Hello to all,
My company and I are looking into replacing our Huey Frankenstein fleet with the AW119Kx.
Currently our huey can carry around 280-300 gallon with 2 hours of fuel. The koala would need to match this at least. Based on preliminary findings i believe it can.
I had the opportunity to fly a koala that was constructed for use for offshore ( floats, vip package, life raft, etc.) i think it weighed in at 1800kg which they said was due to the config. (between the salesman and the pilot, everyone was using kg which wasnt beneficial to me (i wanted hard numbers than my general math conversion in my head) i cant seem to find a reliable source on a base weight for the koala besides wikipedia. the Leonardo website doesn't have an empty weight i can use.
I had the opportunity to fly a 2009 model for a demo and overall i was impressed with the helicopter. The one big factor i had was the use of the SAS/ Force Trim system. The need to press down a button for the manipulation of controls was new to me to say the least, but it seems to me it would be a unnecessary burden during a firefighting mission. (for X/C i can see it a pleasure). When asked if i could turn it off, the Leonardo team said i could, but made it seem like a big deal (like there wouldn't be a reason too, i disagree). i was looking for more of an "absolutely, no big deal." But anyhoo.
Is there a maintenance risk factor when turning off the force trim system? is this considered a big no no by the manufacturer? i would like to get a hold of the maintenance manual to find out for myself but ill rely on another's expertise for the time being.
As far as i know it would be the first firefighting koala in the US. Spain and other European countries use them but i would like someones take on it both for flying and as a firefighting platform.
thanks in advance.