Liberty Helicopter News & Events


Helicopter vs. Drones: Aerial Film Production

Helicopter vs. Drones: Aerial Film Production

Drones have recently added a new tool for aerial filming that has caught the attention of both pros and amateurs alike. Although drones literally put the flight controls in your hands, it's important to remember that they may not be all that meets the eye. The truth is that there are often times when the old methods far outweigh the latest gadgets for filming. As you plan your next filming session, consider these differences between helicopters and drones to determine which one best fits your goals for filming.

Range and Battery Life

Drones are getting better batteries that allow them to travel further all the time, but they still cannot beat a helicopter's capabilities. In most cases, drones can only travel for a few minutes on a single battery charge, and they are limited by the FAA to only reaching heights of 400 feet or lower in most cases. On the other hand, you can schedule a private helicopter charter tour that allows you to have more than enough time to capture all the footage you want at a higher elevation. You can also plan your helicopter tour to take you over specific areas that you need in your film so that you get that optimum point of view.

Ability to Handle the Camera Equipment

Amateurs often don't mind using drones that work with their phone cameras or other lower quality recording equipment. However, any professional filming requires an airplane that can handle the size and the weight of the equipment. If you plan to do serious filming during an on air tour, just let us know ahead of time so that you can pick a package with enough room for all of your gear.

General Safety and Liability

At first glance, it would seem like drones are safer than helicopters since you never have to leave the ground. However, drone operators are required to comply with laws set forth by the federal government as well as certain local cities and municipalities. If you chose to use a drone for aerial photography, you are also liable for damage to any property or injuries to people that are caused by your drone. Unfortunately, some accidents are hard to prevent when you have limited visibility of your craft from the ground. When you film from a helicopter, the pilot is the one responsible for maintaining the safety of everyone on board. This allows you more creative freedom as you focus on refining your helicopter filming techniques.

After seeing hundreds of hours of footage from people's aerial tours, we may be biased. However, there is just no way to deny that the benefits of filming from a helicopter far outweigh anything that could be done from a drone. Whether you need that perfect look down shot or time lapse sequence of New York City, you can capture it all while enjoying one of the best views of the city around.


Book a NYC Helicopter Ride for the Perfect Holiday Present

Book a NYC Helicopter Ride for the Perfect Holiday Present

The holidays are one of the most beautiful times to tour New York City. As the skyline lights up in seasonal colors and the Statue of Liberty is decked out in snow, even long-term residents of the city cannot help but feel the holiday spirit. This year, take your gift-giving to new heights by surprising the special person in your life with a helicopter ride that they will never forget. To help you book your tour, you can use these tips to plan the perfect surprise adventure.

Know your Tour

Tours can be up to 20 mins long. A young child may need a shorter tour that fits their attention span. Also, tours fly a set route, so you know you'll be able to see the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower, and many of NYC's most recognizable sites. Research a little in advance so you can talk about what you're going to be seeing. Also, our pilots are always sure to drop interesting tidbits that most people may not even know!

Double the Fun

Most people never want to come down once they experience the beauty of seeing the Big City from the sky. However, there is also much to be discovered by continuing your tour on the ground. Adding a bus or cruise tour into your plans allows you to keep the fun going for hours. Whether or not you wait to share the second surprise until after your flight is up to you, but you can be certain that your favorite person will love the thought that you put into the adventure.

Build Beautiful Holiday Memories

New York City is so huge, that you can visit several times and still not see everything on your itinerary. During a helicopter ride, you have the opportunity to see many of the most known attractions. From the Intrepid to Ellis Island and the One World Trade Center, you will view some of the biggest hot spots from the sky. The best part is that you get to skip the streets full of crowds so that all you and your loved one remember is the beauty of soaring through the sky to see the sights.

Heighten the Excitement of Your Proposal

Holiday marriage proposals are always memorable, and you can take yours to the next level by doing it from the sky. We have the best helicopter tour that couples take because we offer you the opportunity to take up to five passengers with you so that your closest friends and family members can be there for the special moment. You also get to wear voice activated headsets so that you can hear that much-awaited for yes after you pop the question.

Holiday helicopter tours make the perfect present, and you have enough options to choose from to make this a memorable occasion. After you book your tour, you can now get started picking the perfect presentation. Should you slip the itinerary into a card or wait until you are on your way to the heliport? We'll leave that part up to you as we take care of the rest.


