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Bell 206 or R44?


alexc
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To aeroscout, MD500 is also a candidate. Maybe I should have phrased as: used turbine heli vs R44. I dont have the plan to buy right away, it is still the very first step to get some expert opinions on directions.

 

It seems to me that R44 is hard to beat, but based on my own research, these turbine heli's op cost werent that much higher either. Maintannace and potential hidden issuse are where I dont have clue.

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Go with the 206 its a way better machine no matter how you cut it. I would not buy any kind of piston powered aircraft for that kind of money today. The reason is that some loud mouths and the EPA want to ban and are going to ban Aviation Gasoline 100 LL. And nobody has been able to come up with a replacement yet. That is something you really need to look at if you are going to lay down 700K of your hard earned dollars on an aircraft. Jet -A is here to stay, and they make a lot of it, Avgas is made just by one Refinery. Its going to go away. Rolls Royce as a turbine engine out that will power aircraft using the Lycoming IO-540's engines types. Its not going to be cheap to convert. But they would not have gone thru the R+D and the certification process if they didn't think Avgas was going away.

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I dont have clue.

 

Pretty simplistic question to a rather complicated endeavor.

 

Serven-hun-K to purchase eh? What do you have to spend on DOC's? What do you plan on doing with the machine? Do you know who is going to do the maintenance? What's the labor rate for said maintainer? Is your maintainer a factory authorized 145 facility or just a mechanic? What about fuel availability and quality? Insurance cost? Do you know what the spare parts availability is? Lead times for unavailable parts? Will your maintainer already stock spare parts and required special tools? What about the reputation of the airframe & engine manufacturer's customer service? Hangar space fees/lease/rental? Do you plan on ground handling on your own?

 

My suggestion would be to hire/find someone with a clue. It may not only save you a ton of cash, but potentially your life as well.

 

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Well if a 500 is an option..... go for that! HArd not to be biased. Its a race car. No hydraulics, lower operating costs and usually a lot less to buy than a Jet Ranger. Piston vs turbine, it would just depend on what you want to do with it. But you cant beat a fully articulated rotor system. Low G push overs arent an issue in a 500. I fly a 500E everyday from sea level up into the moutains 10,000ft +.... its truly a pilots helicopter.

 

In a 500, are you getting a C20B, C20R motor? Does it have the n2 lock up issues? 4 blade or 2 blade tail rotor? Make sure your fuel bags arent having any issues. Strap Packs are good. Obviously your going to need to take a Mech with you who is familiar with them, and not just any A&P you run into either.

Your going to want someone to a complete logbook historical research on it and make sure it wasnt used to sling Christmas trees in a former life or you may be buying new blades! Air Filter kit for about $35000 will save you tons in the long run on engine issues and will lower your operating temps significantly.

I know a couple guys both looking to sell 500D's and I know the mechanic who works on them. They are located in CA. I think they were sitting right about $500-$600K

 

But like Spike said, depending on where you are located you need to get with a maintenance shop and have someone go over what its going to cost to keep that thing running. Either way. Shop rate where I am is about $100 an hour. A no squawk annual is going to run you about $6000-7000 on a 500D

Edited by Flying Pig
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Those are indeed the important questions, which is why I started with Bell and Robinson products. I have a friend who is running a small flight school around here. He likes and is faimilar with bell products, but Robinson heli is really hard to beat. I will check more details myself as well as collecting some opinions here. I use it only for fun and adventure flying, not for business purpose, so If it is too complex and not worth the trouble, I can just rent helis from his school (of course, school charges a premium for those troubles).

 

 

Pretty simplistic question to a rather complicated endeavor.

 

Serven-hun-K to purchase eh? What do you have to spend on DOC's? What do you plan on doing with the machine? Do you know who is going to do the maintenance? What's the labor rate for said maintainer? Is your maintainer a factory authorized 145 facility or just a mechanic? What about fuel availability and quality? Insurance cost? Do you know what the spare parts availability is? Lead times for unavailable parts? Will your maintainer already stock spare parts and required special tools? What about the reputation of the airframe & engine manufacturer's customer service? Hangar space fees/lease/rental? Do you plan on ground handling on your own?

