I have gotten clearance from the boss to consider an upgrade to my current ship (Safari). At 61 years old and a cancer survivor I figure I have more flying years behind me than in front so I need to quit waiting. Our mission is to leisurely tour the country (USA) from 500' AGL.
I own and fly a Conquest II so I have quite a bit of turbine time and multi engine (4000 hrs +) but only 350 hrs of helicopter time, and a Commercial Rotorcraft rating.
Because I will only be flying 100 hrs or so per year operating expenses will not vary significantly between any of my potential purchases. I am considering R44, B206, MD 500/369 and Enstrom 460B. I am trying to learn as much about each as I can. So some questions to the group.
1. Where can I find out the differences between the various 206 models? ie. B. BII, BII,III BIII. I don't have any need (in think) for a Long ranger.
2. What is true cruise speed and fuel burn for each of my choices. Real world not simply the factory numbers.
3. Comfort level for long trips. We are not in a hurry but don't want to cramp up on the way.
4. Where do I go for training for the turbine options. R44 is easy.
5. Is Air Conditioning worth the expense. Weight should not be a problem. Located in Kansas and spend a lot of time in Texas.
Any help is appreciated.