Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Race For the Yankee Zephyr

Race To Space (2001) - the climactic scenes of this American film, based on a true story about the first chimp into space, feature a CH-3 (Sikorsky S-61) helicopter used to locate the Mercury capsule after it returns safely to Earth, and (courtesy of some obvious digital visual effects) there are three S-58 Seahorse rescue choppers overfly the Pacific splash-down area, and one of these airlifts the capsule back to the Florida launch site.

Bell OH-13 Sioux in Rage

Bell OH-58 Kiowa in Rage
Rage (1972) - this American conspiracy drama, directed by and starring George C. Scott, features two US Army helicopters: a Bell (47G) OH-13 Sioux, and a Bell (206 JetRanger) OH-58 Kiowa, seen landing officers at a military airfield.

Raid On Entebbe (1976) - in this docudrama of a hostage crisis, Idi Amin (played by Yaphet Kotto) makes a flying visit, in a Bell UH-1 Huey, to see the captive passengers of a hi-jacked French airliner at the Ugandan airport.
Huey in Raid on Entebbe

Raise The Titanic (1980) - "the 'Russian' helicopter seen landing on the deck of the liner is actually an American UH-1 Huey with big red stars painted on the sides." - NATHAN DECKER

Rambo: First Blood II (1985) - in this sequel, Sylvester Stallone's grunting hero John Rambo revisits Vietnam to search for POWs and, when he finds some, decides to bring them home against all the odds - but the Huey helicopter he steals for this rescue operation is damaged and it crashes... An Aerospatiale SA330 Puma (from PHI) was converted to simulate a Mil Mi-24 Hind gunship.
Huey flight in Rambo: First Blood II

faux Hind Gunship in Rambo 2 Hind attacks Vietnam POWs


Rambo III - bogus Hind gunship

Rancho Deluxe helicopter
Rancho Deluxe (1975) - a modern-day comedy western, about cattle rustlers in Montana, this movie features a Bell 47G helicopter.

Ransom (1997) - Ron Howard's child-kidnap thriller sees two FBI helicopters track the father (Mel Gibson) on his phone-directed runaround to deliver the ransom money. At the pickup site, SWAT cops abseil from a chopper to the ground after shooting one of villains while they were airborne.

Rat Race (2001) - in Jerry Zucker's chaotic comedy, pilot Tracy (Amy Smart) flies a Eurocopter AS350 A-star from Las Vegas over to Silver City in New Mexico, where she drops in to visit her two-timing boyfriend (TV Superman Dean Cain). She blows over his plastic garden pool using the chopper's downdraft, and then does a low-flying pursuit along the highway to catch his fleeing truck - but the accident-prone helicopter's engine fails, so Tracy has to crash land in desert.
A-Star helicopter in Rat Race

The Real McCoy (1993) - Kim Basinger plays an expert bank robber in this heist movie, which features a Bell 206L LongRanger helicopter in a short scene where our heroine gets caught by the police on the roof of a building. - HEGYI ISTVAN
Bell 206 in The Real McCoy

Rear Window (1954) - "this classic Hitchcock thriller features a Bell model 47D-1 (H-13B type) helicopter, with the rare landing wheels kit." - NATHAN DECKER
rare Bell 47 in Rear Window


Puma helicopter in Rebellion

helicopter in RED
RED (2010) - this action movie, based upon a comicbook by Warren Ellis, features a Bell 206L Long Ranger with a gunman aboard. The chopper tracks and then attacks our heroes (played by Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren) at the airport.

AW-109 Power in RED 2

Agusta-Westland helicopter in RED 2
RED 2 (2013) - in this comedy-actioner sequel, there's a red helicopter (an Agusta-Westland AW-109 Power) that's stolen by the heroes for air support during a chase around/ across London, and along the M4 motorway.

The chopper's pilot is shot by bad guys, and the damaged AW-109 is confronted and challenged by a pair of police choppers (two Eurocopter AS-355 Twin-Stars), and so the heroes' flight ends with a crash landing in a field.

