In films like Apocalypse Now and Black Hawk Down, helicopters fill the screen and sky like locusts. But seeing dozens of private helicopters – flown by civilians – in perfect formation is as rare as it is impressive, and earlier this summer, 25 Robinson helicopters joined up over Russia in a successful attempt to set a new world record.

The video above shows several of the Robinsons taking to the air from Heliport Istra in Russia’s Bunkovo Village (check out the custom white tiger paint job on the one getting airborne at 0:20) followed by footage of the cluster passing overhead in a humongous diamond formation.

The helicopters all appear to be of the larger R-44 and R-66 variety, as opposed to Robinson’s smaller R-22 offering which has a shorter fuselage.

The video below, produced by Guinness World Records, has some additional air-to-air footage of the spectacle. A full list of the pilots and co-pilots who participated is available here.

Training for the record attempt apparently took over a year, including weekly rehearsals. With so many moving parts in such close proximity, the frequent rounds of practice were prudent. Formation flying, whether fixed or rotor wing aircraft, is an art form, and coordinating 25 aircraft is definitely harder than it looks.


Congratulations on a safe and successful world record to all involved!

Photo credit: Top shot gif via embedded YouTube

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