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Would you fly in a Schweizer?


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The Robbie's only problem is that it's NOT a trainer. It was intended as an efficient, inexpensive, reliable two person helo. It succeeds brilliantly in it's proposed purpose. Unfortunately it's also the victim of it's virtues...

 

The 300, on the other hand is a trainer, and a pretty good all-around helo besides.

I'd fly either without worries. Was I still teaching, the 300- hands down. I'm showing my age in preferring the 269B as a trainer.

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I've done all my training so far in the 300CB (and a little in the 300C), and I have no complaints. Then again, I don't have much to compare it with, as the only other helicopter experience I have is an hour in the R44.

 

However, all my experiences so far, including what I've heard from my instructors (many of whom are rated on both the 300 and the R22) and on this forum, tells me that the Schweizer is a great trainer. They seem able to handle anything a low-time student can throw at them.

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I fly in one twice a week. They are the perfect trainer. I hovered with reasonable success in my first hour.

 

After 25 hours, things are still relatively easy. I don't have to watch the rotor RPMs like a hawk during autos, I can just judge by listening and concentrate on my spot.

 

If my breakfast was a little too big, we can still fill up with fuel and not be at the ragged edge of MGW.

 

Soon, I'll probably be in the market for my own private helicopter. Since I'm learning in a Schweizer, it makes me more interested in owning one. HOWEVER... I don't think I want to fly around at 85 kts for the rest of my life, so I'll be looking at Enstroms and older R44s.

 

That's my only complaint. It's hard to go fast with the aerodynamics of a beach ball.

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And more. Every modern helicopter should have rrpm governor as a standard feature, times of twisting your hand should be long gone.

I'd have to agree with you, with one notable exception: Training helicopters!

 

When you fly with a manual throttle, you are forced to learn how cyclic, collective and pedal inputs affect the RPM. This could be really useful during a governor failure. Also, for everyday flying, I think it's a nice bonus to become more familiar with what happens to the power settings when you're moving the controls around.

 

Same thing that goes for using a GPS unit during training, in my humble opinion. If you learn to navigate the hard way, you are much less likely to be in trouble when the GPS says good night.

 

I'm repeating myself here, I know, but I like this saying I once heard. It originates from the military: "Train hard, fight easy!"

 

::rotorhead::

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I think the question was: Would you FLY....?? Not would you train. There is a difference, i think.

That's a question of semantics. Training is flying too. However, if "just flying, not training" is the qualifier, I'd agree with you, as I stated in my above post. The Schweizer is made as a training helicopter, after all.

 

Flying work is different think than training and learning to fly. Here is just one example from where i live: If you are behind thousands of raindeers running in every possible direction, between trees in marginal weather, strong wind, almost always tailwind (it's Murphy's law, u know ::devil:: ) gusts and staff, WELL WORKING governor reduces your workload a lot. And that's important, when you have to get the work done, not only fly the helicopter.

Again, I agree. As I said, when you train hard, the "real" flying becomes easier. And doing the kinds of aerial work that you describe here, you need all the edge you can get (definitely including governors)!

 

I don't think we disagree as much as we might seem to... :cool:

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Finnrotor, if I was honkin' around hard, moving stock or something, I'd  want a governor too. In day to day ops, I'm listening to the machine anyhow, so I listen for engine change and check and adjust. It works fine and even my students caught on.

In other than extreme industrial apps, the governor in a recip is just one more thing to screw up.

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Wally brings some experience worth consideration folks.  Personally, I prefer to fly with a governor... but I want to be able to fly without one.  Practicing the occassional governor failure in the Robbie does NOT make you proficient at throttle management!  Even though the correlator in the Robbie is probably better than most, throttle management takes finesse.  Fly a B47 with sloppy linkage for a while... then, you learn RRPM management with collective instead of throttle.

 

Don't over rely on your governor!  As good as the Robbie's governor is, it won't do everything for you.  Even in an R44, a max performance take off will require a little more throttle in advance... the governor can't keep up, nor can it anticipate.  Hopefully, CJ will weigh in on this, but the governor will also mask carberator ice.  Even if you're busy in the cockpit, you should get to know your machine better.  Listening to the engine may help you detect problems before an indicator light... then, you are prepared.  When you fly without a governor for a while, you learn to listen the the engine RRPM because you can hear the change before the ERPM indicates that change.

