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H300C vs. Enstrom


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300 pros:

cheaper to buy and operate

more nimble control response

more ships in service...available used parts

field maintainable... nothing has to go to the factory for overhaul

utility configuration allows easy maintenance

many accessories and STC's available

300 cons:

low inertia rotor... not as bad as an r22 but things can happen quick... still very easy for training in.

Engine is derated but max power is only available to 4000 feet so if you plan to go high you'll be trading weight for hover ceiling sooner than the enstrom

slowish cruise @80kts...hey it's a helicopter but don't plan any long cross countries at that speed without a sore neck

3 place works ok for short hops.. not more than 20-30 minutes.


Enstrom Pros:

high inertia rotor... safety

Turbo charged... better altitude performance

higher cruise speed

true 3 place cabin

Enstrom Cons:

initial cost will be more and fuel burn higher as well as hourly costs...

more like a tank in response... could be a pro or con depending on personal style

Not alot of ships out there and service centers are few as well.

Gearboxes must go to Enstrom for overhaul

Stupid Lamiflex bearing is 5 year mandatory retirement regardless of time flown

Access is more limited to some components

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I've flown and operated both extensively.


In my opinion the Enstrom is superior to the 300 in just about every way.


From a pilot's standpoint the Enstrom is a far more capable, powerful, and safe machine. The high inertia rotor system make autorotations, even full-downs a non event. The rotor system has so much inertia you can do a hovering auto, put it on the ground, pick it back up and do a 180 degree pedal turn to the left and still sit the aircraft down softly. The tail rotor is extremely effective. I have never lost the tail in an Enstrom... even in 30mph plus left crosswinds. The turbocharged engine makes hovering out of ground effect for photo flights or whatever else you might need that ability for possible. The S300 will not even give you close to this level of performance.


The seating configuration is a lot better too. You can actually fit a pilot and two adult passengers in an Enstrom. This gives you the capability for commercial operations like giving rides where you have to seat two people. An Enstrom is a great rides machine for fairs and carnivals.


Now to the operations side, this is where Enstrom really shines. From an operators perspective there is no comparison to the level of service Enstrom has provided me over the years as compared with Schweizer. Whenever I've needed a part from Enstrom, they almost always ship it out the day I call, and I can get the part the next day. Enstrom almost always has the part you need in stock, I cannot say the same thing for Schweizer.


I'll give you a few anecdotal examples of the differences between the two companies. I was operating a brand new 300CBI, after about 150 hours TT on the aircraft, long story short, it needed a new tailboom because the one that was on it was manufactured crooked. It took 4 months to get the new tailboom, all while I'm losing money and students waiting for this to get resolved. Based on the numerous phone calls to Schweizer it seemed that this wasn't a top priority to them.


On the rare occasion when I've had problems with an Enstrom part, they have bent over backwards to get me the part I needed. I once had a TR gearbox start making metal after it had a few hundred hours on it. While most companies would, if you are lucky, prorate the time left on the gearbox and bill you for the used time, Enstrom replaced the bad bearing and sent it back to me free of charge. I got the gearbox back two days after I sent it back to Enstrom.


Feel free to PM me if you need any more info.

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just have to quantify a couple things....

Both helicopters have VERY similar power to weight ratios..... so unless you are talking about altitude performance above 4000 ft., both machines should deliver similar "power".


Also Galadrium has operated a 300CBI and I believe a 269B.... Neither have the performance/ power/weight ratio of a C model.


Yes, the Enstrom is very capable and fills a niche.... the one spot it is not superior is it's cost of ownership and DOC's compared to the lighter, smaller 300C.


I am a fan of both... just can't REALLY compare them straight across... you'll give up something of one for the other.

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Also Galadrium has operated a 300CBI and I believe a 269B.... Neither have the performance/ power/weight ratio of a C model.


I'll stand by my critique of the 300C vs. turbocharged Enstroms. I've flown every 269 variant with the exception of the 300CB. The C model is the most powerful of the Hughes/Schweizer line. It doesn't compare to what a 280FX/F-28F, or even the F-28C/280C can do. Its not the 300C's fault, it just doesn't have the turbocharger.


True I've never operated a C model Hughes, so I can't speak to the operational aspects of that particular model. But dealing with Schweizer as a company probably doesn't change a whole lot when you start buying parts for a C, as opposed to a CBI.

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