The Versatile View from the Top

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
A combination of flexibility and exclusivity, there's good reason Airbus' flagship helicopter is one of the most renowned in the world

Sometimes you just need a change of perspective, to take a bird’s eye view of things. Granted that could just mean taking some time out to re-appraise things but we like to take idioms rather literally which, in this case, means a helicopter.

Though your thoughts of private aviation may leap to jets first, there’s a lot to love about your own helicopter. What they lack in intercontinental distances they more than make up for in versatility, allowing you to hop from one location to another in next to no time. After all, you can’t land a jet on the deck of your yacht or the roof of your office skyscraper.

When it comes to versatility however, one helicopter in particular is the very definition of the word: the Airbus Helicopters’ H145. Originally called the EC145 T2, back when Airbus was named Eurocopter, the H145 sets the benchmark for mission flexibility.

Among the more powerful of the 4-ton-class twin-engine rotorcraft on the market, it’s a helicopter as adept at scaling the Alps as it is ferrying guests from yacht to private island. Given that it’s specifically designed with high-and-hot air conditions in mind – where lift is far harder to generate – it’s reliable in virtually every climate on the globe.

All that’s rather good for the raft of emergency services and military forces that rely on the H145 on a daily basis – and it’s hard to find one that doesn’t have a couple in their fleet -  but for the private owner, that’s not all that matters. For them, luxury is paramount.

All too often helicopters – especially in smaller sizes – aren’t exactly known for comfort. They’re more for practical purposes and kitted out as such. The interiors of the H145 however are as versatile as the aircraft itself, allowing for a whole host of different configurations based on your needs.

What it turns out you really need is the Stylence configuration. Passengers are welcomed in through the sliding doors into an interior akin to an office space designed by Mercedes Benz. The normal functional design is reworked with wood and leather for a far more luxurious feel, emphasizing space and comfort above everything else. It even factors in luggage space.

For longer hops it’s a configuration that actually allows you to get on with some work while you fly which, even if the journey’s just 40 minutes, is a wonderful bit of time-saving. Work aside, compared to other configurations it’s also a much more pleasant environment from which to admire your bird’s eye view.

Airbus H145, from £3,200,000

Airbus Helicopters H145

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