How far can a helicopter fly?
With full fuel on board, Robinson Helicopters have about 3 hours endurance with a reserve left in the tank (running out is not recommended!). An R22 will cruise at 85 knots so with no wind, that’s 255 nautical miles (nm), or about 290 miles in three hours. As the helicopter is flying in the air which may be moving across the earth, we experience this as wind on the surface, the distance we travel will depend on which way the air is moving relative to our direction of travel. If the air is against us, which is known as a head wind, we will not go as far in the three hours. If the air is going in the same direction as the helicopter, known as a tail wind, we will go correspondingly further. We also have to deal with cross winds that give us Drift, and as part of learning to navigate we teach you how to deal with these elements that affect our flying, along with many others. An R44 will cruise at about 110 kts, 330 nm in three hours or about 380 miles not allowing for any wind effects.