A Brief History of Helicopters

A Brief History of Helicopters

Since the beginning of time, humans have been fascinated by the concept of flight. After all, the ability to quickly get from one place to another is the ultimate convenience, and the beauty of an aerial view of their favorite city is something that everyone should experience at least once in life. Now that helicopters have advanced to the point that tourists can climb on board and take a helicopter tour, we thought it would be fun to look back at how the ability to fly vertically has changed from what seemed like an impossible concept to the incredible aircrafts that we have today.

Genius Found In a Child’s Toy

Although helicopters are a modern invention, their concept can be traced far back to some of our earliest ancestors. Historians have found evidence of a toy that children in China used that dates back to 400 B.C. This toy used bamboo sticks that would fly through the air after the children set them into a spin in a way that is similar to modern propellers. The popularity of this toy still exists today, although modern children use a model that is made from plastic and rubber bands.

Da Vinci’s Conception of the Future

Leonardo da Vinci is known for his inventions, and he holds the credit for getting one of the earliest concepts of vertical flight on to paper. His drawing depicts an aircraft with a screw-like structure on top that was to be made from starched linen and wood. In his notes, he describes the plan for the structure to be turned by four men, and he believed that the shape of the sails combined with the stiffness of the starched linen would be enough to get it to lift vertically from the ground. While his invention that is often referred to as the air screw was never tested, scientists believe that it would have been too heavy to lift off. However, similarities between da Vinci’s concept and the modern propellor are evident in their designs.

Brilliant Minds in a Race Toward Flight

There are several people credited with the creation of rudimentary versions of helicopters who deserve to be mentioned. Sir George Cayley developed the first steam powered helicopter, but it was too bulky and heavy to be practical for actual use. Paul Cornu designed an early model of a helicopter that actually made it off the ground in 1907, but it was tethered so it did not get credit for being the first free flight. In 1939, we finally see a helicopter that works more like the ones that our customers ride in during our NYC helicopter tours. This one was designed by Igor Sikorsky, and it spawned a new generation of helicopters that continue to advance in their technology today.

It’s fascinating to think that helicopters have evolved from simple toys and drawings to the complex aircrafts that we have today. As you learn more about the history of helicopters, keep in mind that our tour guides love to share their knowledge, so please feel free to bring your questions to your helicopter tour of New York City!


How Does a Helicopter Work

How Does a Helicopter Work

Watching a helicopter take off and land is always intriguing. After all, it seems as though the gravity defying mechanisms of the helicopter work just like magic, and it is true that every aircraft is made with an emphasis on perfection. Although helicopters have gone through a series of transformations over the years, the basic fundamentals of how they fly have stayed much the same. As you get ready to board your next helicopter tour, be ready to impress your fellow passengers with this information about how these incredible aircrafts work.

How Helicopters Achieve a Vertical Lift

The most obvious difference between a helicopter and an airplane is the ability to fly vertically, which is one of the reasons why helicopter charter residents are able to depart quickly from the heliport whenever the need arises. In most cases, the lift for an aircraft is created with its wings. For a helicopter, a lift is generated by the way the main rotor blades are formed so the air is pushed in a downward movement when the blades spin. As the air pressure changes, the helicopter lifts up. The high rate of speed that must occur for the blades to generate this reaction is why you must always follow the safety protocols for entering and exiting the helicopter on your tour around NYC.

The Role of the Second or Tail Rotor

Newton's third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and this concept is evident in the design of helicopters. As the rotors spin with great force, it affects the stability of the entire helicopter and causes it to want to spin in the opposite direction. For this reason, a second large rotor or tail rotor is added to the helicopter that serves as a counter balance. In addition to helping to keep the helicopter steady, this secondary rotor also plays a role in how the helicopter is steered during an on air tour.

How Pilots Control the Helicopter

Pilots learn how to control the helicopter by altering the angle and speed of the rotors by using hand levers, foot pedals and a throttle. To hover, the pilot must balance the weight of the helicopter with the amount of force generated by the lift. This is done by altering the angle at which the blades are at as they hit the oncoming air during the spins. Helicopters can also be steered to go backwards and sideways as well as forwards. To do these types of movements, the pilot uses special levers. For instance, the cyclic pitch changes the angle of the main rotor blades so that the helicopter moves sideways.

Helicopters are one of the most beneficial inventions of modern times, and their use ranges from complicated military maneuvers to tourist adventures in the big city. Whether you are enjoying a short tour or chartering to a special destination, knowing how your helicopter works allows you to enjoy a deeper appreciation of the moment.


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