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Hello folks !

 

Just got back from flying the Enstrom 280FX !  I did some training in a brand new 280FX and I was  and  still am very impressed to say the least !  It is a little different to fly at first, mainly the trim system, but after a few hours of flying it you begin to realize it is spectacular !  You can trim it out to where it will continue on its clime out almost unassisted, even on a climbing turn it will continue on if properly trimmed.  It is not hard to learn, the Enstrom was a dream to fly !

 

I also got a chance to fly the 480B under the supervision of the instructor . All I can think of to say is  awesome !

 

What can be done in the 280FX is amazing .  Autos  to the ground totally a non event .  The Enstrom is absolutely my first choice for a personal helicopter.  If you ever get a chance to get some time in a Enstrom 280FX I think you will love it.

 

And also the fuel flow and EGT was easily done at hover  just as  Ga Chopper said in another post

 

In my opinion the Enstrom 280FX is absolutely the Cadillac of the piston helicopters !                      

 

Also the piston models should be available with the new elastomeric dampers before long and the throttle gov. hopefully following soon .

 

Happy  trails

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Paioboots,

 

Glad to hear that you got to fly the 280 FX and the 480B. Everything you said is right on, these are solid flying machines, especially when you've mastered the proper techniques.

As you said, full touchdown autos are a non-event, just as I recently performed for the examiner on my CFI check-ride. ::cheers::

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Hello !

 

Ga Chopper congratulations , glad to here about your check ride! I am actually thinking of maybe getting my CFI, wish me lots and lots of luck !

 

I wish everyone had a chance to fly an Enstrom for several hours.  It really took me several hours to realize how great a ship it is.  At first I did have trouble with the correlator , but after  a hour or two it was easy to use. I am hooked on fully articulated rotor systems now.  I am flying a 300C model some and now really appreciate its rotor system .  Just as flingwing 206 said he would pick the 280FX over the R44 in a heartbeat, well now so will I. Right now the 280FX  is the best  helicopter for my needs, I love the Enstrom .

 

I have not yet worked out all the details yet , but plan on placing my order this month. I do know that I will get the new dampers in the deal and possibly work a deal for the throttle gov. when it is available .

 

I think I now know why these two gentlemen, Ga Chopper and Phil Price speak so highly of the Enstrom.  

I think it just might be possible to fall in love a little bit with these ships !

 

pairoboots

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Hi Pairofboots

 

So you chose the Enstrom it's been quite a while since I flew one, I flew all the different piston engine models at a company where I used to work. I kind of miss it in a way (Now I mainly fly R22 / R44 it's nice to fly differnt type's)

 

Have fun flying your new machine, Dean.

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I recently did my biennial in the 280C model.  I primarily fly a 300C so am used to the correlator, trim switch, and the joys of the 3-bladed, fully-articulated rotor system.  I loved the Enstrom's high intertia blades.  However, I really had a hard time adjusting to the heavy/stiff controls.  I suspect this was peculiar to this specific 280C's rigging, but I wanted to ask you if this was typical.  I've flown the JetRanger and the first time it took me several minutes to get used to the lack of control feedback through the hydraulics, but this 280C was quite different.  The collective and cyclic felt as if the frictions locks weren't completely released (they were).  It was like trying to steer a car when the engine (and hence, power steering) dies.   Otherwise, I liked the ship - especially how it auto's.
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Hello cross-eyed thanks for chiming in!

 

I am fairly new to the Enstrom, but my experience with the cyclic control, is that it is easy to make changes after initially setting the trim, basically as easy as a hydraulic system and in some  ways I think better.  I have only a few hours in the Enstrom and love the system. I think something doesn’t sound right about the one you flew, but then again I am only speaking from my limited experience with the 280FX and about 30 minuets in the 480B.

 

Ga Chopper and others in this forum are better able to give you a better answer than I can, they are much more experienced with the Enstrom.

 

OK guys help us out.

 

Thanks

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Hello everyone

 

Thanks Dean nice to hear from you , I did not know you had ever flown an Enstrom, hope it was a good experience!

And yes I have chosen the Enstrom I really do love it. Also I agree with you it is nice to fly other brands when its possible.

There are a few simple things about the Enstrom that are not mentioned very often that really make a big difference in comfort to me, the seats are extremely comfortable, the collective stays where you put it in flight at least that was my experience in the 280FX.  Also I really do like the way the rotors are engaged, it is a simple manual lever that does not take much effort and  It is a real quick rotor engagement.  The adjustable pedals  are great and seem to be a little higher of the floor , very comfortable.   The preflight checks are fairly easy most everything is easily inspected.  Oil dip stick is up high and easily reached and the push in access steps make it a breeze to check the rotor system .   Also the fuel drains and  main sump drain are easily accessed.    One more thing worth bringing up is what  Ga Chopper mentioned , the worth of the graphic engine monitor, it is a very big comfort factor.

