Helicopter vs. Chopper

Helicopter is a rotorcraft in which rotors supply the lift and thrust power. Helicopter is widely used by the military. However, VIPs also uses the helicopters and Chopper is a kind of helicopter but with limited functionality. The Choppers are widely used by media, movie makers, and businessmen. Today the world helicopter has been widely replaced by chopper but the official word for helicopter is still helicopter. Chopper is widely used for corporate, medical, firefighting, police, para-public, oil & gas, etc.

There are a different type of flying vehicles which are used to travel. The most famous ones are aircraft and rotorcrafts. The most popular machines working with the help of rotors is a Copter, which can be differentiated into various categories which include a chopper, quadcopter, hexacopter, and even drones. Every type has its own differences and similarities, but the two main types which can be mixed up while explaining are helicopter and chopper. They are of confusion because there is a minute difference between the two because of the outlook. A technical definition of the helicopter will be an aircraft which works with the help of rotors, these rotors contribute to producing lift and drag force with running the machine. Chopper, on the other hand, can be defined as an aircraft that requires all the lift from the blades and has no wings present.

A helicopter can move in sideways directions, and the movement is continuously controlled. A chopper can move in multiple ways. It also requires less power to keep it in the air while more power is needed for a helicopter. Moving on to other differences, a helicopter is used for military purposes while a chopper is mostly preferred for domestic commitments. In more basic terms, the helicopter is a word that is used professionally while chopper can be considered as a slang word for helicopter and is considered the synonym for the helicopter. Though over time for casual purposes the helicopters that are being made are lighter and have different types of components so there is a difference between them.

In armed forces, the word helicopter is used to define rotor driven machines, but in the day to day routines, the word chopper is used because of less technical information among people about them. A helicopter is used for battles and different rescue missions while chopper cannot be used for such complicated tasks. There are more features in a helicopter because of that reason while a chopper has lesser functions.

Comparison Chart

 Basis Helicopter Chopper
Definition A type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by engine-driven rotors. An aircraft without wings that obtains its lift from the rotation of overhead blades.
Usage Usually for wars and long-distance. Usually for short distances and domestic purposes.
Speed Faster Slower
Efficiency Greater Lower
Weight More Less

What is Helicopter?

Helicopters were invented way back in the year 1939 and have provided convenience to people and precision to armies with its working. Simply put, a helicopter it a machine that flies with the help of rotors while managing the thrust, pitch and lift factors. There are multiple rotors in a helicopter depending on the requirements such as size and speed. When the rotors move they make use of air to lift the helicopter upwards, the air is moved down with the help of blades to produce lift, this keeps the helicopter in the air. The lift has to be greater than the weight of aircraft, and this is managed through the pitch angle of the blades which produce more thrust.

A helicopter can travel in a horizontal and vertical direction easily. To move it in these ways the pilot uses the pitch angle which moves the air around the helicopter in a particular direction making it move to the required position. Because of these methods, it is preferred by the military, in actual for places where airplanes cannot reach quickly. A helicopter can reach complicated areas such as a peak of a mountain or at a place where people are stranded. Therefore are available in a variety of forms and shapes which suit the required task.


What is Chopper?

A chopper mostly is considered another name for a helicopter which is accurate to some extent. It can be regarded as a layman term for a more technical device. This word has originated because of two factors, the first one is that the sound which blades make during the flight is a chop/chop sound. Secondly, chopping means cutting off something and in its function, a helicopter cuts air to make it useful for the device. But over years, chopper actually has begun to exist. It is a lighter version of the helicopter which is mostly used for purposes that require quick action but not that necessary.

They are used for carrying patients from one place to another and have become famous as air ambulances, they are also used for people who want to travel at short distances. There is a single rotor that keeps the body lifted and therefore, size and weight of a chopper are relatively less. They are not available in other types and have their own specifications.


Key Differences between Helicopter and Chopper

  1. Helicopters are used for taking parts in battles and activities like rescue missions while a chopper is mostly used for low-level activities such as moving a short distance.
  2. The helicopter is used by military and technical authorities while the chopper is used by ordinary people and considered a synonym of the helicopter.
  3. Helicopters have multiple rotors while a chopper mostly has one rotor.
  4. The helicopter has more functions because of its advanced usage while chopper has limited features because of its essential use.
  5. A helicopter works at a faster speed in comparison to the chopper.
  6. Armies and police make use of helicopters while choppers are more commonly used for medical and inland purposes.


In the end, the article has explained both the terms with equal emphasis and it can be seen that there is very less difference between the two, which in simple words are already considered synonyms of each other and therefore, a clearer understanding should develop.

3 thoughts on “Helicopter vs. Chopper”

  1. Thank you very much.Why do some of these crafts have landing wheels and others have iron landing bars?

  2. Because of their uses. Landing bars are used when the aircraft is much more likely to be in the air by an straight upward motion, meanwhile landing wheels are used by aircraft that doesn’t land instantly/

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