If you are dreaming of taking a flight, you have two main options. You can learn to fly an airplane or a helicopter. Both are exhilarating, wonderful experiences. Taking the time and making the investment in either one will allow for a lifetime of adventures.
But which is best for you? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about flying a helicopter vs. airplane.
The Basics of Flying: Helicopter vs. Airplane
Helicopters and airplanes use very different means of staying in the air, and this greatly affects the experience of flying each one. The design of airplanes (primarily the wings) is such that they have a natural tendency to stay afloat and continue in the same direction.
This means that in the time between take-off and landing, the pilot often has a lot of time to attend to other tasks. They might check airport information or review safety procedures, or even have a snack.
They’re still engaged in flying, but they don’t need to have their “hands on the wheel” every second while in the air. The plane generally stays on track. It’s not uncommon for airplane pilots to fly multiple, long flights and still feel alert.
Helicopters are very different. A helicopter can do a lot of things an airplane can’t, such as hover in place and turn on a dime.
The lift is created by the constantly spinning blades. But this means that the way it flies requires a pilot to engage the entire flight fully.
Their hands and feet are literally in place every second of the flight, and there is much less “downtime.” Because of this, helicopter flights are typically much shorter, and pilots become fatigued much more quickly.
Your Reason for Flying
Learning to fly a helicopter or an airplane comes down to your reason for wanting to fly. If you want to fly to get from one place to another in the least stressful way, a plane is for you.
If you want the thrill of a fully engaged ride at every moment of your flight, a helicopter is better for you.
Helicopter pilots are in higher demand, so if you are looking to ascend the ranks quickly in your career, you might be better off with helicopters.
However, one reason this is true is that it’s a bit more difficult and more dangerous to fly helicopters. If the excitement and risk are worth it to you, this is a good thing. But if you prefer a less exciting but more stable experience, go with airplanes.
Start Your Dream of Flying
Whichever side you come out on in the helicopter vs. airplane pilot debate, if you have a desire to fly, there is no better time to start.
It is a big commitment, but one that is well worth it for a lifelong skill that provides you a career, as well as recreational opportunities. Helicopter vs. airplane? Well, they’re both great!
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