Helicopters come in all sizes, ranging from massive aircraft that can carry large numbers of people to small one-seat-only choppers too.
With such a wide range of sizes, a helicopter can weigh anywhere between 600 lbs/ 275 kg/ 0.275 tonnes to 123,400 lbs/ 56,000 kg/ 56 tonnes.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Different Types of Helicopter Weigh
- 2 Do Civilian, Police or Military Helicopters Weigh More?
- 3 Weight of Popular Helicopters
- 4 Lightest Helicopter in the World
- 5 Heaviest Helicopter in the World
- 6 Weight of Helicopter Parts
How Much Different Types of Helicopter Weigh
As mentioned, helicopters can weigh anywhere from 600 lbs/ 275 kg/ 0.275 tonnes to 123,400 lbs/ 56,000 kg/ 56 tonnes.
The reason for such a wide range is because helicopters are used for numerous purposes.
Helicopters can be classified according to the five following weight categories.
- Ultra-light: Ultra light helicopters weigh up-to 254 lbs/115 kg/ 0.115 tonnes when empty
- Light : Light helicopters have a maximum gross weight up-to 3,500 lbs/1,590 kg/ 1.590 tonnes
- Intermediates: Intermediate helicopters have a maximum gross weight up-to 7,000 lbs/ 3,180 kg/ 3.18 tonnes
- Mediums: Helicopters classified as mediums have a maximum gross weight up-to 12,500 lbs/ 5,670 kg/ 5.67 tonnes
- Heavies: Helicopters known as heavies have a maximum gross weight exceeding 12,500 lbs/ 5,670 kg/ 5.67 tonnes
Do Civilian, Police or Military Helicopters Weigh More?
The weight of a helicopter depends on its onboard equipment as well as the aircraft’s intended use.
For example, the gross weight of a transport helicopter will usually be higher than that of a passenger helicopter.
Military helicopters typically have the highest gross weights, since they are designed to carry the most equipment and personnel.
Police helicopters are the lightest, since they’re fast-moving and carry minimal passengers and equipment.
Civilian helicopters are less heavy than military ones, but heavier than police ones.
Weight of Popular Helicopters
The Bell-222 was America’s first light, twin-turbine engine helicopter. It was designed for use by corporate passengers. The maximum take-off weight of this chopper is 8,250 lbs/ 3,750 kg/ 3.75 tonnes.
Bell 206B Jet Ranger
The Bell 206 consists of a family of two-bladed, single and twin-engine choppers. The Bell 206B Jet Ranger specifically is a civilian helicopter that has a single pilot and can carry 4 passengers.
Some variants of this chopper are used for air ambulance and search and rescue missions. The maximum take-off weight of this chopper is 3,200 lbs/ 1.460 kg/ 1.46 tonnes.
Augusta Westland 109 Power Grand
The AW109 Grand is a multi-purpose helicopter that has an extended cabin. This helicopter can carry two pilots and 7 passengers for a total distance of 589 miles. Some variants of the AW109 are used for search and rescue and air ambulance missions. The maximum takeoff weight of the AW109 is 7,000 lbs/ 3,175 kg/ 3.175 tonnes.
Eurocopter 120 Colibri
Dubbed the ‘ French hummingbird’ for how quiet its engine is, the EC120 Colibri is a single-engine utility helicopter with five seats. This helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 3,780 lbs/ 1,715 kg/ 1.72 tonnes.
The Sikorsky S-76B was initially designed as a medium helicopter for corporate transportation in the offshore drilling and oil industry. It’s also been used for medical evacuation. The maximum weight of this helicopter is 11,700 lbs/ 5,300 kgs/ 5.3 tonnes.
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is the latest helicopter from Bell. It has 5 seats, and it’s designed to maximize safety, efficiency and flight stability through advanced avionics technology. This chopper is most popularly used by the police in North America and Western Europe. This helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 3,680 lbs/ 1,670 kg/ 1.67 tonnes.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter is a heavy lift military helicopter. This chopper is used largely for military and military transport purposes.
The latest model, the CH-47F Block 2 has a maximum takeoff weight of 54,000 lbs/ 34,500 kg/ 24.5 tonnes.
The UH-1 Huey is the world’s most widely used military helicopter. Over 9,000 units have been produced since the 1950s to the present day. The UH-1 Huey is used by over 40 countries across the globe. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 10,500 lbs/ 4,767 kg/ 4.7 tonnes.
A Huey helicopter costs anywhere from $150,000 to $3 million to purchase.
The Black Hawk series of helicopters is the United States Air Force front-line utility helicopter. It’s used for aerial assaults, search and rescue, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 22,000 lb/ 9,980 kg/ 9.9 tonnes.
A Black Hawk helicopter costs anywhere from $3 million to $26 million to purchase.
Boeing’s AH-64 Apache is a twin-turboshaft helicopter developed in the United States that’s mainly used for combat purposes. The maximum takeoff weight of an Apache helicopter is 23,000 lbs/ 10,433 kg/ 10 tonnes.
An Apache helicopter costs between $65 to $130 million.
Lightest Helicopter in the World
According to the Guinness book of world records, the lightest helicopter in the world is currently the Gen H4 Helicopter.
The Gen H4 Helicopter has a weight of 154 lbs/ 70 kg/ 0.07 tonnes when empty and a gross weight of 485 lbs/ 220 kg/ 0.22 tonnes.
Heaviest Helicopter in the World
The world’s heaviest helicopter is currently the Mil Mi-26, a Soviet-era heavy transport helicopter used for both civilian and military purposes.
This helicopter has a weight of 62,000 lb/ 28,200 kg/ 28 tonnes when empty, and its maximum take-off weight is 124,000 lbs/ 56,000 kg/ 56 tonnes.
Weight of Helicopter Parts
The weight of a helicopter’s blades depends on its type and model, but generally speaking, a helicopter’s blades weigh between 900 lbs/ 40-226 kg/ 0.04-0.226 tonnes.
A helicopter’s engine’s weight depends on its type and model, but on average, they weigh between 450-550 lbs/ 204-227 kg/ 0.204-0.227 tonnes.
Depending on the type of landing gear the helicopter’s using, it could weigh anywhere between 160-800 lbs/ 75-360 kg/ 0.075-0.360 tonnes on average.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.