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This articles presents an overview of LEGO rescue helicopters. For a list of sets named "Rescue helicopter" see Rescue Helicopter (Disambiguation).

A rescue helicopter is a specialized helicopter with equipment for rescue missions. LEGO renditions of rescue helicopters are usually equipped with a winch and have sufficient internal space to transport medical personnel and patients on stretchers. Most rescue helicopters belong to the Coast Guard, the rest is part of the EMS or belongs to other unspecified groups.

History

The first LEGO rescue helicopters already appeared in 1973 when minifigures were not yet available. The set contained a Red Cross helicopter that had no internal space whatsoever. Besides the Red Cross markings, the chopper had very little what set it apart from LEGO models of regular helicopters. One year later a different rescue chopper with accessible yet empty interior was released. The first full-fledged rescue helicopter was included in 770 Rescue Set from 1976, which contained the LEGOLAND Minifigures. This helicopter had a large compartment behind the cockpit where a patient on a stretcher could be stored.

The first minifigure-compatible rescue helicopter (6691 Red Cross Helicopter) was released in 1981. The set included a stretcher that could be stored in a spacious area behind the cockpit and could be accessed through doors at the aft and a large opening at the right. Interestingly, another set from the same year that was dubbed 6626 Rescue Helicopter was neither minifigure-compatible nor did it feature any special features. The next actual rescue chopper (6697 Rescue-I Helicopter) was a yellow Coastguard helicopter with an opening at the left and a winch to hoist a rescuer.

6482 Rescue Helicopter from 1989 was the first tandem rotor helicopter and also the largest LEGO System helicopter at its time. It was equipped with a 9V battery block to power its flashing lights and offerend enough internal space for a stretcher with a patient and a medic. In the same year, another rescue helicopter was included in the set 6387 Coastal Rescue Base, but the only feature that distinguished it from normal helicopters this chopper was a winch. A new design appeared in 1993 with 6342 Beach Rescue Chopper, which was an amphibious coastguard helicopter with pontoons. In the following year, a new coastguard base included a small helicopter with winch, similar to the one from the first coastguard base. Another small chopper with a winch appeared in 1998. In the same year, the theme Res-Q was introduced, which featured a lot of sets related to rescue missions. One of those sets, 6462 Aerial Recovery, featured a large rescue helicopter that could once again accept a stretcher. This helicopter had a very futuristic streamlined design unlike earlier models which were overall more round or boxy.

The next rescue chopper did not appear until 2004 as a part of World City and was once again a coastguard helicopter. This was the first one with a twin cockpit in which two pilots could sit side by side. In 2006, with 7903 Rescue Helicopter, the first EMS rescue helicopter since 6691 Red Cross Helicopter from 1981 was released. This helicopter had a very unusual design unlike any previous rescue chopper, but offered enough internal room to transport a stretcher. Another large rescue helicopter (7738 Coast Guard Helicopter & Life Raft) was released in 2007 in the City theme and was the largest LEGO System helicopter set to date. This helicopter contained a twin cockpit as well and featured an electric powered winch.

Design

There are basically two major categories of minifigure-compatible rescue helicopters: first, small one-man choppers that are (at most) equipped with a winch and appear as auxiliary model in larger sets; second, larger helicopters with a unique design that are the main feature of the LEGO set they appear in.

The small helicopters usually have a design that is quite common among other small helicopters. The cockpit mostly has a round or bulbous windshield and is mostly open at the sides, but their are exceptions. There is no other room on board besides the cockpit. The only thing that sets them apart from other small helicopter is a winch, although some do not even include one, such as the chopper in 1896 Trauma Team which had stretchers attached to its skids.

The large helicopters mostly feature a fully enclosed cockpit and an additional compartment behind it, which offers enough room for a medic and/or a stretcher. These helicopters are mostly equipped with winches whose ropes hang from a boom that extends from one side of the chopper. An extraordinary design is the tandem rotor helicopter from 6482 Rescue Helicopter.

Overview

Set Release
year
Theme Notes Organization Picture
6691 Red Cross Helicopter 1981 Town First minifigure-compatible rescue chopper, contains space for stretcher, hatch at the aft. EMS (Red Cross) 6691 Red Cross Helicopter
6697 Rescue-I Helicopter 1985 Town First coastguard rescue chopper, contains winch with boom, small back compartment, no stretcher. Coastguard 6697 Rescue-I Helicopter
included in 6387 Coastal Rescue Base 1989 Town Small one-man chopper with winch. Coastguard 6387 Coastal Rescue Base
6482 Rescue Helicopter 1989 Town / Flight First twin rotor helicopter, large internal space, 9V-block, includes stretcher, hatch at the aft. unknown 6482
Included in 1896 Trauma Team. 1991 Town Small one-man chopper with stretchers on the skids. unknown 1896 Trauma Team
6342 Beach Rescue Chopper 1993 Town Amphibious helicopter, contains winch with boom, small back compartment, no stretcher. Coastguard 6342 Beach Rescue Chopper
included in 6338 Hurricane Harbor 1994 Town Small one-man chopper with winch. Coastguard 6338 Hurricane Harbor
2531 Rescue Chopper 1998 Town (Promotional) Small one-man chopper with winch. unknown 2531-Rescue Helicopter
6462 Aerial Recovery 1998 Res-Q contains winch with boom, enough space for stretcher Res-Q-Team 6462 Aerial Recovery
7044 Rescue Chopper 2004 World City twin cockpit, contains winch with boom, enough space for stretcher Coastguard 7044
7903 Rescue Helicopter 2006 City contains enough space for stretcher, equipped with winch EMS Lego Helicopter
included in 7892 Hospital 2006 City small one-man chopper with a stretcher on one of the skids EMS Hospital
7738 Coast Guard Helicopter & Life Raft 2007 City twin cockpit, contains winch with boom, back compartment with enough space for stretcher Coastguard 7738 Coast Guard Helicopter & Life Raft
2230 Helicopter and Raft 2008 City (Promotional) small one-man chopper with winch unknown 2230-1

Sets without standard minifigures

Set Release
year
Theme Notes Organization Picture
included in 653 Ambulance and Helicopter
460 Rescue Units (US)
1973 LEGOLAND not minifigure-compatible (microscale), no interior Red Cross 653-1
691 Rescue helicopter 1974 LEGOLAND not minifigure-compatible unknown 480-Rescue Helicopter
480 Rescue Helicopter (US) 1975
included in 770 Rescue Set 1976 LEGOLAND "Hand-in-pocket" figures Red Cross 770 Rescue Set
6626 Rescue Helicopter 1981 Town Small set, not minifigure-compatible (microscale). EMS (Red Cross) 6626
610 Rescue Helicopter 1989 promotional (Air Canada) not minifigure-compatible unknown 610 Rescue Helicopter
5866 Rotor Rescue 2010 Creator open in the middle unknown Picture 2

Sets with rescue helicopters

See also

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