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helicopter or helicycle, why?


spubar44
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I am interested in eventually owning my own helicopter in the future. I was looking at all the options of fairly affordable Helo type aircraft. I like the R22 and one can find one with it's hours almost used up but the cost of the R22 and then the cost of a rebuild counts it out for me. Then i was looking at the rotorway's and then the helicycles.

 

Here is the question?

 

it may just be someones personal preference, but why would someone buy a 40-70K helicycle, when they could buy a rotorway for around the same price that fits two people. I though the helicycle would be alot cheaper but i was really mistaken. Being smaller, one would think it would be. Fill me in here. Not sure i understand. Thanks

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My answer to this is, I have had 7 Rotorway projects, last one was a Scorpion with the 162 engine. I then joined the Rotorway owners forums and learned even the execs have alot of issues. and I am not talking minor, I am talking secondary shafts breaking. engines shutting down when to key the Radio.

 

And the main thing I did not like is the Rotorway engine, you have to turn about 4,700 r.p.m. for flight.

 

I will never own another Rotorway money pit.

 

I have now bought a classic Helicom Commuter Jr. I am restoring, it is almost ready to fly, but I will be selling it once completed.

 

the Commuter is what the Safari helicopters evolved from. they are a welded 4130 steel airframe with a True aircraft engine for power, mine has a Cont' C90-12F engine converted to an 0-200 100 h.p. it uses true main and tail rotor gear box with a true swashplate useing control rods. ( unlike the flex cables the Rotorway uses with a crappy V belt tail rotor drive. I had a Rotorway Exec miss crashing on me at ROC-2006 from Loss of Tail rotor control.

 

the Helicycle new is Turbine powered and they are proving them selves every day as being a very good helicopter.

 

here are some pics of My Commuter Jr. I am restoring and will be up for sale soon.

 

I had bought it to restore for another guy,but as of last night he backed out of the deal,so now I have to find another Buyer.

 

I was building this one up to sell,so I could then buy a Commuter 2B,which is the 2 seat version.

 

anyway,my advice is if you want to fly forget the Rotorways.

 

also, if you ever liked the Mini-500, there is a new company that is now making replacement parts and also installing a 120 h.p. Yamaha sled engine, this engine is going to bring new life to the Mini-500 as a buddy of mine is doing the testing of one of these engines in his Gyroplane,so far 50 trouble free hours.

 

you can pick up an orphaned mini-500 for a song as most people do not know anything about the new company yet.

 

btw my Commuter will be sold for under $30,000 and it is fully licensed, N814S

 

you can see the complete restoration at www.rotaryforum.com

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Edited by Dreamin of a Commuter 2B
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but why would someone buy a 40-70K helicycle, when they could buy a rotorway for around the same price that fits two people.

 

why buy either when you can buy a certified ship for that price

 

http://www.trade-a-plane.com/classified/se...&maxads=100

 

 

http://www.trade-a-plane.com/classified/se...&maxads=100

 

http://www.trade-a-plane.com/classified/se...&maxads=100

Edited by 67november
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An R22 can only take about 400lbs. (pilot+passenger), before the CG gets too far forward. Does anyone know how the helicycles measure up? :huh:

 

P.S. It seems the most commonly misspelled word in these forums is "alot, allot", which is actually two words, "a lot". I find that rather funny. :blink:

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Someone once told me that if you weighed 200 lbs, you couldn't even bring a lunch with you in the helicycle....

 

Its a one place chopper. Not much room, and no payload. Kinda hard to compare to a 22. It is cheep (for our world) to buy and operate, plus its turbine powered.....

 

An R22 can only take about 400lbs. (pilot+passenger), before the CG gets too far forward. Does anyone know how the helicycles measure up? :huh:

 

P.S. It seems the most commonly misspelled word in these forums is "alot, allot", which is actually two words, "a lot". I find that rather funny. :blink:

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Spubar44

 

The first thing you need to consider is that the purchase price may be the least expensive cost in obtaining a helicopter, especially for certified ships. You already discovered the "trap" to low priced high time Robbys and had you been able to accomodate it your ongoing operational cost will be well north of $150/hr and likewise for a Hughes/Schweizer/Sikorsky 269-300.

 

If you can fulfill your requirments with a single seater then a Helicycle is a great little ship. Many people who are positive they need a two seat soon find themselves flying mostly by themselves after giving the family and friends a few rides and really don't need the other seat in the long term. On the other hand you may know now that you will really need a second seat most of the time.