 

My suggestion would be to hire/find someone with a clue. It may not only save you a ton of cash, but potentially your life as well.

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Those are indeed the important questions, which is why I started with Bell and Robinson products. I have a friend who is running a small flight school around here. He likes and is faimilar with bell products, but Robinson heli is really hard to beat. I will check more details myself as well as collecting some opinions here. I use it only for fun and adventure flying, not for business purpose, so If it is too complex and not worth the trouble, I can just rent helis from his school (of course, school charges a premium for those troubles).

 

Renting is ALWAYS going to be cheaper than owning unless you are making money off of the machine. The cost of ownership vs 100-200 hours a year of use is not worth it. Do the math. Get an idea of what acquisition/maintenance/insurance/hangar/operating costs are going to be (as everyone else has said) and then see how much it would cost to rent the aircraft for 200 hours. I can almost guarantee that renting will be cheaper.

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Those are indeed the important questions, which is why I started with Bell and Robinson products. I have a friend who is running a small flight school around here. He likes and is faimilar with bell products, but Robinson heli is really hard to beat. I will check more details myself as well as collecting some opinions here. I use it only for fun and adventure flying, not for business purpose, so If it is too complex and not worth the trouble, I can just rent helis from his school (of course, school charges a premium for those troubles).

 

Looks to me like you're in a good position to purchase and lease it back (lease-back)to your friend's school. This way you can offset your operating costs while still having the machine available for your own personal use. Depending on how much the school flys the machine, you may find this far cheaper than simply renting. Many, and I mean many, folks do it this way.

Edited by Spike
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I can guarantee it would be cheaper to rent...do the math. 200hr @ $500 (tad high for an R44) is $100,000, so he could fly 200hrs a year for 7 years for JUST the acquisition cost. But for $700,000 he could buy 2 or 3 R44's so maybe he could take 2 of them and do a lease to different company...

 

 

Oops, Spike beat me to it, but yeah a leaseback is a good idea too.

Edited by adam32
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Since many many folks do it, he already have both 206 and Robinson in his school. :)

 

Looks to me like you're in a good position to purchase and lease it back (lease-back)to your friend's school. This way you can offset your operating costs while still having the machine available for your own personal use. Depending on how much the school flys the machine, you may find this far cheaper than simply renting. Many, and I mean many, folks do it this way.

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Where are you going to be flying? Is this just an airport to airport hopper or are you planning on taking it to some adventurous places? Are you loading it down with camping gear or is it just you and a briefcase?

 

I'm with you on this one. I would figure out exactly what I would be wanting to do with my helicopter first, and then go from there to decide which one would suit those needs best.

 

The 44, 206, and MD500 are all helicopters that will fly from A to B and all good helicopters, but there are small differences that make each one more suited for a particular type of flying than the others.

 

Just my two cents.

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I don't think you can buy 2 or three R44s for $700,000. Probably just one and have a nice chunk of change left over. I believe they run close to $425,000 new.

 

I have no idea what a new Robbie costs and don't really care! lol! But I know pretty nice used ones can be had for well under $300,000. And if he's only flying 200 hrs a year he could get one with 1000hrs remaining and fly it for 5 years. There's a Raven I out there right now for $235,000 that includes a 2200hr airframe overhaul and the engine still has 1300hrs remaining...

 

Or better yet...he should get an old Huey and outfit it with mini-guns...just for looks of course :)

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You could blow $700 large on a slow helicopter with no payload or you could buy one hell of a nice airplane. You can't buy much of a helicopter with $700,000. Buy an airplane and rent the helicopter. A helicopter is a total waste of money unless you can also afford the airplane. Landing in your friends backyard will be pretty exciting at first. Then you will have the reality of enormous maintenance bills and insurance for something that is ridiculously impractical. If I had that kind of money to spend on a toy, the absolute last thing I would buy is a helicopter.

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Flying Pig talked about slinging Christmas trees. I've seen those operations, they look like the loads are far below the sling load max weights. Maybe the large swing distance from pickup to dropoff is hard on the rotors ? Or is there another reason tree slinging is bad for a helo ?

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