At the airfield, one of the airborne police patrols is warned off by a blast of machine-gunfire from the ground.

RED 2 helicopters


fake Hind in Red Dawn

Red Dawn (2012) - this pointless remake features only one helicopter, a standard Huey - which does not even get airborne, never mind become involved in the action scenes.
Huey in Red Dawn remake

Red Heat (1985) - a non-sequel follow-up to cult women-in-prison flick Chained Heat (1983), this features an AS-350 that picks up the female spy from a field rendezvous. A German military patrol spots the helicopter and troops open fire as it passes overhead, but the chopper flies away unscathed (which suggests the production could afford a helicopter scene, but not a rotary action sequence).

Red Sands (2009) - this military thriller and supernatural mystery features a couple of Apache helicopters (all CGI) flying over an Afghan city.
Apache gunship in Red Sands

Red Sands helicopters

helicopter landing in Red Scorpion
fake Hind in Red Scorpion

Red Scorpion (1988) - a giant Soviet helicopter gunship is used to help burn an African village, and it also fires rockets to destroy the rebels' military camp. The Spetznaz commando hero (Dolph Lundgren) shoots this huge chopper down with a hi-tech machine-gun (more convincing, at least, than the very similar stunt in Rambo III).

Sikorsky S-62 as Hind in Red Scorpion
helicopter gunship in Red Scorpion

"Red Scorpion also has a fake Hind (a modified Sikorsky S-62/ HH-52A), which I have read is the exact same machine used in Missing In Action III from the year before. In fact, knowing how cheaply some of these movies were made, I would not be surprised if the footage in Red Scorpion was lifted intact from M.I.A. III..." - NATHAN DECKER / IAN VINCENT FRAIN

Red Scorpion's fake Hind

Red Scorpion 2 (1994) - a transport chopper flies the paramilitary anti-terrorist squad to a training camp, ready for the strike against a neo-Nazi group (led by John Savage). Later, the heroes' backup team fly to the bad guys' security compound to rescue their captured buddies.

helicopter transport in ReGenesis TV show ReGenesis (2004-8) - this Canadian drama about investigative scientists was created Christina Jennings. The first episode, Baby Bomb, has a Eurocopter AS-350 A-Star used by the chief scientist (Peter Outerbridge) for air transport to the site of an epidemic.

The fourth and final season begins with an episode titled, TB Or Not TB, which sees an A-Star helping cops chase down a runaway patient across farm-lands.


Agusta A-109 in Reign of Fire

Remington Steele helicopter

Remington Steele (1982-7) - this popular TV detective series of romantic comedy adventures, stars Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, with very occasional use of helicopters. In first season episode Steele Trap, our sleuthing heroes fly in a Bell 206 JetRanger to an island off Baja California, and in Steele's Gold, a prospector arrives by air (another JetRanger) at the old western style town for a showdown finale.
Bell 206 JetRanger in Remington Steele

The Rendlesham UFO Incident (aka: Hanger 10, 2014) - this British sci-fi movie, shot in pseudocumentary style with a found-footage framework, includes a sequence with one Agusta-Westland AH-1 Apache (Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow), circling over the forest. The Apache explodes in midair before its unconvincing crash 'n' burn effects.

In the climactic scenes, other military helicopters whiz across the screen, in a flurry of cheap CGI, when alien ships launch from the US airbase.

Repo Man (1984) - this cult movie debut by director Alex Cox features a Bell 407 in its climactic sequence. Aboard the helicopter, a gunman shoots one of the repossessed car drivers. The chopper also appears in the finale with the flying car.

Reptilian (aka: Yonggary, 2000) - this Korean monster movie follows the tradition of Godzilla with a blockbuster-sized adventure produced on a modest TV movie budget. It has brief use of stock footage but most of its scenes with military helicopters are cheap, wholly unconvincing, digital effects. A busy squadron of Cobra gunships launch rocket and missile attacks on the gigantic resurrected dinosaur, Yonggary, that easily destroys eight helicopters before the rest are recalled to base.

