Several decades ago, flying was reserved for birds and Superman. Most people thought that the Wright Brothers were insane when they proclaimed that they could lift a piece of machinery off the ground and keep it in the air for a few minutes. These days, we take flying for granted and have forgotten the days when people used to fantasize about being able to see the world. Since the Wright Brothers invented the airplane, numerous other inventors have introduced their version of a flying object. Paragliding and skydiving are one of those objects to experience the sky, but nothing beats staying in the air for long periods such as flying in a helicopter. The odd statistic is that more people have flown in airplanes than helicopters even though helicopters are cheaper and accessibility is easier. At the turn of the Millennium, helicopter manufacturers strived to deviate from the standard model to provide consumers an aerial mode of transport that's luxurious and equipped with features that its owner needs for a specific purpose. Some manufacturers got it right; others crashed and burnt. Our list features the ugliest helicopters to see the sky and the coolest that everybody wants to own.
We start with the worst.
Giraffes have a higher horizontal view of their surroundings than most animals. While giraffes have an interesting body pattern that belongs in the wild, it doesn't belong on the exterior of a helicopter.
The owner of this helicopter thought that his miniature helicopter would look good if he wrapped it in giraffe skin.
Needless to say, he was wrong, and the little sky object looks bad. The small helicopter has a cramped interior and cannot stay in the sky for the duration that most helicopters can, as it has a small gas tank. The standard white color would have sufficed.
19 Missing In Maintenance
The Mil Mi-24 is a large helicopter gunship, which has room for eight passengers. Mil Moscow Helicopter produces the Mi-24, which the Soviet Airforce, along with more than 30 other nations, has operated since 1972. You don't want to mess with this attack helicopter, as NATO uses it to invade enemy territory. As with any other modes of transport, if you don't take care of it, it won't take care of you. The military unit that got assigned to fly this helicopter decided not to take care of it, and the helicopter's aesthetics deteriorated. The way this helicopter looks now, it won't intimidate anybody.
The best way I can describe this helicopter is that it looks like a seal. The body is slouched, while the front is oval and bulky.
The manufacturer of this helicopter wanted to provide as much space as possible in the small plane for passengers, so it elevated the cockpit above the cabin.
My first thought was, 'How does the pilot get into the cockpit?' Perhaps the helicopter has steps on the side that aren't visible. While the manufacturer succeeded in providing more room for passengers, it made the helicopter look like an overweight sea animal.
Sikorsky is a helicopter manufacturer known for producing some of the best military helicopters in the world. All of us make mistakes, and Sikorsky isn't an exception to the rule.
When the helicopter manufacturer designed the CH-37C, it must have tried to produce a helicopter that was out of this world. The manufacturer got that part right, but the end product was way over the top.
Some cheeky marines stuck eyeball decals on the propellers as if the helicopter's design weren't ugly enough. The manufacturer didn't need any help from the goofy marines to make the helicopter look ugly.
16 The Helicopter Needs Rescue
Every helicopter has its function. Manufacturers made some helicopters as a mode of transport, while other helicopters are supposed to help in search and rescue at sea. We understand that the search and rescue helicopter is supposed to look different from the conventional helicopters, but we don't understand why the manufacturer decided on such an ugly design. The manufacturer needed to design a cabin that could accommodate several passengers and crew for rescue but didn't need to make the helicopter look as if it needed an emergency rescue of its design.
15 Ant Plane
When Kaman decided to manufacture a helicopter for external cargo load operations, it placed more concentration on the helicopter's ability to perform the task than its design. The result was the K-Max K-1200, capable of lifting a payload of 6,000 pounds. That's more than the helicopter's empty weight. Kaman succeeded in its quest to make a helicopter that lifts heavy loads like an ant does and succeeded in designing it to make it look like an ant. As if the helicopter didn't look bad enough, the owner of this one decided to spice up the look by adding horrific colors.
When you go into battle, the aim is to have the enemy quivering in their boots before you come into contact with them. Your presence should intimidate the enemy. When your helicopter looks like a pokemon character, regardless of the bulky frame that the helicopter carries, you're not going to intimidate anyone. If this military unit wanted to make the helicopter look intimidating, it should've left it as the standard model, which looks frightening. The enemy will get a good laugh when they see this helicopter.
13 Mad Dog
Aggressive dogs may intimidate house intruders, but a helicopter that looks like a dog is funny and not scary, especially when the dog is green. This military unit is serious about inflicting damage on the enemy's territory, which is evident from its choice in helicopters but was goofing around when it wrapped the helicopter. To make matters worse, the unit decided to wrap the entire fleet with the green dog design. The unit got the color right, as it camouflaged the helicopter, but they should've extended the design to the front of the helicopter. This dog's bite is bigger than its bark.
After scouring the helicopter market, we noticed that some manufacturers failed because they wanted to design their helicopters in the shape of an animal. The manufacturer of this helicopter did that, and the end product is a helicopter that looks like a lizard ready to launch its tongue.
The worst part about the helicopter is that the manufacturer tried to combine an airplane cabin with propellers.
The helicopter reminds me of the warthog from Timon and Pumba. Some things are best when in their standard form, and the manufacturer should've left this one that way.
We've already featured a Sikorsky as one of the ugly helicopters on the list but had to include the CH54 as well. The CHG54 is a twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter that Sikorsky designed for the United States Army. The U.S. army initially purchased 105 of these helicopters to use in Vietnam for transport and downed-aircraft retrieval. The manufacturer named it after Tarhe, an 18 century chief of the Wyandot Indian tribe whose nickname was 'Crane.' The civil version of the helicopter is the S-64 Skycrane. The insect that resembles the CH54 the most is a locust.
