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Ga. Chopper

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  1. 500pilot, your comments on the lamiflex bearings are incorrect. The calender life on the lamiflex bearings is 5 years, not 2 years. The time begins when the sealed bag is opened for installation, not 2 years after manufacture. They do not "go out much quicker", they last the full 5 years and are under warranty. They cost about $1500 each, not $2000 each. You do not "have to do lots of track and balance because of them". Enstroms do not require the blades to be balanced, only tracked. If an Enstrom won't stay in track, it is usually due to a worn out component elsewhere in the rotor system. My Enstroms have stayed in track for the last 2 years. The oil leaks can be eliminated by replacing the old dried out oil hoses. If they are older than 10 years, they become dried out and brittle from the heat of the turbo and start leaking. I own 2 Enstroms, a 280C and a F-28C-2. I am a factory trained CFI and mechanic on Enstroms. Otherwise, 500pilot's other comments are correct and well written. Hope this helps.
  2. Dennis Kenyon also performs the same routine in the Enstrom piston and turbine models, and it is available on DVD. Or, you can go to the Enstrom website and download an abreviated version of Dennis Kenyon's routine: click-on "media". Thanks for the link.
  3. Be very careful with these people, a friend of mine was scamed and paid full price for an OH-6 which he never got. As a result, Nayler got convicted and spent 2 years in a Georgia jail; and has recently returned to Florida. From reading the posts on this thread, it sounds like it could be the same people and they may be back to conduct business as usual! Let's hope that these people are not the Naylers.
  4. PhilPrice, I think that the "A" models initially had the tail rotor blades facing to the right instead of to the left of the airframe, am I correct on this? I was told that this change along with the wider cord blades was for improving tail rotor effectiveness. I also believe that the "A" models can be modified to face the other direction as on the subsequent models. Is this all correct and which side are you tail rotor blades facing? Thank you for your responses. ::cheers::
  5. pairoboots, The Enstrom by far has much better tail rotor authority than Robinsons or most light helicopters that I know of, although I can not recall the crossswind limitations at the momement. Downwind taxi while turning is the only time I have encountered approaching the limits. I have hovered and hovered-taxi with a 20 knot direct crosswind component without running out of pedal. I have also demonstarted a 30% loss/recovery of normal opearing rotor R.P.M. while in a hover, (350 R.P.M. down to 250 R.P.M. and back to 350 R.P.M.); where I did not run out of left pedal as I recovered with the application of maximum manifold pressure and without touching down on the ground. How many helicopters do you know of that can do that? I do not know of any! My fellow Robinson friends are really amazed whenever I demo this with them. Edit: The next time you hover an Enstrom, take notice of the position of the pedals, they are almost neutral versus the left pedal being applied. This gives a good indication on how much reserve left pedal is available. ::cheers::
  6. croos-eyed, It takes a couple of hours to learn how to properly use the cyclic trim, otherwise the controls do feel heavy and possibly out of rig. You must be very pro-active and be able to anticipate trim requirements, then it will become intutitive and second nature. The bottom line is, you make all initial control inputs with trim first instead of vice versa. Once the proper technique clicks-in, you will be an advocate for the excellent stability characteristics of the Enstroms. In smooth air, I can set the trim on the cyclic for "hands-off" plus never touch the throttle/collective in forward flight. Combined with the big compartable seats and cabin, this is like crusing down the interstate in a big Cadilac! pairoboots, those colors are a tough choice but with a 280FX........................ I would go Red!
  7. Paioboots, Glad to hear that you got to fly the 280 FX and the 480B. Everything you said is right on, these are solid flying machines, especially when you've mastered the proper techniques. As you said, full touchdown autos are a non-event, just as I recently performed for the examiner on my CFI check-ride. ::cheers::
  8. Pairoboots, I have not ever heard of Enstrom transmissions making metal when new, but I don't know everything either. I would check with a couple of Enstrom service centers or the factory just to make sure. If you call the factory ask for Buyard DuPont, he is the Enstrom expert on this topic. When I attended the Enstrom factory maintenace school, that issue was never discussed and my 1980 Enstrom transmission has almost 1200 hours TT without any history of making metal. Best of luck with your choice, IMO both machines are the best piston-powered helicopters currently produced.
  9. PhilPrice, I agree with your procedure and that will help ensure that you do not end up with a "stuck open" exhaust valve due to an inadequate cool-down. A stuck open exhaust valve can cause piston/cylinder damage as well as cam lobe damage, (read very expensive overhaul). A good cool-down will also help to prevent "thermal shock" to the aluminum cylinder heads and help eliminate cracks from developing around the boss for exhaust valve. I cool the engine down as you do for the CHT's plus an addtional 2 minutes for the turbo-charger. This is to prevent oil coking which will damage/seize the bearings in the turbo-charger.