Cobra gunships attack, in Reptilian
Chinook helicopters airlift, in Reptilian

Later, a Chinook transports a team of jet-packed flying troops into battle against the fire-breathing, people stomping, city-smashing creature, yet elite airborne rangers fail to stop its rampage. After Yonggary's become an oversized superhero, and finally defeated a second monster, it takes a flight of 16 Chinooks to airlift the big reptile safely away from the city. It's an extremely silly film with some terribly wooden performances, and lots of obvious CGI work, but still quite good fun, overall.

Rescue Dawn (2006) - Werner Herzog's drama of POW survival and escape from captivity in Vietnam is based on a true story about a pilot shot down over the jungle, and the movie features several helicopter sequences, with US military Hueys used for search and rescue behind enemy lines, including the climactic flights to safety, and from the Army hospital to the American warship.


A-Star in Resident Evil: Afterlife


damaged helicopter in Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) - a spin-off animated movie that's more closely based on a video game source than the live-action films, this 3D CGI features a helicopter (not clearly visible) taking a team of heroes to the rooftop of a VIP lounge at the quarantined airport. There's also a Black Hawk type at ruined bio-labs, and one A-Star chopper departing from a cliff-top with the hero in the closing scene.

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) - this sci-fi horror movie sequel, directed by Russell Mulcahy, features an Aerospatiale AS350-B2 Ecureuil (operated by South Coast Helicopters), used by Umbrella corporation bad guys to get from their Nevada hideaway to dustbowl Las Vegas. There's also the brief appearance of a Sikorsky CH-53 (S-80) Super Stallion - possibly all CGI work - which airlifts a cargo container packed with infected undead to ambush the heroes.

airlift in Resident Evil: Extinction
A-star helicopter

During the climactic scenes, Alice (Milla Jovovich) organises the survivors' assault on the desert base, so that Claire (Ali Larter) can steal the A-star helicopter, and lead their escape to Alaska.
[Thanks to Bill Hiers for these screen-shots above.]


Resident Evil: Retribution

Return of Swamp Thing helicopter
The Return Of Swamp Thing (1989) - in this monster movie sequel, that is based upon a series of comic-books, the villain uses a Bell 206 JetRanger to search for the creature.

Return Of The Man From U.N.C.L.E: The Fifteen Years Later Affair (1983) - this TV movie reunites the stars of 1960s spy-fi series. There's a Hughes 369HS (MD 500C) used in the prison breakout sequence.

The helicopter circles the prison yards and it hovers very low, so that a bad guy can grab onto the landing skids and be airlifted away from custody.
Hughes 369 helicopter in Return of the Man From UNCLE

Return of the Man From UNCLE: The 15 Years Later Affair helicopter action

The chopper reappears briefly a couple of times; once as background detail for a confrontation in the desert and, after the action-packed climax, the same helicopter is the villain's getaway vehicle from a T.H.R.U.S.H. base in Libya.
MD 500 getaway in Return of the Man From UNCLE

Return Of The Saint (1978-9) - this TV series stars Ian Ogilvy as Simon Templar, the hero of Leslie Charteris' novels. Only one season of 24 episodes was produced for this revival. Episode 11, The Imprudent Professor, features an Aerospatiale SA-341 Gazelle, in action scenes that involve a motor-yacht.
Gazelle action in Return Of The Saint

The Revenant (2009) - this sci-fi horror comedy about vigilante vampires includes CGI for JetRanger and A-Star patrols through the city's night sky in its climactic scenes.

Bell 206 landing in The Rig
The Rig (2010) - this monster movie set on an oil-drilling platform features some Bell JetRangers and LongRangers parked on the airfield in pre-titles sequence. Later, after a storm has cleared, a survivor is picked up by a Sikorsky S-76A which lands on the rig's helipad. That's followed by a Bell 407 flying from the mainland airfield, but (in a stupid continuity error) when this chopper reaches the platform, it's become the S-76A again.

