10 Best Twin-Engine Helicopters
The first twin-engine helicopter went into commercial service in 1967, It was the German Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) Bö-105. Since then, the twin-engine helicopter has come a long way and many models from various manufacturers have been produced since then. Some of them have become phenomenally successful and some were total commercial flops. We have compiled a list of the 10 Best Twin-Engine Helicopters ever built.
Our list below of the 10 Best Twin-Engine helicopters is not in chronological order or based on whether one is better than the other. Also, it does not include military helicopters or aircraft not manufactured in the west.
1. Eurocopter EC135
The EC135 was originally developed by Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) as the MBB Bö-108, the replacement for their iconic Bö-105. When MBB was absorbed into the newly formed Eurocopter Corporation, it was redesigned and renamed the EC135. Over 1,400 EC-135's have been delivered since its introduction in 1994. The aircraft is extremely versatile and reliable and is used for Airborne Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Corporate Transportation.
2. Bell 212
The Bell 212 (colloquially known as the Two-Twelve) can trace its roots all the way back to the Bell 205 'Huey'. The Bell 212 first flew in 1968 and production ended 30 years later in 1998. 920 Bell 212's were delivered during its production run and the aircraft has had an extremely successful career. The 212 is commonly used for logging, offshore oil support and military transport.
3. Sikorsky S-76
The Sikorsky S-76 (originally called 'Spirit' in honor of the U.S. Bicentennial.) was designed as a high speed transport helicopter for the offshore oil industry. Arguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing helicopters ever built, the S-76 was an immediate commercial success. Sikorsky ended production of the S-76 in 2022 after manufacturing and delivering over 876 aircraft. The S-76 is commonly used for offshore transport, corporate transport and EMS services.
4. Bell 429
The Bell 429 GlobalRanger is a multipurpose helicopter developed by Bell Helicopter in 2007. The 429 was an immediate commercial success and is currently used for law enforcement, corporate transport and search & rescue. Still in production today, over 350 Bell 429's have been delivered to date.
5. MBB Bö-105
Although the Bö-105 has long been out of production, it is still one of the most versatile helicopters ever built. The Bö-105 airframe is conventional, but its rotor system is not. By employing a rigid rotor system, MBB was able to develop a helicopter that could perform maneuvers that would be impossible with a conventional rotor system. When Bö-105 production ceased in 2001, over 1,400 had been delivered. To date, the Bö-105 serves in 35 countries in civilian, military and paramilitary capacities.
6. Bell 412
The Bell 412 is a direct descendant of the Bell 212. Essentially a modernized 212 with an updated cockpit and composite 4 bladed rotor system, the 412's performance is vastly improved over the 212. Still in production today, over 870 Bell 412's have been manufactured and delivered to date. The Bell 412 is used by private and commercial operators. It is particularly popular in the oil industries, military, and law enforcement.
7. Aérospatiale SA-365 Dauphin 2
The Aerospatiale Dauphin 2 was developed from the Aerospatiale SA360 Dauphin. The original SA360 Dauphin was a commercial flop. However, Aerospatiale believed in the design and ccreated an improved replacement. The Dauphin 2 was an immediate commercial success. Since its introduction in 1978, over 1,100 were delivered before it was replaced by the H155 in 1999. The AS365 Dauphin was one of Eurocopter's more successful helicopter designs; and has been widely used as a corporate transport, airborne law enforcement platform, emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter, electronic news gathering platform, and search and rescue helicopter.
8. Eurocopter EC145
The Eurocopter EC145 is a direct descendant of the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) BK-117. When MBB was absorbed into the newly formed Eurocopter Corporation, the BK-117 was redesigned and renamed the EC145. The EC145 is an extremely successful helicopter with over 1,300 delivered to over 100 customers in 35 countries. The EC145 is primarily used for EMS, corporate and utility operations.
9. Agusta 109
The Agusta 109 is an Italian designed light helicopter developed in the late 1970's. Widely regarded as one of the most aesthetically pleasing helicopters ever designed, the Agusta 109 was also one of the fastest helicopters developed at the time. Beyond its looks and speed, the Agusta 109 has very little utility and was never a huge commercial success. Still in production today, the aircraft has been improved over the years with more powerful engines and avionics upgrades, but still pales in comparison to its counterparts as far as commercial success is concerned.
10. Aérospatiale AS-355 Écureuil 2
The Aerospatiale AS-355 Écureuil 2 (marketed as the 'TwinStar' in the US) is a direct development of the Aerospatiale AS-350. The Écureuil 2 is essentially an AS-350 with two engines. The AS355 Écureuil 2 is used by both private individuals and companies, helicopter charter and training organizations as well as law enforcement and government use. Never selling as well as its single engine sister, Eurocopter ceased production in 2015.