 

If you are looking for a good choice in single seats with reliability and great support check out the Mosquito helicopter line (Disclosure: we are the western US rep for this line), you'll look far and wide to get more bang for your buck (and fun) with operating costs from about $25/hr piston to just over $30/hr for the XET turbine model, see our site for details, videos etc. Usefull load is 240lb for the no license required ultralight AIR and XEL and the experimental XE. Useful load for the XE3 and XET is 290lb so you can definitely bring that sandwich with you on any of them or if you attach the option storage pod take a laptop and change of clothes as well. We can refer to you to several owners who fly their ships almost daily.

 

In the single seat market you will also find the occasional CH7 and many Mini 500s waiting to be resurrected if the new company (Millenium Helicopters) is successful with fixing the past problems. Just be sure if you are getting a used one of any brand that it is very, very thoroughly checked out by someone who knows these ships.

 

We work on and build all of them (ultralight and experimentals) and can can give the run down on each, feel free to call or email and chat.

 

Jay @

Edited by ROTOR F/X
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HI jay, how is Business going? loved the Video ya posted of the Turbine model.

 

I will probably list my single seat Commuter Jr. on your site soon.

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Flying, and I can bring a sandwich. F***, I'm sold :)

 

Hey, you can bring a whole loaf of sandwiches and your favorite beverages, better yet you can even afford them. You have no idea how great that sandwich tastes after meandering down your favorite river or cruising up to your favorite hill top for an hour or so and have only spent a $20 out of your pocket for the experience .. and in your own helicopter that you traded for the that second car sitting in your driveway (hey, the wife can take the bus to work right :) ) ...

 

Jay @

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HI jay, how is Business going? loved the Video ya posted of the Turbine model.

 

I will probably list my single seat Commuter Jr. on your site soon.

 

Been a booming year around here, guess the economy is driving many to look at the other alternatives we have and when they get there are pleasantly surprised.

 

Sounds like you are coming right along on the Jr. - when you're ready send us the info and we'll be happy to list it for you (free of course).

 

The turbine video is definitely a hit - we defy anyone to watch it and not let their pulse rate increase ... you know you want one ...

 

Jay @

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Sounds like you are coming right along on the Jr. - when you're ready send us the info and we'll be happy to list it for you (free of course).

 

The turbine video is definitely a hit - we defy anyone to watch it and not let their pulse rate increase ... you know you want one ...

 

Jay @

 

Jay,screw the Mosquito, if I had the funds, the machine ya'll sell that I have the hots for is the AK1-3.

 

I have watched the development of that machine for a few years now, and all I can say is that is one impressive machine.

 

do you think the company will get them fully certified someday?

 

at any point,the Mosquito is a lot of bang for the buck and autos great,I watched John snyder (sp) put his thru several auto landings at Mentone the year before last and I was very impressed.

 

the MZ-202 looks to be a good power plant.

Edited by Dreamin of a Commuter 2B
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Jay,screw the Mosquito, if I had the funds, the machine ya'll sell that I have the hots for is the AK1-3.

 

I have watched the development of that machine for a few years now, and all I can say is that is one impressive machine.

 

do you think the company will get them fully certified someday?

 

at any point,the Mosquito is a lot of bang for the buck and autos great,I watched John snyder (sp) put his thru several auto landings at Mentone the year before last and I was very impressed.

 

the MZ-202 looks to be a good power plant.

 

Unfortunately certification won't be coming for the AK-1 here in the US. The aircraft would pass with flying colors but the sticking point is the powerplant. While it performs beautifully, Subaru is never going to submit it for certification as an aviation engine so the ship will be staying as an experimental for now unless someone wants to invest major capital in an engine program and re-engineer the drive system to match.

 

The Mosquito is just a lot of pure flying fun. If you want to see someone really enjoy owning a helicopter go to Youtube and search "jerrywsoloflex". Jerry Wilson now in S. Oregon (inventor and owner of the Soloflex exercise machine and possibly the very first national infomercial) finished his Mosquito last spring and now flies it almost every day. He wears a helmet cam and posts his daily flights on YouTube for all to enjoy - dozens are on there to see. He just zips over to the neighbors, around the area, off to the golf course and occasionally to the Hillsboro airport. This man is having the time of his life for sure.

 

Jay @

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Spubar- I bought my Helicycle kit...with the turbine...for $36500. I have to add to that the avionics, seat belt, batteries, and paint job. Very little msc. stuff....I will have no more than $42000 in it. Everyone of my gyroplanes were good investments...but nothing like this Helicycle. There are several guys over 240 pounds flying these....and one of these big boys that supposedly the Helicycle wont fly....went up to over 12300 feet in his. He is approaching 600 hours now.