  10. pairoboots, The turbo-charger's EGT and fuel flow are easy to manage with the mixture control, plus it will become second nature as you have stated. After the engine is started, I initially set the mixture to a "ball park" setting and then I fine tune the mixture using the EGT and fuel flow in the hover. Hovering is where you will generally encouter the highest EGT and manifold pressure. After transitioning thru ETL, I set the manifold pressure to about 30" for the climb with two people onboard and the EGT cools down slightly. In cruise flight, I set the manifold pressure anywhere from 25" to 30" depending on how fast I want to cruise and then I might fine tune the mixture again but not always. The maximum manifold pressure for my engine is 36.5" whereas I think it is 38.5" for the F1AD, so you do have plenty of reserve power in all phases of flight for any of the turbocharged engines used in Enstroms. It seems if you initally set the EGT in hover, it is usually fine for all other phases of flight since you are using less power. The Enstrom POH states the maximum EGT for flight is 1650 degrees F, this limitation is primarily for the turbo-charger. I think that is too high of a temperature to lean the mixture to, since it can easliy cause a cooked turbo-charger or burned exhaust valves. I never exceed 1550 during winter flying or 1450 in the summer since it seems to also keeps the cylinder head temperatures and oil temperature in the "green". I have a GEM, (Graphic Engine Monitor), installed in my F-28C-2 and highly recommend one for everyone who owns an Enstrom. It monitors each of the four cylinder's EGT, cylinder head temperatures and turbo-charger EGT. This gives you a total overall picture of engine's operation and will show the first indication of an impending problem. It will allow you or your mechanic to troubleshoot for: a fouled or dead spark plug, a plugged fuel injector, proper magneto timing and many other impending failures beginning to occur in any cylinder. I once noticed that one of the cylinder's EGT suddenly increased during cruise flight and quickly found it was caused by an intake leak. I would have not known about this if it were not for the GEM and this condition would have eventually caused a burned exhaust valve or cylinder damage. So far I have 1200 hours TT on the original engine and airframe. The cylinders were all top overhauled at a 1000 hours mainly due do the age of the engine, which is 25 years old. I think the main reason that this engine has been doing well so far is because of the GEM, it allows you to effectively operate/monitor the MP, EGT's and CHT's. Plus a proper engine cool down ensures longer life of the cylinders and turbo-charger. If the weather holds up, I will take the CFI check-ride next week. Good luck with your Enstrom!
  11. When I went to the Enstrom maintenance school, we were told that the HIO-360-F1AD was a big improvement over it's predecessor, the HIO-360-E1AD utilized in the earlier "C" model Enstroms. The newer model engine has a stronger crankshaft and camshaft, enabling it to handle the higher RPM's, loads and stresses which allow the engine to make it to the recommended 1500 hour TBO. Lycoming did not initially incorporate the turbocharger on the earlier engine, whereas Enstrom installed it on the engine. Latter on, Enstrom asked Lycoming to desgn a stronger version of this engine and to also incorporated the turbocharger into the factory design. This is how the engine evolved into the F1AD model series. The owner of an F-28F attended the same factory maintenance class that I was in, and his engine had more than 1500 hours TT. We were all told by the Instructor that he could operate it beyond the reccommended TBO if all the vital signs, (i.e. compressions, metal in the oil, etc.), were with in the established tolerences; since the "1500" hour TBO is a recommedation and not a requirement. I have also talked with a few Enstrom maintenance shops and police departments that have a lot of experience operating/maintaining this engine and I have been consistently told that the engine makes it to TBO without a problem. The critical key to the engine's longevity is proper operation and engine cool-down at the end of every flight. I do not know much about the DIA's used in the Schweizer's other than it is also a stronger built version of it's predecessor used in earlier Hughes 269A models.
  12. PhilPrice well stated the issues with the swashplate: 1. Proper tracking. 2. Moisture/corrosion damage if the mast cover is not installed while outside during rain 3. Mechanics properly checking for the need to re-shim the swashplate due to the above items, during 100 hr/ annual inspections. The first year I owned and learned to fly my Enstrom I had full insurance coverage. Since a 100 hours in type, I now only carry liability without hull coverage. Since my ship is 25 years old and is not worth as much as a new one, I can can absorb the cost/loss of the ship. However, I am about to take the CFI check ride and will have to raise my coverage if I decide to instruct. I feel much more confident instructing in an Enstrom than an R-22 or Schweizer 300, it has a higher inertia rotor system, more stability and is built more robust. I personally like the manual throttle better than the correlator, but would like having an electronic governor. I do not like some of the characteristics of the correlator druing initail liftoff and landing. I find the manual throttle easy once you have logged about 4 to 5 hours of takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern. After I have transitioned thru ETL, I set the climb power from 28 to 30" and never touch it again until entering the approach; the MP and RPM's will stay set for the entire climb and cruise phase of flight. Once you have learned to "hear and feel" for the proper engine and rotor RPM's, and have mastered proper use of the cyclic trim; you are truely part of the machine and a much better helicopter pilot with excellent situational awareness. That's why I think the Enstrom is a better initial trainer than a Robinson.
  13. pairoboots, I agree with you and flingwing206. Both the 280Fx and the R-44 have their pros and cons and I think these are the two best piston powered helicopters that are currently available. The useful load on both helicopters is about the same, although I would be careful about putting 4 people in the R-44 especially at high density altitude. With the turbo-charged Enstrom, you can still pull full mainfold pressure above 12,000 ft density altitude which should provide for a higher "Hover out of ground effect" altitude. I have owned and operated an Enstrom F-28C-2 for the past 5 years and I would say that your major concern for the 280FX is to ensure you get proper maintenace, especially since there are less available service centers than there are with Robinsons. I am a factory trained Enstrom mechanic and perform all of my own maintenance, I have noticed cost of a annual inspection is about the same on both ships, but Enstrom has the cost advantage on compariable replacement parts. For example, a set of 3 new main rotor blades from Enstrom are cheaper than a set of 2 main rotor baldes on a R-22, plus there are no hour life limit or calender life limit for the Enstrom blades since they are "on-condition". A few of my friends at the local airport have R-44's and we have swapped out time in each others ships. I would say that the initial transition to the R-44 might be a little easier since it has a governor and hydraulically powered controls versus the Enstrom's throttle correlator and cyclic electric trim system. But I think the Enstrom has better "hands off" stability, especially once you have learned to properly trim the cyclic. Both ships have high-inertia rotor systems but the Enstrom is a bit higher and I think that is one reason why there are generally very few injuries or fatalities when one goes down. Enstroms have about the best safety record in it's class. As far as looks are concerned, I think the 280 FX is the best looking piston-powered helicopter made, it looks more like a turbine-powered ship.
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