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Real-world cost of an Enstrom

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Hello everyone,


I'm going to be in the market to purchase an Enstrom 280, and I'm trying to get an idea as to what I can expect to pay to my maintenance fund.  I plan on making the "deposits" per flight hour and wanted it to be able to cover EVERYTHING involving maintenance (with the exception of completely destroying the bird....I already know how much that would cost).     :)   I do plan on putting extra away for the "non-planned maintenance" as well, but I wanted to see how much other owners/operators pay to keep them running w/o sucking additional $ out of my checking account to do it.  


I'm going to be sinking a ton of money into this plan and want to make sure I've got enough to cover the "down the road" costs of ownership.  Does anyone have any info on this topic?  Maybe even a clever formula that someone has come up with to cover these costs (like, planning on "1% of your purchase price annually" is one I've heard of......but I have no clue if it's accurate or not).  


All info is much appreciated.  Thank you.



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copy of a post from another site from TOT and my reply


Enstom 480

After reading the earlier post, I would like to add a few facts in defence of the EN480. I have flown just about every 480 in the UK, including the earliest one as well as all the latests 480B'S.

Just like every other product in the world,you will occasionally have a fault that needs attention. However I can catagorically state that all of the 480's are the EASIEST, MOST FORGIVING, EASIEST TO LAND, and least likely to "BITE YOU BACK" than any of the other twenty or so types that I fly!!!

480: MTOW 2850LBS, TORQUE 66.5PSI MAX 125 Knots

48OB :3000 LBS.VNE TORQUE 74.5 PSI MAX 125 KNOTS, Passengers total 4 adults, or 5 smaller ones. USUAL CRUISE 100 KNOTS, Light load 110 knots.


Brilliant spot turns on windy days 35 knots!!! B206 17 knots!!

Will land on STEEPER sloping ground than any other heli!

SLOWER ROD in auto than anything else!!

Cheapest turbine to operate!!

22 gallons per hour average.

Last 3 yrs I have flown them approxiametley 500 hrs., major breakdowns:NONE, minor breakdowns: tail rotor gearbox oilseal leaking, faulty engine oil pressure gauge, radio interference on 480B caused by maingear box electric cooler pump motor.



Very early ones have poor door fasteners

Very early one have cyclic shake about 95-100knots

Collective can "want to rise" if not adjusted properly.



[Last edited by TOT on 15th April 2004 at 10:16]





from me

i must agree with tot[who has also flown my 480s] i have owned 2 x 480s 1 s/h and 1 new


and have nearly 500 hrs on them i found them a joy to fly ,safe and very reasonable in cost ,the bills i got were substantially less than some of my friends 206/500/341s


parts wernt that bad and the doors they were a problem but when the modded doors from enstrom came i didnt have a problem at all


enstrom staff take time to speak with you ,they help out if you have a problem and a vist to the factory is a must i bought a new 480 they treated me as if i had bought the factory great company great people , and a fantastic product ,[i have also had 4 piston enstroms too ] sadly i wanted more seats so i changed otherwise i would have stayed with the product.


note to my knowledge no person has ever died in a accident in a enstrom product in the uk [europe too i think]



steve atherton






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I have 200 hours in my 1980 F-28C2 piston model and it is a very safe helicopter. One of it's safest features is the ability to recover from a low main rotor RPM condition without loss of tail rotor effectiveness. For example, the normal main rotor RPM is 350 and it can get as low as 250 RPM in a hover and still be recovered without loss of tail rotor effectiveness.


I don't know of any other helicopter that can experience a 33% loss of main rotor RPM in a hover and still be able to recover without a loss of control. Maybe there are some others that can, but I would imagine there would be very few.


It is also very stable helicopter with excellent autorotation capabilities.

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