The Queen Gives Prince William And Kate Middleton £8 Million Luxury Helicopter...

The Queen Gives Prince William And Kate Middleton £8 Million Luxury Helicopter [LOOK]

By Daily Magic on June 21, 2014
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Prince William will be drooling more than son George after the Queen treated him and Kate to a new £8million helicopter.

The luxury Agusta A109S Grand was built in 2008 and has no previous owners.

It can stay in the sky for over four hours before it needs a refill and boasts a maximum speed of 180mph – for when Wills needs to race home to change the nappies.

The plush helicopter comes complete with Her Majesty’s crest, its own marking G-XXEC and leather seat coverings, of course.

It will be an efficient way for William – who turns 32 tomorrow – and Kate, also 32, to zip between official engagements so they can spend as much time as possible at home with Prince George.

Although the Duke of Cambridge is a qualified helicopter pilot with the RAF, it is unsure if he will pilot the Agusta himself.

Air we go: Agusta A109S
Air we go: Agusta A109S

The new aircraft – manufactured by Anglo-Italian company AgustaWestland – has been leased out by the Queen and will be used to ferry around other members of the Royal Family too.

The Agusta will be based alongside Her Majesty’s other private helicopter at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

A royal source said: “The word is that this new chopper will be used mostly for William and Kate, although other family members can use it too.

“But with William and Kate stepping up their official duties in the next few years it is expected they will spend a lot of time in it.

“At the moment the Queen has her helicopter which is used by other royals but sometimes there is also a need to hire a different aircraft.”

Daddy cool: Prince William in Sea King helicopter
Daddy cool: Prince William in Sea King helicopter

It comes after Prince Charles and Camilla faced a terrifying mid-air drama when their royal helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in May 2013.

The flight had been in the air for just 15 minutes and heading for was the Hay-on-Wye Festival in Wales when the pilot suddenly made a diversion to Denham Aerodrome, Bucks.

The in-flight scare was blamed on a technical fault.

The new helicopter will be paid for by the Sovereign Grant – public funds given to the Monarch by the Government every year. For this financial year, the sum is £37.9million.

Hats nice: Queen at races today
Hats nice: Queen at races today

A spokesman for the Queen said: “It has been leased for a fixed number of hours per year.

“It has been leased in this way because it offers good value for money and because it provides for better safety and security than taking a diverse number of short term leases.”

Agusta Westland A109S helicopter

 

Plush: Inside the new helicopter
Plush: Inside the new helicopter

Max Cruising speed: 289 kph (181mph)

Max range: 859 km (537miles)

Max endurance: 4 hrs 32mins

Weight: 3.2 tonnes

Capacity: 2 pilots, 7 passengers

Length: 13 metres (42ft 6ins)

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