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Finn,

 

Don't turn a friendly discussion into something it is NOT... this isn't a political debate.  Where I live and where you live has no bearing on the comments we make as professional pilots.  I offered a different perspective.  You said...

i really don't have time to listen noises
I simply believe that aircraft engine sounds CAN be important and that they shouldn't be overlooked.  No need to make mountains out of mole hills.  Nevertheless, your other points are well-taken.

 

RD

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Oh, i'm not American so i shouldn't propably comment on anything at all. There's just no way that someone else who doesn't even speak perfect english could know anything at all. Or have any experiance.

I'm not from the USA either. I actually share borders with you, as I'm born in Norway and live in Norway. That doesn't seem to disqualify me from throwing my opinions (sensible or stupid) around in this forum. Oh, and don't worry about your English! I've seen far worse in my time!

 

RD is right. Let's not become make something big out of this. We may disagree on some minor points (although I think you and I are in almost perfect agreement when it comes down to it, considering what's been said earlier), but that's what I like about this forum: We can discuss things and speak our minds without being verbally assaulted. This is, I'm sorry to say, not the case on many other Internet forums I've visited.

 

So please don't disappear into the background, Finn! We need all the Scandinavians we can get in here! :;):

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A governor is to a piston helicopter what an automatic transmission is to a car. It reduces the workload, but greatly reduces your amount of proactive control.

 

When you fly the 300C/CB/CBi on a regular basis, you learn to use the throttle and collective together to fine-tune what the machine does. The throttle and attendant RPM control give you a far finer control of torque and lift than you can get holding onto the R22's pitch-stick (and I've got plenty of time in that wee beastie too). You can also bring your RRPM down in cruise flight to save fuel.

 

I'm not knocking the governor any more than I'm knocking automatic transmissions - for certain situations a stick-shift or manual RPM control are just extra work, but if you want the nth degree of control over your helicopter, there's no substitute for the twist-grip and an aircraft built to use it.

 

Pure joy having no power limitations and no carb heat in the CBi - very fun little test to wrap the power from 12"MP in a rapid descent to 28"MP and a 1500'/min climb while keeping the RRPM exactly at the top of the green. Also for a pick-up to die for, get light on the skids with the RRPM in the low-mid green, then just gently squeeze on a bit of throttle - that helicopter will float off the ground like a hot-air balloon rising in to the morning air.

 

No matter how hard I twist that big ol' grip, though, there's no way I can catch those darn Robbies in the pattern, except on climbout - only there is it "advantage, beach-ball!" Oh yeah, I can autorotate down faster too! Whee!

 

Definition of endurance: doing the long filed IFR as a CFII in the 300CB. Definition of amusement - terminating the final circle-to-land VOR-A approach of aforementioned 2.7-hour flight with a 180 full-down auto. Even an autopilot gets bored...

 

IMHO, iron beach-ball or no, you will never be more physically connected to a helicopter than in the 300 series. So it's not "would you fly the Schweizer" (hey guys, it's spelled S-C-H-W-E-I-Z-E-R, by the bye), but more like "what will they have to offer me to stop!"

 

Maybe a Comanche?

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Didn't Hughes originally developed it to compete in light reconnassence (not sure about spelling) helo competition for U.S. army???

Hughes developed the OH6, which became the H500 series, as a Light Observation Helicopter for the US Army.  The 269 was originally a commercial model, I believe, but it was used extensively as a trainer as the TH55.  I learned to fly helicopters in the TH55, and I still remember it as being a good trainer.  Flight school was, for me, the best time I ever had in the military, by far.  I would fly a Schweizer if I had to, or if I could do it for free, but flying Sikorskys pays better and feels more secure.

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I have no idea why a Schweizer/Hughes was designed the way it was. It is certainly not a good point A to point B helicopter. But it is in my opinion the best trainer ever made. Remember, this is 1960's technology and is still being built today and may be built for decades to come. The fact is , it is great and it works.

If you were to ask them, I don't think the family and loved ones of the young man I found in a Search & Rescue afew weeks ago would really care that I was flying an old Hughes helicopter. It got the job done!

Boy, I'm glad I got that off my chest!

Fly Safe,

TH55

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Anyway, whoever designed it, and to whatever operation, didn't really seem to know what AERODYNAMICS means....