Both the 407 and the S-76A have the yellow and black livery of operator PHI, Inc.

Right At Your Door (2006) - in this low-budget drama about terrorist attacks on Los Angeles, a JetRanger flies over and later circles bombed areas. There's also stock footage of a Sea King helicopter that marks the arrival of military forces.

The Right Stuff (1983) - superb epic docudrama from director Philip Kaufman, based on Tom Wolfe's book about the early years of NASA and famous American pioneers of the Mercury programme. US Navy rescue helicopters pluck the heroic astronauts to safety, when their various space capsules splashdown in the ocean.

"This movie has a lot of helicopters in it. These include three SH-3G Sea Kings from aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea for the recovery of the space capsule at sea. These were a bit of a flub as Sea Kings hadn't even flown in 1958, when the scene was supposed to take place. As well, the US Army loaned the production a dozen UH-1 Hueys." - NATHAN DECKER
The Right Stuff

R.I.P.D. (2013) - this fantasy-comedy movie is like a supernatural version of Men In Black. In the first action sequence, Boston cops get air support from a state police Eurocopter EC-135, which circles above the heroes during their raid on a warehouse.

Moments later, the chopper is seen hovering motionless in the scene where time is frozen as the hero ascends into his afterlife.
R.I.P.D. helicopter

time does not fly in R.I.P.D.

During the big finale, as apocalyptic forces attack the city, there is a TV news chopper (Agusta-Westland AW-109E Power) that flies through a darkening sky. While it circles above the Commonwealth building, this helicopter is hit by a street-cleaning vehicle that is lifted into the sky by cyclone winds.

We see the chopper crumple in mid-air but there is no on-screen crash.
helicopter crash in R.I.P.D.


Screaming Mimi - Riptide

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) - reinventing a sci-fi movie franchise with CGI, this restarts the epic in near-future San Francisco.

When the smarter apes escape from captivity, there's a California highway patrol helicopter (a Bell UH-1 Huey) which pursues the free apes onto the Golden Gate Bridge. A cop aboard the chopper fires his machine-gun at the ape's leader, but super-chimp Caesar throws a chain into the open cabin, and then a gorilla jumps onto the front of the helicopter, sending it out of control so it crashes and burns on the bridge.

Another big chimpanzee shoves the helicopter's wreckage over the side and into the bay.

Rizzoli & Isles (2010) - this TV show is a comedy drama about a cop and a doctor in Boston.

Season five's episode, Bridge To Tomorrow (2015), has a US Coast Guard helicopter, a MH-68 Stingray (variant of Agusta A-109), flying over the harbour.

Long Ranger lands in Road House
Road House (1989) - in this movie, villain rides in a Bell 206L Long Ranger to his lakeside mansion, and tells his pilot to fly low over a neighbour's farm across the lake, just to spook the horses.

RoboCop (2014) - this is a remake of Paul Verhoeven's SF action-horror made in 1987.

The movie's first sequence, set in Tehran, has a TV crew endangered in the attack by suicide-bomber terrorists, during which an 'XT-908' aerial drone - an unmanned craft of 'flying-wing' design with enclosed rotors (perhaps inspired by stealth craft like Boeing's X-45C Phantom Ray project), swoops down and fires at enemy gunmen on top of a residential block.

Later, there's a Eurocopter AS-355 TwinStar (with three cameras attached), used by Novak's TV show. The helicopter flies over Detroit police HQ.

Finally, the corporate villain plans to escape from justice in his Eurocopter EC-130 transport but, just as the helicopter approaches the roof-top heli-pad of OmniCorp tower, the hero cop appears to arrest the bad guys, and the chopper pilot veers away from the building.
drone copter in RoboCop

TwinStar helicopter in RoboCop

The Rock (1998) - renegade US Marines (led by Ed Harris) fly helicopters to land on the disused island prison of Alcatraz, where they hold civilian sightseers hostage, and threaten to bomb San Francisco with chemical weapons. Later, three other military choppers bring an anti-terrorist squad (led by Michael Biehn) to rescue the prisoners and save the city.

