 12442 m. It was set by the French aeronaut Jean Boulet. His Aerospatiale "Lama", belonging to the subclass "helicopters", was able to overcome the 12-kilometer milestone in 1972. That flight could have ended fatally, because at an altitude where the temperature was below -60 ° C, the engine stalled. The pilot had to set another record - the maximum altitude descent in the mode of self-rotation of the main rotor.

The maximum flight altitude of a shark helicopter

Shark helicopter

The Ka-50, a twin-rotor vehicle adopted for service with their coaxial arrangement, has a static ceiling defined by technical characteristics at the level of 4000 meters. The maximum flight altitude of the Shark helicopter in dynamics can be up to 5500 meters. Flight speed in cruising mode - 260 km / h, sideways - 80 km / h, backwards - up to 90 km / h. Height is gaining in the mode of 28 m / s. Capable of performing a full "dead loop", although such a maneuver is dangerous due to the high probability of whipping propellers.

For comparison, the maximum flight altitude of the Mi-26 helicopter is 6500 m, and that of the Mi-28 is 5800 m. The American Apache AN-64 can fly up to 6400 m. and "Shark", flies at an altitude of 5700 m.

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