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Hill Helicopters recently unveiled its reimagined, high-tech interior concept for the disruptive new HX50 private helicopter. The spacious luxury cabin delivers a complete rethink of helicopter flight with ground-up redesigned flight controls, a full glass instrument panel, large windows and skylights, comfortable leather seating, and opulent finishes.
“The HX50 interior is designed from the ground up to make flight a simple, luxurious, and engaging experience,” said Hill Helicopters president and chief executive officer, Jason Hill. “Traditional helicopters were designed to be utilitarian, with comfort as an afterthought. The HX50’s interior design is built around experience and comfort in the same manner as premium automobiles. For the pilot, the design is enticing, secure, and opulent with streamlined, intuitive flight controls and instruments. For the passenger, it is luxurious and comfortable while inspiring awe and wonder.”
The clean, uncluttered cabin design is a sweeping flow from the instrument panel to the doors, providing an open, airy space. Strong composite materials allow for large windows and skylights for panoramic views and increased safety, adding to the overall exhilaration of flight.
Completely redesigned flight controls pair familiar operation with ergonomics and comfort. The collective, with convenient differentiated operational switches in the head, moves in a fore and aft motion, much like those in larger helicopters. This design allows for the addition of an armrest that dramatically improves pilot comfort with forearm and wrist support. The integrated pilot interface (IPI) is located immediately adjacent to the collective, providing a familiar puck-like dial and numerical keypad to operate all frequently accessed navigation, autopilot, and communication information simply and easily.
The cyclic also provides a substantial improvement over traditional designs, combining individual pilot adjustability, ease of entry and egress, and outstanding ergonomic design of both the hand grip and buttons. The unique design is fully integrated with the instrument panel, providing a clean modern cockpit appearance while providing greater functionality and adjustment than any existing design. A full set of dual controls is available for the co-pilot.
The cabin and avionics suite embrace the empowering roll iPad navigation apps play in simplifying and improving the modern flying experience. The iPad mount sits front and center between two completely reimagined glass electronic flight displays that cleanly and beautifully present navigation, communication, and systems information.
The aircraft’s five seats are identical, giving the pilot and each passenger exceptional comfort. Crafted with two-tone Nappa leather, each seat offers drink and personal device storage, USB ports, and four-point harnesses. Headset holders and jacks for Bose ANR headsets are integrated into the seat headrests, reducing the clutter caused by cabin ceiling jacks and headrest storage. The rear seats are elevated, providing passengers ideal views over the front seats. Climate control and Bluetooth connectivity is also provided throughout the cabin.
A 20-year helicopter pilot, Hill founded Hill Helicopters to design the ideal personal luxury helicopter that blends the latest safety and efficient performance technology with a truly luxurious and high-tech experience. Hill received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Aston University and a Ph.D. in aeronautics from Canfield University. After building considerable helicopter engineering experience at GKN Westland (now Leonardo) he founded Dynamiq Engineering, delivering world-class engineering analysis, design, product and technology development to global clients across the engineering industry. With hand-picked engineers from Dynamiq Engineering and beyond, Hill formed Hill Helicopters to build the world’s first truly ground-up helicopter since the invention of rotorcraft flight. The company remains fully owned by Hill, allowing his team complete creative control to meet ambitious designs and timelines.