Rocketeer (1991) - in this period comicbook style adventure movie, the spectacular finale has a gyro-plane, as Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn) flies to rescue of the hero and heroine, picking up both with a rope ladder to save them from atop the airship Hindenburg as it burns over Hollywood.
gyroplane in Rocketerr

Rodan (1956) - "in this Japanese monster movie, the defence forces use a Sikorsky (S-51) H-5 to scout the volcanic crater, where the monster and his mate have made their lair." - BILL HIERS
helicopter in Rodan

Enstrom F-28 in Rollerball

Rollerball (1975) - - in this futuristic SF drama, there's a corporate helicopter (an Enstrom F-28, rarely seen in movies) that flies the hero (James Caan) from Houston to his private ranch.

Later, the same orange helicopter is used as transport just for his luggage, while the champion travels with his team, instead.

After the Tokyo game, there's an MBB Bo-105 medevac flight, transporting a comatose player from hospital.

The Enstrom helicopter is seen again, landing at the ranch to bring the hero's ex-girlfriend for a romantic reunion.
Bo-105 in Rollerball

Rollin' With The Nines (2005) - in this British 'gangsta' movie, the featured police helicopter is a Eurocopter AS-355 TwinStar.
police helicopter in Rollin With The Nines

Roujin Z (1991) - this Japanese animated movie is a sci-fi comedy featuring a helicopter flying through treetops while in city-wide airborne pursuit of a runaway robotic hospital bed on a monorail track.

The Royals (2015) - in the first episode of this TV sitcom drama, about a fictional trendy family, the drunken princess is flown safely home, in an Agusta A-109S Grand (Castle Air's G-MCAN reg.), from a night-club in Paris, and we see the helicopter landing in London, just in time for breakfast.
Agusta Grand in The Royals


Hoodlum helicopter in Royce


Twin Huey in Rules of Engagement

Runaway (1984) - Michael Crichton's SF thriller about defective and sabotaged robots has Tom Selleck's cop hero reveal that he's afraid of heights - while aboard a helicopter on his way to deal with a faulty farm machine.

The police chopper is a Bell 206-L LongRanger with its rear side windows painted-over white to make the back of the cabin an enclosed space that's safe for the phobic techno cop.

In a later scene, there's a Hughes 500D helicopter that takes off at night from a rooftop heli-pad.
Bell 206 LongRanger in Runaway

Hughes 500D in Runaway

Runaway Train (1985) - an escaped convict (Jon Voight) is trapped aboard an out-of-control loco in this superb action movie. The authorities use helicopters to track its progress.

The Running Man (1987) - Paul Michael Glaser directs this sci-fi satire about convicts forced into gambling with their lives in a violent TV gameshow. A helicopter scene occurs early on, when a police pilot (Arnold Schwarzenegger) refuses orders to fire upon civilians from his heavily-armed gunship.

Rush (2013) - this docudrama, about Formula One motor racing in the 1970s, features a Bell 206 JetRanger in an early scene at a New York race-track. Near the end of the movie, the loser leaves the Japanese Grand Prix track in a different Bell 206.
Bell 206 in Rush

police helicopter in Russian Roulette
Russian Roulette (1975) - in this routine political thriller, a Canadian cop (George Segal) becomes tangled up in a plot to assassinate the Russian premier while on a visit to Vancouver. For the hotel rooftop finale, the featured police helicopter, a Eurocopter (MBB) BO-105LS, is damaged by gunfire.

RZ-9 (2014) - in this low-budget sci-fi actioner, there's a CGI sequence of a quad-copter drone with machine-guns used by the military to enforce martial law in the USA. When it fires at the rebel hero, he zaps it with a laser weapon.