And now for the sickest helicopters out there.
10 Bell AH-1Z Viper
This helicopter evolved from the AH-1W Super Cobra. The manufacturer introduced the Vip in 2010 and began the full production in 2012. The helicopter follows the line of the AH-1 Cobra, which was the first attack helicopter to appear on the market. The manufacturer built only 189 Vipers, which the Marine Corps uses. The AH has new engines, a new rotor, an uprated transmission, and a new targeting sighting system. The manufacturer also fitted the helicopter with an infrared suppression system. The helicopter carries 16 Hellfire anti-tank guided missiles as well as pods with unguided rockets and two Sidewinders.
9 Kamov Ka-52 Hokum-B
The Russian helicopter manufacturer decided to develop the famous two-seat version Ka-50 Hokum, and the result was the Ka-52. The attack helicopter, which the Russian Army uses, went into production in 2008. The helicopter is one of the fastest and most maneuverable attack helicopters, as it has a two coaxial contra-rotating main rotors. The helicopter has a 30 mm cannon and up to 12 anti-tank missiles. The Ka-52 can also carry unguided rockets and air-to-air missiles. It has a battlefield management system and can exchange data with other helicopters. The helicopter provides target detection as well as coordinated attacks.
8 Mil Mi24
When you don't take care of your Mi24, you end up on our ugly list of helicopters, but this standard model is a fantastic flying machine. The Mi24 is the most famous assault helicopter. You'll use this helicopter during wars and military conflicts. The helicopter has a stepped cockpits ant as well as an under-nose gun turret.
The latest models have a 30 mm twin-barrel cannon and anti-tank missiles.
The Mi24 also has pods with unguided rockets. The helicopter can accommodate a squad of eight equipped troops. The manufacturer made the helicopter for the Soviet Army.
7 Denel AH-2 Rooivalk
The South African manufacturer decided to upgrade the aesthetics of the helicopter, resulting in a military machine called the AH-2 Rooivalk. The manufacturer based the Rooivalk design on the reverse-engineered Aerospatiale Puma and uses the same engine and rotor. The South African manufacturer designed the helicopter to operate without sophisticated support. The nose of the helicopter has a 20 mm cannon. The helicopter contains automatic target detection and a tracking system as well as ZT-6 Mokopa anti-guided missiles, which are the most powerful in the world. The sad news is that only 11 Rooivalks are operational due to funding problems.
6 Eurocopter EC 135
What happens when you combine world-class engineering with sophistication? You get a magnificent helicopter such as the EC 135. The end product is the outcome of the efforts of Eurocopter's engineers and Hermes. If you're one of the fortunate owners of this helicopter, you'll experience an interior that most helicopters don't have. Hermes fitted the cabin with its signature fabrics and butter-soft leather as well as calf-leather banquettes and seating. The cabin contains hidden compartments and recessed consoles. If you need privacy, the glass partition permits it, as it separates the cabin from the cockpit. To get your hands on the EC 135, you'll need $6.7 million.
5 Augusta Westland AW609
If you want to own one of the coolest helicopters on the market, then you have to buy the Augusta Westland AW 609. The best part about this helicopter is its ability to take off and land vertically, enabling the helicopter to reach vast locations. The other cool feature is that this helicopter flies twice the distance and speed of other helicopters in its class. The top speed of the AW609 is 316 mph, and it can fly a range of 860 miles. The luxury cabin provides VIP standard comfort and can seat 6 to 9 passengers, depending on the customization option that you choose. The price is $14 million.
4 Bell 525
Helicopter pundits refer to the 525 as 'The Relentless.' This magnificent machine is part of the company's super-medium class of luxury helicopters. Helicopter owners who need space inside the cabin will be glad to know that the Bell 525 provides a spacious interior and great amenities. The helicopter has a Garmin G5000H avionic touchscreen and can reach a distance of 575 miles. The cabin can accommodate 20 passengers, and the manufacturer built it to provide the ultimate safety. The cabin has a stylish interior with plush seating and a sleek exterior design. The asking price for the 525 is $15 million.
3 Sikorsky S-92 Executive
Although we featured Sikorsky in the ugly part of the list, the manufacturer has also produced some remarkable helicopters. One of those inventions is the S-92 Executive. The helicopter has a roomy cabin filled with luxury for 10 passengers.
The best part about the cabin is that it's quiet. The rotor won't annoy the passengers who are looking for the ultimate luxury helicopter.
Some of the custom options include satellite phones, an advanced monitoring system, and exterior armor. The S-92 Executive is the preferred choice of presidents around the world. If you want to buy the helicopter, you need $17.7 million.
2 Augusta Westland AW101
Consumers who are obsessed with buying the best Augusta model should have a look at the Westland AW101. The helicopter is the most luxurious helicopter that the manufacturer released and has the largest cabin in its class. If you own this helicopter, you can seat 24 close relatives and friends. The sealing of the helicopter is high enough for passengers to walk upright. The manufacturer tested the vehicle, and it proved to be safe in every environment. Among the most appealing features of the helicopter are the safety standards and the technology that the helicopter possesses. The asking price is $21 million.
1 Airbus H225 Super Puma
If you're a helicopter connoisseur who's searching for the pinnacle of the helicopter market, then you don't need to look any further than the Airbus H225 Super Puma. The best feature of the helicopter is that it's suitable for almost every purpose. The only drawback of the helicopter is that it's slower than the ones in its class but has numerous features to make up for the slower speed. Offshore drilling companies, as well as rich executives and rescue crews, often use this heavy-lift helicopter. The cabin is comfortable, and the manufacturer provided a vast selection of customization options. The purchase price is $27 million.
Source: Money Inc.