 

So the rumors of them just holding a sandwich are not valid.

 

I have had two place gyroplanes...and after I gave everyone and their dog a ride...it dawned on me that I was risking my wifes future should say I get killed and injure or kill my passenger as well. I cashed out on my SparrowHawk and bought my Helicycle kit. I have talked to many Helicycle pilots....these are a very serious machine. I could never afford an R22.....and I have heard too many problems with Rotorways.....and I dont want a two seater anyway. Its whatever floats your boat I guess!

 

Stan Foster

Illinois

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Stan, glad you chimed in, Stan has a sweet Helicycle he is almost finished building,if you want to see how one is built go to www.rotaryforum.com and look for his Helicycle thread.

 

it is a very well designed and built machine.

 

also just do a search for helicycles on youtube and you will see many pilots enjoying their machines.

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Here is the question?

 

it may just be someones personal preference, but why would someone buy a 40-70K helicycle, when they could buy a rotorway for around the same price that fits two people. I though the helicycle would be alot cheaper but i was really mistaken. Being smaller, one would think it would be. Fill me in here. Not sure i understand. Thanks

 

Show me just one Rotorway that has ever had enough hours on it to warrant a real overhaul. Most get overhauled because crap breaks on them every 20 hours of hovering. ( I'll be dodging crap thrown at me from the Rotorway group!!. BTW I used to doodle pictures of the scorpion in elementary school...so I do owe it some respect).

 

At least an R22 is a real ship, and can put in some time. I used to fly one that had almost 10,000 hours on it. Unfortunately it finally died when a student was practicing auto's and rolled it, but the ship ran strong up till its last day.

 

The robbie is really the smallest, cheapest, "real" certified helicopter. You can pick up a decent deal with a few hundred hours left on it, fly them off, and then sell the ship as timed out. It really wont cost you that much.

 

Goldy

Edited by Goldy
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Show me just one Rotorway that has ever had enough hours on it to warrant a real overhaul. Most get overhauled because crap breaks on them every 20 hours of hovering.

 

Goldy you are correct, I could not believe how many issues the Rotorways have. even brand new built ones.

 

and then they do not have good control authority and you see many of them rolled over.

 

many times I have read about the pilot making a good autorotation when they had a problem, only for it to go over on it's side after touch down.

 

also tail rotor breakages, secondary shaft breakages, belt slippage, drive chain oil houseing leaks that coused main belts to slip.

 

and of course the Engines have some issues also. my 162 engine would lose it's oil prime if it sat a few weeks, I would have to take the lines off and pour oil into them to get the engine primed. when you have an engine that turns 5,000 r.p.m. ,you want a better oiling system, also my engine had problems with the rocker arms having to be adjusted all the time, sometime at even 1,000 r.p.m. the rocker arm would loosen up enough to jump off the push rod.

 

no thanks I will feel a lot better knowing I have a real aircraft engine behind me now.

 

just go on youtube and you can hear the rotorway engines screaming their guts out to fly in any of the Rotorway videos.

Edited by Dreamin of a Commuter 2B
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An R22 can only take about 400lbs. (pilot+passenger), before the CG gets too far forward. Does anyone know how the helicycles measure up? :huh:

 

P.S. It seems the most commonly misspelled word in these forums is "alot, allot", which is actually two words, "a lot". I find that rather funny. :blink:

 

Wikipedia:

Alot is a town and nagar panchayat in the Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh, India.

 

Alot is home to an ancestral temple of Shiva, which is more than 5,000 years old, and where it is said that Hanuman took rest while picking Sanjivani Booti, leaving a footprint still visible.

 

Every year on Kartik Purnima Alot holds a mela for a livestock market.

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Doesn't look like there's much room in those Mosquitos for a radio/transponder. Can you fly them in controlled airspace? :huh:

Actually the three experimental models, XE, XE3 and XET come with a complete panel and the XET has a full color EFIS with moving maps, TAWS, AHRS, voice alerts, GPS, flight data recorder, HUMS and a long list of additional features. (Disclosure - we are an installing dealer for this equipment from MGL Avionics). Simply add your favorite comm and xponder - we recommend the low profile 6 watt V10 also from MGL that conveniently fits in a standard 3 1/8" panel hole. There is plenty of room in several locations to install this equipment. It is very "space concious" as it is specifically designed for all ultralight, experimental and sport aircraft (see attached)

 

The two ultralight models are configured with the same basic instrument group and although the XEL has the room for it, the maximum weight limit for the Part 103 ultralight category precludes installing any additional equipment. Many P103 pilots carry portable comms and GPS for safety and convenience but transponders are not necessary as ultralights are not allowed in controlled airspace anyway.

