State-of-the-Art HX50 Helicopter Involves the Client in the Building Process for $665,000

Hill Helicopters HX50 7 photos
Photo: Hill Helicopters/YouTube
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Based in Birmingham, U.K., Hill Helicopters wants to disrupt the aviation market with a revolutionary aircraft concept. The HX50 is described as the world’s first truly private helicopter and customers get to build it themselves.
As private owners are, in many cases, inexperienced pilots, the HX50 aims to meet their most basic needs. The five-seat aircraft focuses on robust crashworthiness, great stability, a realistic payload for user requirements, and ease of operation. Buyers can choose between skids or retractable wheels, with the former being lighter and adapted to rugged terrain and remote spots. The latter are easy to maneuver on the ground and suited for any landing surface except soft ones.

A Hill GT50 fully electronically-controlled engine powers the helicopter, being purposely built for the HX50. It offers a maximum of 400 hp of continuous power and up to 500 hp of emergency power for 30 seconds. It comes with a fuel consumption of 35 US gallons per hour and it is guaranteed for 5,000 hours or 20,000 cycles. The engine weighs 220 lb (100 kg). With user-friendliness in mind, the startup and shutdown of the helicopter are just one push of a button away, with everything being fully automated.

Hill’s HX50 comes with streamlined folding blades, panoramic windows, a glass panel at foot level, and a skylight. Its landing gear and nose are retractable via a hydraulic system. The state-of-the-art digital cockpit comes with full iPad integration, intelligent pilot support, rearward and downward-facing camera views, two 15” color dashboards, and the possibility to plan flights and use all the major navigation apps. It also offers full connectivity with smartphones for voice and text message communication.

The HX50 helicopter boasts a range of 700 nautical miles (806 miles or 1,296 km), a top speed of over 160 mph (260 kph), and a payload of 1,760 lb (around 800 kg).

Hill plans to involve its customers in the building process, initiating a program that allows owners to construct more than 50 percent of their aircraft. Of course, they have to go through a two-week factory workshop first and it will all be done alongside the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)-approved production staff.

Pre-sales are now open for Hill Helicopters’ HX50 aircraft, but this thing doesn’t come cheap. It is priced at no less than £495,000 (over $665,000). Hill estimates that the HX50 will be available in 2023.

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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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