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Helicopter for Yacht Operations?


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#1 Kc135Delta

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 17:30

Hello, again.

I'm in a search for the best light helicopter suited for yacht operations, I need a helicopter to operate off a 130-140' expedition yacht which is still in the design phase. I want to know what pilots prefer helicopter wise and landing pad config.

helicopter wise, we are looking at light turbine (preferably twin turbine). We were considering the Long jetbox (206 long ranger) becuase it only has a 2 bladed rotor head which allows for much easier storage becuase the helicopter will be kept in a hangar. So folding rotorheads or twin bladed is a must. We were also considering the AS355 becuase of it's twin engine qualities. But we prefer the seating arangment of the long ranger due to the fact that it makes deboarding and loading much easier for shuttling large amount of pax to/from the yacht.

any input is appriciated from helipad/hangar design to helicopter choice.

the single engine 206L over water is a scary thought in my mind, even knowing the reliability of turbines.


thanks, drew

#2 Goldy

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 20:16

any input is appriciated from helipad/hangar design to helicopter choice.

the single engine 206L over water is a scary thought in my mind, even knowing the reliability of turbines.
thanks, drew
[/quote]


Drew, I have absolutely zero experience in the world of yacht and helicopter operations. However, I know a few things about yachts, and yachts of this size are better described as "mega-yachts". And I've been known to fly a helicopter occasionally so here goes.

Since the yacht is also for expeditionary use, I think that parts availability world-wide is probably a number one or two consideration. Limiting yourself to a 2 blade rotor system sure limits the number of birds that you could consider. I think if I was spending $10 Million on a mega yacht with built in heliport, I would want more options than a R44 or a 206.

There was a pretty good article in the last year in either Vertical or Heli-Ops magazine on yacht operations. I would find it, and track down the pilot/consultant that was interviewed in the article....and go from there. You have the beam in a yacht this size to handle a larger rotor, I would find a way for that naval architect to make it fit. The resale value alone could be worth it.

2 cents from Goldy

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#3 Kc135Delta

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 20:33

Well if it has a folding rotor head (foldable blades) like the AS350 or 355 has one. Then it dosn't have to be twin bladed.


I have also talked to a naval architect and he has the specs as

length ; 140ft

beam (width) ; 34ft

so if the rotor head dosn't fold and has more blades than just two, then it would have to be less than say 32ft, which I know of nothing that small except the md-500 or somthing along those lines.
  • chris pochari likes this

#4 gft

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 21:25

Simple solution:
Purchase the helicopter that most suits your needs.
Purchase larger yacht to support helicopter.
never fear boys we'll all go to hell together

#5 GLSNightPilot

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 21:25

140 feet isn't that big, and a light turbine helicopter will set you back a million or so, so it's not a minor expense. Add in the maintenance, and you had better be prepared for some major spending along the way.

Many companies have been flying the 206 hundreds of miles offshore for decades. I would suggest putting popout floats on it, just in case, and going with that. It takes up much less room than anything else you can find, even with the blades folded on the others. It's been around for a long time, and the bugs have pretty much been worked out. Parts are available worldwide, because there are so many of them flying everywhere. It's not the fastest, nor will it carry the heaviest load, but for use on a yacht that isn't really a problem. Over very short legs, speed doesn't make much difference, and you can carry a minimum fuel load giving plenty of payload. Get a few drums of Corrosion-X, and liberally coat the insides, everywhere, no matter what model you get. Corrosion in salt air sets in very, very quickly, and you need to prevent that.

#6 joker

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 22:27

If this is a serious project you are taking on, then I'm sure you will have seen this article in HeliOps, by my mate Nigel at HeliRiviera.

On Board The Big Boats - Nigel Watson

It goes through many of the considerations for a project like this. Why not drop him a line. He might be useful...although I'm sure he gets questions everyday, so might be a little reserved with his 'free advice'. Worth a go though.

Joker

#7 Kc135Delta

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 22:41

I wish I could simply "buy a bigger yacht to suit" but every foot that you add onto it costs major $$$. The current one that has been drawn up for me will require twin 850hp diesels and we will only make about 14knts an hour so anyone with basic math skills will notice that it is going to cost major $$$ to run. If I stepped it up to 150' then it was reccomened that I top it out to 1k hp per engine plus add another 2 deckhands to the payroll.

140 is about as big as I can go.

#8 Goldy

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 00:53

I wish I could simply "buy a bigger yacht to suit" but every foot that you add onto it costs major $$$. The current one that has been drawn up for me will require twin 850hp diesels and we will only make about 14knts an hour so anyone with basic math skills will notice that it is going to cost major $$$ to run. If I stepped it up to 150' then it was reccomened that I top it out to 1k hp per engine plus add another 2 deckhands to the payroll.

140 is about as big as I can go.



34 beam is perfect, Enstrom is about 33, so is the EC 135, the EC 120 is a tad shorter..and yes, check out that article..and as far as the engines on the yacht...check out the MAN 1100 HP.

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

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www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
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#9 tft9000

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 06:32

Hello, again.