 

What makes you say that?  If flies, doesn't it?  Speed apparently was never an objective.  It will go fast enough to blow the windshield inside into your lap.

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Ahh, the joys of an enegmatic question.

 

"Would you fly a 300CBi vs R22".

 

Yes!

No!

Maybe!

It depends!

It depends on the definition of "better!"

 

So let's look at missions:

- Primary training: 300CBi

- Commercial training: either

- CFI training: 300CBi (full-downs and throttle/RPM management. Of course if you are planning to teach at an R22 school, then R22)

- Instrument training: R22 (unless there are weight issues, then 300CBi)

- Cross-country (see previous re: weight): R22

- Photo work: 300CBi (big doors, no sills, very stable, lots of room for photog's junk)

- Survey: depends on speed/range/equipment required

- Mustering: 300CBi - hey, it's faster than a cow, and the blades don't come off!

- Rides: either. There's no seat-weight limitation on the CBi, but the R22 is easier to get in/out of. The CBi has a much better view.

- Frost/pollination/drying: either

- Escaping from secret spy trains in Russia: R22!

::rotorhead::

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Well, Finn, I don't need to turn your head. Enjoy flying the R22! And I'll be happy to paddle out of your way as you fly majestically by.

 

Just so you know, here in tropical Minnesota, our CB can be a little cold-blooded, but if you know the right voodoo moves it'll usually crank up pretty quick.

 

Our CBi starts instantly, every time (unless someone ham-fists the priming/starting process egregiously). Today was a tad chilly, 10F (what's that about -12C).

 

Aw heck, I just went and re-read your earlier posts. Training isn't flying? What makes the flying you do in the R22 so very different (I am forced to wonder)? Why am I even responding to such prattle (bacause I can't help it, it's my nature)?

 

Flying is flying. Yep, the Honda Civic is a better car than the Toyota Tacoma, but it's a worse truck. If you motor either one of them down the road, it's still driving.

 

So the original question was "would you fly in a Schweizer"? And the answer seems to be an near-unanimous "YES", especially for missions where safety, robustness and stable handling are preferred to speed, low fuel burn and push-button operation.

 

Perhaps if your mentor Frank had stood up at the beginning and actually discouraged the use of R22s as primary trainers, the aircraft would have a better reputation in the industry. But instead, he encouraged it - forced it, actually, by requiring all Robinson dealers to offer flight training in those early years. The results, as they say, are history - mystery rotor divergances, SFAR 73, Pathfinder insurance, and the resurgance of the Schweizer.

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Flingwing206,

 

 Eloquently said!!!!!

O, I forgot, there are R22 drivers reading this. Well said!!!!

 

This is like arguing the difference betwteen a Ford and a Chevy. Fords are best BECAUSE I SAY THEY ARE. Hughes /Schweizers are best BECAUSE I SAY THEY ARE. The bottom line is everyone has a right to their opinion no matter how wrong it is.

 

Kudos to the person who started this thread. I haven't had this much fun since the last time I flew my Hughes.

 

Fly Safe,

TH55

 

ps: Flingwing206,

    I will be headed your way after the first of the year. Jerry and the boys do my annuals at FBL. Maybe we could get some guys together for afew beers.  ::cheers::

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First, off, Finn, I wish you all the best in the work you chose (or chose you). Yep, it's the H/V curve here too, but more commonly know as the "money curve", as in the deeper in it you fly, the more you get paid. So I certainly hope the donk stays strong for you, fellow aviator!

 

Hrrrm, however. Flying with a tailwind near reindeer or with a student is still flying with a tailwind. I would suspect there are three major reasons the R22 is employed so pervasively in mustering work - it is inexpensive (to purchase and run), it is mechanically reliable (at least until the rotors come off), and it has a super-sharp tail rotor, meaning a pilot well versed in the R22 can handle a pretty good wind. (The Schweizer, well it just doesn't have the tail rotor, you'll run out of left pedal in certain situations.) Of course, one muses at the reasoning behind pushing such a lightly built aircraft like the R22 to its limits on a regular basis, as again the results speak for themselves.

 

So stay healthy up there, and keep letting your superior skill save you from your perhaps less flawless judgement. Yep, the R22 has a H/V curve too, and you are the one choosing to fly it in there. It doesn't take any particular skill to get there, but it takes a lot of skill to get out without an engine, and sometimes no amount of skill will do it. In the curve, lucky beats good every time, so stay lucky!