 

Jay @

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Spubar- I bought my Helicycle kit...with the turbine...for $36500. I have to add to that the avionics, seat belt, batteries, and paint job. Very little msc. stuff....I will have no more than $42000 in it. Everyone of my gyroplanes were good investments...but nothing like this Helicycle. There are several guys over 240 pounds flying these....and one of these big boys that supposedly the Helicycle wont fly....went up to over 12300 feet in his. He is approaching 600 hours now.

 

So the rumors of them just holding a sandwich are not valid.

 

Stan Foster

Illinois

 

Hi Stan,

 

Now here is an example of an incredible build and an extraordinary Helicycle, meticulous craftsmanship and seemingly unending patience for every minute detail. There are literally thousands waiting for the first video and pics of this one flying. Also congrats Stan on passing your checkride a few days ago (as if there was ever any question that you wouldn't). All the best and really enjoy following your project.

 

Jay @

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Stan,

 

that makes sense on what everyone is saying. I see you are in illinois as i am too. I am in the military and just transfered to the chicago land area. I was wondering about you are located, if you were close enough, and it was alright with you, i would like to come and see your heli and talk more about it. Thanks

 

I appreciatte everones input on this subject. I am really leaning away from the rotorways now, sounds like the bad outweighs the good i hear about these things.

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Spubar- I am 100 miles south of Chicago just off I-57. You are more than welcome to come down.

 

 

I have to chime in on the Mosquito that Jay sells. That is one nice little chopper. I have seen it do hover autos. from 10-12 feet.....while the pilots cyclic hand is outside the cabin waving. I have been told they are done at 20 feet ....I just havent seen one. Its a beautiful helicopter.

 

One important thing I may add.....sure....an R22 is certified...and I would love to be able to own one. I just received my helicopter rating...but renting one at $240 an hour ....well....that is not enjoyable at all. Then down in my world....I see many guys flying the Helicycle or the Mosquito and accumulating a lot of hours. I talk to these guys constantly.

 

Its one thing to be flying someone elses nice certified helicopter, and believe me...I envy the ones that do this for a living. But for me to continue experiencing flying a helicopter ...instead of thinking about it...I have to have my own. I will be flying it early next year....and I am really looking forward to it.

 

Stan Foster

Illinois

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One important thing I may add.....sure....an R22 is certified...and I would love to be able to own one. I just received my helicopter rating...but renting one at $240 an hour ....well....that is not enjoyable at all. Then down in my world....I see many guys flying the Helicycle or the Mosquito and accumulating a lot of hours. I talk to these guys constantly.

 

Stan Foster

Illinois

And there it is .... $240 per hour or $24 per hour .. a no brainer. Given the choice (and I have the choice since we have certified ships as well for our flight school) I'll take the Mosquito every single time if its a solo flight. Way more fun and if you're not on the job and are just flying for pure pleasure and enjoyment isn't that the point.

 

Another point to note for those of you who have yet to experience the world of so called experimentals, at least on the heli side, most of these are built with care and precision the certified factories only dream they could achieve. There is not a certified ship on the planet that has the level of detail and attention given to the the Helicycle Stan is completing.

 

And back to cost - for those of you headed towards a career did you know that if you purchase a Helicycle or Mosquito etc. by the time you get to your commmercial at 150 hours you will have saved enough money to entirely pay for the helicopter, all your time building hours and have several thousand left over to celebrate with. And the next day you still have your own helicopter in your hangar/garage that you can fly anytime you like. Got a chart that lays it all out if anyone wants to email for it.

 

Jay @

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The Mosquito and Helicycle are very attractive little machines. It seems that no one flies one of these where I fly. Susie and I are flying about an hour a day, helicopter and fixed wing, we have never seen one. We fly in the vicinity of SZP, VNY, CMA, SBA, LAX, TOR, INZ. The helicopters that I see flying are: R44, R22, H300, Bell 206, sheriffs huey, coast guard dauphin, assorted military, Bell 47, Bell 40?, Schewizer333, BO105, Agusta, KMax, S76, Erricson skycrane.

 

I do not understand it. These machines look like fun. They are very reasonably priced. Every helicopter pilot must want one. I want one.

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