ace asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 10 years ago

How come big helicopters(like the Chinooks or Sikorskys)are not used as airliners?

11 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    On October 14, 1963, New York Airways Flight 600 (a Boeing-Vertol 107 registered N6673D) crashed shortly after takeoff from Idlewild Airport (now JFK) en route to Newark via Wall Street. All three passengers and all three crew members died. The accident was blamed on a mechanical failure due to contaminated lubricants.[4]

    On May 16, 1977, the landing gear failed on a Sikorsky S-61 while it was taking on passengers on the roof of the Pan Am Building. The aircraft rolled onto its side. Its spinning rotor blades killed four passengers waiting to board (including movie director Michael Findlay) and injured a fifth. Parts of a broken blade fell into the streets below, killing one pedestrian and injuring another. The accident precipitated the closure of the heliport for good.[5]

    Idea has been dead ever since......

  • 7 years ago

    Just because helicopters sometimes have accidents is not a valid reason to stop using them. Jets also crash, and automobiles cause more deaths worldwide (by far) than any other form of transportation.

    In the early 60's it was actually cheaper to fly a New York Airways BV-107 helicopter from the airport to various destinations than to take a taxi - and much faster too! The New York Airways accident mentioned here killed 6 people. (Always too many). But how many people are killed each year in other forms of transportation? We know the answer.

    Passenger Helicopter services have been used in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and many other places worldwide.

    The reason helicopters are not used often as airliners is mostly economic. Early operations were subsidized by the US Gov't., but that stopped. It's now harder for helicopter airlines to make a profit.

    But helicopters are still used sometimes as airliners in parts of the world, especially in parts where access by airplane is not possible . . .

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Helijet Airlines has been operating on the West Coast of British Columbia for over 25 years using sixteen seat Sikorsky S76 helicopters. This is in competition with several well-established float plane companies and BC Ferries.

    Prices aren't bad considering it's a helicopter, and there is no faster service.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago


    apart from that, the downwash from propellers. in large cities, a chinook landing in the middle of the city would cause havoc to nearby buildings.

    if landing in an airport, the helicopter is pointless.

    helicopters were meant to land in confined spaces.

    the largest craft you could encounter in passenger transport is Superpuma or Sikorski 92

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Helicopters were used in the past by airlines -

    It did not work out financially at all - Was the late 1950s and 1960s -

    New York Helicopter Airways, PanAm, San Francisco -

    Sabena even had a helicopter Paris-Brussels scheduled service -

    From downtown Brussels, to Paris - saved time, better than airport to city...

    Was long, 90 minutes, very noisy, no cabin service, no flight attendants

    Source(s): Retired airline pilot -
  • 10 years ago

    There is still a helicopter service in NYC to shuttle passengers from Manhattan to the airport of your choice(for a stiff fee, of course). A 2-3 hour taxi ride is shortened to about 8 minutes.

    In large cities they would be the ideal mode of transportation, but few people are willing to pay the price.

  • Daniel
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    They are slow, only twice as fast as a car on the hi way, while a jet is eight times faster

    Expensive to fix

    Get horrible fuel economy

    More affected by bad weather than planes.

  • 10 years ago

    Helicopters are much less efficient and slower than planes.

  • 10 years ago

    Too many moving parts.

  • Fox
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    they are slow,require more maintenance, and have limited range

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