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Which Kit Helicopter to buy and why?


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Poll: Which Kit Helicopter to buy and why? (22 member(s) have cast votes)

Which brand?

  1. Rotorway A600 Talon (1 votes [4.55%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.55%

  2. Rotorway Exec 162F (3 votes [13.64%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.64%

  3. Safari Helicopter (7 votes [31.82%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.82%

  4. Vertical Aviation Technologies Hummingbird 260L (2 votes [9.09%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

  5. Another brand (9 votes [40.91%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 40.91%

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#1 errece

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 21:13

If you were going to buy a Kit Helicopter just for Hobby which one would you buy and why? what are the cost of maintenance and overhaul? does flying your own kit helicopter counts as timebuilding towards a private or commercial license?

Thanks
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#2 Rick McWilliams

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 21:40

The Mosquito XEL is a very cool single seat helicopter. Also check out the helicycle small turbine helicopter. Building an airplane or helicopter is a big project. Most builders are not fliers.
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#3 adam32

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 22:35

None...buy a certified ship...

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#4 R22139RJ

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 23:06

I have seen the Helicycle fly, it looks like a blast to fly. When it fires up, it sounds amazing.
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#5 SafariHelicopter

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:16

This is a thoroughly biased opinion - take a look at the quality of the SAFARI. Experimental helicopters with a history of safety and dependability are a viable choice for a pilot wanting a personal helicopter. The maintenance costs of a certified ship put it out of reach of many pilots, keeping them from enjoying what the pro pilots do every day.
Delane Baker
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Edited by 67november, 22 April 2010 - 13:40.
edited for content.


#6 rick1128

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:00

Personally I wouldn't buy a kit and fly it. While the time counts, the safety of some of these kits concerns me. Especially the Mini 500. At Sun & Fun, I looked at the Rotorway and the Safari. On both, you have a weight you have to move, depending on if you are solo or have a passenger.

#7 yzchopper

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:27

Personally I wouldn't buy a kit and fly it. While the time counts, the safety of some of these kits concerns me. Especially the Mini 500. At Sun & Fun, I looked at the Rotorway and the Safari. On both, you have a weight you have to move, depending on if you are solo or have a passenger.


There is a lot of flight schools that require you to balast under the left seat in the R22 when you fly solo so it will fly level as if there is a passenger sitting there. So whay would be the difference here with the kits.
I have seen the Helicycle and talked to BJ Schram the founder before he passed and it is a well designed helicopter for a kit.
I have talked with several owners of the Rotorway and they all like the way it flies. The only complaints was it is small for a large person which makes it weight limited like the R22.
The Mini 500 is a death trap if purchased and built like the original. If you can make the mods and upgrades to it like a turbine and a better gearbox it may be a great kit.

I know nothing about the Baby Belle (Safari) so I can not comment other than it looks like it would be fun to fly but it is really expensive for a kit. You could buy a nice high timed R22 for the price of a Safari kit.
I cannot comment on the Talon 600 either as I have not researched that kit.
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#8 delorean

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 21:20

None, buy a certified one......unless you're single, with no family, and don't have to worry about life insurance.

But the Hummingbird is the closest thing you can get to certified in a homebuilt. It was designed, built, and tested by Sikorsky, it just never made it to type certification. That's pretty good in my book.

#9 adam32

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 21:40

Yeah, I forgot about the Hummingbird, but I think the last nice flying one for sale was like $200k or something crazy like that...

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#10 cherminator

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 23:05

My pick would be the Mosquito. They even offer a turbine model. Rotorfx will build a brand new turbine model for you for $46,500. complete (according to their website). Lot's of cool videos of them on Youtube.

#11 Goldy

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 23:18

Since you do not yet know how to fly, I might suggest you only look at ships that can fit two full size adults.....just a thought.

The hummingbird and the safari come the closest to what I would buy, but for the price there are plenty of certified ships for sale.

Edited by Goldy, 02 May 2010 - 23:18.

