In order to better understand what is the maximum height for a helicopter, you need to understand how it works. But first, a few words about the history of the invention of helicopters.
A little history
The very idea of flying with the help of a propeller rotating parallel to the Earth's surface and creating a lift at the same time arose long before the appearance of the first airplanes. Confirmation of this is the drawings of the aircraft made by Leonardo da Vinci at the turn of the XV-XVI centuries. In Russia, the genius M.V. Lomonosov first took up the topic of helicopter in the middle of the 18th century.
However, by the beginning of the 20th century, airplanes took over the palm for a long time. It took helicopters almost half a century to "catch up" with them and establish themselves. All disputes about which of them is better are groundless just because these machines fly differently.
The crux of the matter is how to create the necessary lift. If in an airplane this happens with the help of a wing, then in a helicopter it is due to rotors driven by a piston or turboprop engine. The main advantage of aircraft - speed, the helicopter opposes its own, no less significant trump cards - the ability to take off and land vertically without a traditional takeoff run, hover in the air and move in any direction.
How many ceilings does the helicopter have?
The term "ceiling" in airplane aviation refers to a certain maximum height that an aircraft can reach. A helicopter is a little more complicated, so it has multiple ceilings.
The first ceiling is static. His helicopter reaches strictly vertically, without making horizontal movements. The second is dynamic. In this case, the climb occurs during the flight along an inclined trajectory. It is no coincidence that in the section of helicopter technical characteristics, the "ceilings" are separate and numerically noticeably different from each other.
In both cases, ceilings have their own maximum limits. Restrictions are associated with the danger of a general breakdown of the air flow from the blades. The higher the helicopter rises, the larger the angles of attack the blades turn to create the required lift. It is preferable to "hang" the helicopter at low altitudes during takeoff, landing and in special cases.
At extreme heights
Due to the special aerodynamics of helicopters, the maximum altitude characteristics (compared to aircraft) are limited to about 6000 meters. The truth was not without records. So in 1972 in France, Jean Boulet on his Aerospatiale SA 315B more than doubled this figure, reaching an altitude of almost 12, 5 thousand meters. However, that record flight almost ended tragically: the engine caught fire, and only the highest professionalism allowed the pilot to land the helicopter.
In everyday life, helicopter pilots do not deal with such heights. Yes, it is not necessary. Usually they have to climb above 3000 meters when working or fighting in mountainous terrain. The existing instructions allow for takeoff and landing from sites located no higher than 4500 meters, and already at an altitude of over 3000 meters, pilots are prohibited from turning off their engines when landing.
Russian helicopters are fine with altitude. So the multipurpose transport aircraft Mi-26 easily climbs to a height of 6.5 km. For its combat "brothers" - Ka-50 and Ka-52, this figure is 5.7 km, for the Mi-28 - 5.8 km. The American AN-64 Apache looks no less worthy - 6.4 km.