 

(PS, you aren't any better off inside the curve in a Schweizer, that's why I choose to get paid less and fly safer - I have no desire to find out if I can beat the odds)

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I flew the TH55 for IERWAC trianing at Fort Rucker. Lots of fun and I saw it do endless touch downs or crash downs as we called them without fail. I am sure they took a lot of work to keep them going. The aircraft Identa Tag said built by Hughs Tool Corp Aircraft Division. I have not flown a piston in about 15 years. Last time was a Hiller 12E hunting coyotes. If you want to learn throttle control, try catching up to Mr. Wyle E Coyote in a 12E. I use lessons learned IE. power management, thinking ahead, machine noise, rotor rpm, vibration, trany strain, tail rotor presure and overall feel daily in turbine ops. I have never flown in an R22 or 44. No need to. What ever you do, know your machine by feel, sound, vibration etc. For when over a fire with the radio blaring, sweat dripping, eyes burning, ash flying, looking down the line timing the drop. You will be better for it. Happy Holiday
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Regards the H/V curve, and the 300, and I'll not pretend to speak to this issue in the Robbie-

 

My first civilian position was as a CFI in a 300. My employer was "experienced," and flew a bit with me before he cut me loose- even though I was a hot-rock ex-TH55 driver. By experienced, I mean he'd learned to fly in a "Wright." We'd been around a bit.

 

To the point, he was showing me what he expected from his instructors, and teaching me (He lived to fly and teach.) one day. In the process, he asked me what I'd do if I had an engine failure, at a hover, at 50 feet?

My answer was, "Fly to survive the crash."

"Hmph!" was his response. Then he showed me how to do it and use the helicopter again. After his demo, we went to 20 feet for my initial attempt, and worked up from there.

I've watched Robbies do some very good autos. I don't think I'd try this, in one. Would you, on purpose?

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  • 7 months later...
Guest 13snoopy
Well, Finn, I don't need to turn your head. Enjoy flying the R22! And I'll be happy to paddle out of your way as you fly majestically by.

 

Just so you know, here in tropical Minnesota, our CB can be a little cold-blooded, but if you know the right voodoo moves it'll usually crank up pretty quick.

 

Our CBi starts instantly, every time (unless someone ham-fists the priming/starting process egregiously). Today was a tad chilly, 10F (what's that about -12C).

 

Aw heck, I just went and re-read your earlier posts. Training isn't flying? What makes the flying you do in the R22 so very different (I am forced to wonder)? Why am I even responding to such prattle (bacause I can't help it, it's my nature)?

 

Flying is flying. Yep, the Honda Civic is a better car than the Toyota Tacoma, but it's a worse truck. If you motor either one of them down the road, it's still driving.

 

So the original question was "would you fly in a Schweizer"? And the answer seems to be an near-unanimous "YES", especially for missions where safety, robustness and stable handling are preferred to speed, low fuel burn and push-button operation.

 

Perhaps if your mentor Frank had stood up at the beginning and actually discouraged the use of R22s as primary trainers, the aircraft would have a better reputation in the industry. But instead, he encouraged it - forced it, actually, by requiring all Robinson dealers to offer flight training in those early years. The results, as they say, are history - mystery rotor divergances, SFAR 73, Pathfinder insurance, and the resurgance of the Schweizer.

Ok Fling, I know this response is a mere seven months from your last posting in this thread, but the statement you make that Robinson "encouraged the R22 to be used as a trainer" just because they required their dealers to offer flight training is just plain wrong. I thought you said you attended the Robinson Safety Course??

In the class I attended Frank explained the reason for wanting all his dealers to offer flight training was to ALLEVIATE the accidents that were occuring because of the ex-military types that were giving incorrect and/or incomplete instruction to Robbie flyers due to the R22's low-inertia main rotor system. He said that he wanted folks who were TRAINED to instruct in Robbies to be the one's instructing in them. To alleviate accidents. It worked, too.

I don't think you need to sell/push the 300. It isn't needed. They are fine ships.

And thanks again for the heads up on the right-hand/left hand question I posed in another thread here. Although it does seem strange that Schweitzer doesn't conform to most other US helicopter manufacturers as far as PIC seating goes. What are they, commies?????  :)

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