Queen treats Prince William and Kate Middleton to £8m helicopter

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Queen treats Prince William and Kate Middleton to new £8m helicopter
Queen treats Prince William and Kate Middleton to new £8m helicopter


The Queen has treated the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to an £8 million helicopter so they can whizz between official royal engagements.

The Augusta A190S has been leased as it is reportedly thought to be safer to use one aircraft rather than several on short-term lease as checks would then only need to be carried out on one, according to the Mirror.

The Independent reports that it's also more cost-effective than renting other aircraft and represents "better value for money".

The luxury chopper can stay in the sky for over four hours before it needs refuelling, and can reach a maximum speed of 180mph.

Prince William is a qualified RAF helicopter pilot, but it is unclear whether he will get behind the controls of the Augusta.

The prince, who turns 32 today (21 June), trained as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, in 2009. He now carries the title Flight Lieutenant Wales.

Back in 2011, Wills landed a Sea King helicopter on water during the royal tour of the US and Canada.

He quit his role as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey in September 2013 after three years.

He took part in a number of daring rescues in the mountains of Snowdonia and in waters of the Irish Sea.

His team were scrambled 323 times and rescued 298 people during 2013.

Sky News reports that the prince's new Augusta helicopter has already been dubbed 'Heirforce One', after Barack Obama's aircraft.



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