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Which Kit Helicopter to buy and why?

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Poll: Which Kit Helicopter to buy and why? (30 member(s) have cast votes)

Which brand?

  1. Rotorway A600 Talon (2 votes [6.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  2. Rotorway Exec 162F (4 votes [13.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  3. Safari Helicopter (10 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  4. Vertical Aviation Technologies Hummingbird 260L (2 votes [6.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  5. Another brand (12 votes [40.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 40.00%

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#21 tradford


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Posted 20 November 2014 - 06:35

The thought of purchasing a solo machine was my motivation to sign up for lessons. I'd never flown a helicopter before, so I was starting from scratch. I told the school owner that I had no intention of getting a license and that I just needed a few hours so I could hover. I had no idea what I was in for. It was really hard and it took a while before I got in the groove and honestly believed I'd ever pull it off. A year later, I was a licensed helicopter pilot with about 70 hours in an R22 and a little bit of luxury time in a 44. All I can say is that learning to fly a helo by the book is a huge experience. I highly recommend focusing on getting the formal training before worrying about how you feed the habit after the fact. I submit that once you're down the road, it will have a profound impact on your opinion of which direction you want to take. Just integrating with professional pilots as you traverse the process is highly educational. Lots of studying, written and practical tests, aerodynamics, weather, pattern protocols, radio comms, navigation - lots of stuff to learn. The chopper is a fascinating machine and just performing a few hundred pre-flights will go a long way towards getting you familiar with the mechanical fundamentals of rotary technology.



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#22 Rich1


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Posted 05 December 2014 - 09:30

Couldn't agree more w Tradford above...NO Shortcuts!

There are probably others in life, but this is one of those critical choices that has very little if any tolerance for error. I'm probably one of those rare breeds that have experience on both sides of the home built v certificated debate.

I was an early kit builder and had the pleasure of being signed off to solo at the factory. I'm pretty adept mechanically and enjoyed building the ship and truly admired its engineering, and I know they have done many great enhancements since its inception.

In the many years since though, I've flown, rented and now owned several certificated helicopters since my early kit days....and I can share unequivocally that knowing now what I didn't know then...is everything.

I have learned that Rotary flight, the engineering, the forces involved in helicopters is extraordinarily complex and attention to detail and safety IS everything at altitude! Looking back I was a good kit builder...but I was clueless of the sheer risk I was taking. If I were a hobbyist, a weekend mechanic, and would be happy mostly hovering around my property, and content with taking only myself solo to altitude only occasionally ...then a kit is fun and may the way to go.

I often say that if I make a mistake fixing my car there's no worry at ground level....however, when we going to altitude, it's a whole different gig.

Like most here, I love these machines...and I know the deep desire to want one in the garage or hangar. It's important to note also that following my kit build I scrimped and rented certificated machines for nearly 20 yeas in order to finally purchase and own my first certificated ship. Worth the wait...unequivocally....worth the margin of safety and peace of mind? Priceless

If I'm planning to be at altitude often, have family and friends at risk with me...then certificated is my choice...every time.

Just my well worn thin nickel for what little it will buy you downtown:-)
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#23 turbo


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Posted 12 January 2015 - 21:56



of the kit helis i think the helicycle is one of the best designs. i own one. 


Ed DARCY 'Turbo'
RV6-A 4,300 hours / R-44 1,100 hours/ gyro SOLD/Helicycle BOUGHT
Stuart, FL /  S Windsor ,CT /  Virgin Gorda, BVI

#24 txrotor



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Posted 04 April 2017 - 16:30

helicycle for sure....its just an amazing machine

Texas Rotorwing Academy was the second operator of Guimbal Cabri G2 Helicopters in the US. We offer part 61 flight training in Beaumont, TX.

#25 tradford


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Posted 13 April 2017 - 05:56

I was flying around in a Beta II last weekend and flew alongside a Helicycle. I had to slow up quite a bit for him to keep up, more so than I would have thought. With a 13 gph fuel burn, it seemed a bit impractical. I will say that the owner (a seasoned turbine helicopter pilot) loves his machine and it is a beauty. I'm thinking that the piston-powered Mosquito is probably more practical. Better fuel economy and cheaper. Turbine does sound very cool!

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#26 RisePilot


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Posted 01 June 2019 - 12:08

I personally wouldn't opt for a kit-built helicopter; only factory built for me.


Whereas a trained monkey can build a plane; I view a helicopter as a little more complex.  Not something I view as suitable for a bloke-in-his-garage project.

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#27 Bryan Cobb

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:57

You can buy an airworthy & flying Brantly for about the same amount as a 2-stroke Mosquito.  It's ugly and noisy but it flies well and is not very temperamental.  You can put 300 hours on it and sell it for the same thing you gave for it.  I had one for 6 years.  




#28 Discap


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Posted 19 August 2019 - 13:54

Can you get blades for these?  I thought they were all basically grounded because of blades coming apart.  I have seen pictures and it is actually pretty impressive how little blade they need to fly.

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