I'm in a search for the best light helicopter suited for yacht operations, I need a helicopter to operate off a 130-140' expedition yacht which is still in the design phase. I want to know what pilots prefer helicopter wise and landing pad config.

helicopter wise, we are looking at light turbine (preferably twin turbine). We were considering the Long jetbox (206 long ranger) becuase it only has a 2 bladed rotor head which allows for much easier storage becuase the helicopter will be kept in a hangar. So folding rotorheads or twin bladed is a must. We were also considering the AS355 becuase of it's twin engine qualities. But we prefer the seating arangment of the long ranger due to the fact that it makes deboarding and loading much easier for shuttling large amount of pax to/from the yacht.

any input is appriciated from helipad/hangar design to helicopter choice.

the single engine 206L over water is a scary thought in my mind, even knowing the reliability of turbines.
thanks, drew



#10 tft9000

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 06:44

A 206 is a good reliable Machine, 4000plus hours over water haven't got feet wet yet, you have to have floats.

#11 flingwing206

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 08:03

EC120 with pop-out floats - an honest 115 - 120 kts, quiet, lots of room inside, nice baggage compartment, air conditioning, good to start up in the wind, and yes you can fold/remove the blades easily.

BTW, as an offshore pilot, I'd take one engine and floats over two engines and no floats any day. With any helicopter operating in a salt-water environment, expect to spend a lot of time preventing damage from the salt air. Daily compressor washes, regular airframe treatment (the composite tailboom helps), and shorter component lives.

#12 Flying Bull

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 10:04

Hello Goldie,

one point to think of, when do you want the helicopter to operate?
Just, when the yacht is somewhere stationary on anchor - or even, when going through rough sea?
And there is the point, where 2 bladed rotorheads get real problems....
Think about a deck, rolling and pitching, while you try to engage the rotor - or shut it down.
You need a rotorhead, capable of taking negativ g to operate then.
(Even, if you say, only close to a harbour - what do you do, if someone needs urgent medical treatment, say broken leg due to slipping away in rough sea?)

Another point - skids or wheels.
Even so, you can put wheels on skids, to move the helicopter, its much easier done, if the helicopter has wheels right away.
Landing is also smoother, because of the suspension.

So another point to think off.

Unfortunately, a Sea Lynx is a military helicopter - and a little to big for the yacht - but perfectly suited for onboard opertions.
http://www.sfu.ca/casr/mhp4a-1.jpg
http://www.fotocommu...display/3890222
The nice pictures at rough seas seem to be removed :-(

So if you would ask me, evenso I like to fly Bell - I wouldn't go for a Bell with shipborne operations.
Hard to find smal helicopters - a covered tailrotor (fenestron) or high tail rotor would be prefered - for safety reasons
And thinking about restriczions - a "low noise" helicopter like the EC 120 wouldn't be bad, evenso, it doesn't have wheels.

Greetings "Flying Bull"
"Flying Bull" / CHPL - IFR / had...have fun on Turbine-Helicopters :-)
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"There are old pilots and there are bold pilots - but there are only very few old bold pilots....!"

#13 Flying Bull

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 10:27

Hi,

just found a video - fitting this thread...



Thats one reason why you should have a fenestron or high tail rotor....

Greetings
"Flying Bull"
"Flying Bull" / CHPL - IFR / had...have fun on Turbine-Helicopters :-)
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#14 Goldy

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 10:54

Hi,

just found a video - fitting this thread...



Thats one reason why you should have a fenestron or high tail rotor....

Greetings
"Flying Bull"



Todays' Classifieds

FOR SALE- Enstrom 480 Helicopter, great condition, brand new tail rotor and shaft !

Experienced pilot available. Lots of time over water, wearing new pair of shorts.

Whatever happened to lifting off straight up to a hover??

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

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#15 flingwing206

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 12:15

Hi,

just found a video - fitting this thread...



Thats one reason why you should have a fenestron or high tail rotor....

Greetings
"Flying Bull"

This one is being heavily discussed over at PPRuNe - it was apparently an uncommanded takeoff.

#16 Kc135Delta

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 13:12

I understand MD has part delivery problems, but what about the MD600N? only a 27ft rotor diameter.

#17 Goldy

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 16:30

This one is being heavily discussed over at PPRuNe - it was apparently an uncommanded takeoff.



Fling- are you saying the pilot did not intend to take off ? I distinctly heard the change of pitch before lift off as he was pulling power.....either way. damn lucky to be alive.


KC- Don't let Lynn Tilton hear you say that ! I know nothing of the 600, so I'll keep my mouth shut.

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

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#18 Krusty

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 17:12

Twinstar!!! AS355 on popouts add pull to inflate mustang jackets for all. This would be my choice. Good luck!

Depends on who is doing the maintenance?? but the comment by GLSNight dude about corrosion protection is good advice.

Krusty

#19 Scarab

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 18:52

It looks to me like the pilot was starting to bring in power as the deck was pitching up, and accidently took off when it dropped away, timing would be very critical to lift off the deck at the high point of the deck pitching. Lingering in a low hover as the deck is coming up again would be very dangerous.

I'm glad to see no one on deck was injured, soiled perhaps, but not hurt.
Flying a helicopter is the most fun I've ever had with my clothes ON!

#20 Kc135Delta

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 19:58

Twinstar!!! AS355 on popouts add pull to inflate mustang jackets for all. This would be my choice. Good luck!


I was thinking this but I've got up and around in an As355 and I just don't like it much. Must be an aquired taste.




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