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#12 rick1128

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:50

There is a lot of flight schools that require you to balast under the left seat in the R22 when you fly solo so it will fly level as if there is a passenger sitting there. So whay would be the difference here with the kits.
I have seen the Helicycle and talked to BJ Schram the founder before he passed and it is a well designed helicopter for a kit.
I have talked with several owners of the Rotorway and they all like the way it flies. The only complaints was it is small for a large person which makes it weight limited like the R22.
The Mini 500 is a death trap if purchased and built like the original. If you can make the mods and upgrades to it like a turbine and a better gearbox it may be a great kit.

I know nothing about the Baby Belle (Safari) so I can not comment other than it looks like it would be fun to fly but it is really expensive for a kit. You could buy a nice high timed R22 for the price of a Safari kit.
I cannot comment on the Talon 600 either as I have not researched that kit.


I was not talking about keeping the helicopter laterally level. These weights are moved from nose to tail and back. It appears they have very narrow CG ranges.

#13 Goldy

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 20:28

I was not talking about keeping the helicopter laterally level. These weights are moved from nose to tail and back. It appears they have very narrow CG ranges.


A lot of the smaller and lighter ships have fairly narrow CG ranges. Just look at the R22 IFR as an example. I always thought we should just STC a 10-30 pound weight that mounts to the rear of the left skid....that would help a ton in W&B ! Especially for guys pushing the 240 seat limit or flying solo.

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#14 rjl2001

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:14

Well I just added a vote to "Other", and will also vote for the Innovator Technologies Mosquito kits. Even though I also really like the RotorWay International A600 Talon, I guess it depends if you're looking for a one or two place ship. But from what I've found researching online, the Mosquito looks to be a lot of fun while being safe and relatively affordable at the same time. The build looks to me as if it would be a little bit easier for a first timer than something like a RotorWay. Then again there are also a good number of built/used RotorWays already for sale. As with anything definitely do your due diligence and research which kit you plan to get. For the RotorWay I recommend contacting this guy: AirMark Helicopters. The Safari Helicopter looks to be the more substantial of all the above, and uses a 'real' aviation engine. The initial price looks to be quite a bit more with the Safari though.

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#15 r22butters

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 19:12

......unless you're single, with no family, and don't have to worry about life insurance.


Well, that's me. So I guess I would buy the Mosquito. It looks to be one of the cheapest, however, I would only buy it for 'time building'. If I could afford to really 'own' one, I would definitly stick to the "certifed" ones! ;)
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#16 errece

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 00:58

And how much are the maintenance costs of a certified helicopter?

I found a 2002 R22 with 1630TT on it for the same price of a new Rotorway A600 Talon for example, but how much are the maintenance costs for the R22 on a annual basis? (let's assume 100-200 hours of flight per year)

#17 apiaguy

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 18:14

good question on the maintenance errece...
I'd bet if you bought the r22, you'd spend less on maintenance for the final 580 hours before overhaul and you'd have a helicopter that was probabally worth MORE than the talon at 580TT.

#18 adam32

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 18:58

And how much are the maintenance costs of a certified helicopter?

I found a 2002 R22 with 1630TT on it for the same price of a new Rotorway A600 Talon for example, but how much are the maintenance costs for the R22 on a annual basis? (let's assume 100-200 hours of flight per year)


I'd say $100/hr for an R22. 100-200hrs a year, does any Rotorway out there even have that much total time? Hillers/Brantleys are also fairly cheap and they are certified so you can at least make some money with them...

Can you get insurance on an experimental?

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#19 Jsta22

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 23:14

After extensive research into this same thing, Id choose the helicycle.. Turbine Powered, and from owners Ive talked to, Stable, Reliable, and proven design! Downside is One Seat, so strictly a time builder for me I guess.. But id love one!
Then Again, I have owned a few Waverunners and Jetskis, And always found someone who I knew or met along the lines that was up for flying in pairs.. Makes it more fun to go places if there were two of you and Two Machines.... Anhow.. I'd Go Helicycle

#20 Whistler

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 10:26

I personally think this one is nice.  very luxurious and much cheaper than the listed models.  and it will get you to the same destination just as quickly.

 

http://tinyurl.com/km2zrzf






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