 

I do think that the Enstrom is gaining in popularity and as more people get a chance to fly them ,I think they will realize that it is a exceptional machine.

 

Now what do you think ?  Black or Red ?

 

Thanks Everyone and fly safe

pairoboots

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croos-eyed,

 

It takes a couple of hours to learn how to properly use the cyclic trim, otherwise the controls do feel heavy and possibly out of rig. You must be very pro-active and be able to anticipate trim requirements, then it will become intutitive and second nature. The bottom line is, you make all initial control inputs with trim first instead of vice versa.  Once the proper technique clicks-in, you will be an advocate for the excellent stability characteristics of the Enstroms. In smooth air, I can set the trim on the cyclic for "hands-off" plus never touch the throttle/collective in forward flight. Combined with the big compartable seats and cabin, this is like crusing down the interstate in a big Cadilac!

 

pairoboots, those colors are a tough choice but with a 280FX........................ I would go Red!

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Red …………. I can live with that !

 

I noticed that the 280FX had lots if tail rotor authority , for you pilots that have flown both the Enstrom & the Robinsons how do you think the tail rotors compare?  I know the Robinsons have great tail rotors, but so does the Enstrom, just curious.

 

Cross-eyed I hope you get a chance to try the Enstrom again someday.  It took me several hours to get used to the cyclic system, but when you do it is really a great system .

 

Thanks

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pairoboots,

 

The Enstrom by far has much better tail rotor authority than Robinsons or most light helicopters that I know of, although I can not recall the crossswind limitations at the momement. Downwind taxi while turning is the only time I have encountered approaching the limits.

I have hovered and hovered-taxi with a 20 knot direct crosswind component without running out of pedal.

I have also demonstarted a 30% loss/recovery of normal opearing rotor R.P.M. while in a hover, (350 R.P.M. down to 250 R.P.M. and back to 350 R.P.M.); where I did not run out of left pedal as I recovered with the application of maximum manifold pressure and without touching down on the ground. How many helicopters do you know of that can do that? I do not know of any! My fellow Robinson friends are really amazed whenever I demo this with them.

 

Edit: The next time you hover an Enstrom, take notice of the position of the pedals, they are almost neutral versus the

left pedal being applied. This gives a good indication on how much reserve left pedal is available.

::cheers::

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The tail rotors of both types more than adequate under normal conditions. The Enstrom can run into problems if you inadvertantly let the rpm drop very low in the hover or downwind taxi, but that won't be a problem when you get your governor. I suspect that the Robbie would do the same if it didn't have the governor.

I must admit, I quite like black aircraft but they show the blemishes more as they age. Metallic red is a good choice from that point of view. The trim system is excellent. My longest time for totally hands off flight is eight minutes! steering can be acheived by leaning in the seat! I can get it to hover hands off for a short time if there is no wind. Try that in a robbie!

 

Edit  GAchopper posted while I was writing this. We obviously agree. ::cheers::

Incidently GA. chopper. I can't do the recovery you describe with the narrow chord tail rotor on the 28A. The wider chord of the later aircraft obviously solved that problem.

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PhilPrice,

I think that the "A" models initially had the tail rotor blades facing to the right instead of to the left of the airframe, am I correct on this?   I was told that this change along with the wider cord blades was for improving tail rotor effectiveness. I also believe that the "A" models can be modified to face the other direction as on the subsequent models. Is this all correct and which side are you tail rotor blades facing? Thank you for your responses.

::cheers::

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GA

You are totally correct. The A's had right facing narrow chord TRs. Some have been updated with rotor on the left, including mine. I think you are correct in that pushers are more efficient(and quieter) than tractors. I have flown both variants of 28A and there seems to be no detectable difference. At normal RPM there is no shortage of tail rotor thrust with either type and with care, recovery from low RPM is possible. However, full throttle with 70% rpm will overpower the tail rotor. I have not seen an 'A' with a wide chord tail rotor but I do not see why it could not be done. There are not too many 28As left round here.

 

While we are on the subject of tail rotors, it is worth mentioning the one circumstance which has caught me out, resulting in a near miss.

Conditions - hot and heavy with a stiff breeze.

I landed in a confined area into wind. No problem.  To leave, the only way out was a pedal turn and downwind taxi and departure. I did a right pedal turn, and as I arrested the turn the power requirement of the tail rotor increased dramatically and I was not quick enough with the throttle due to concentrating on not hitting things! That sinking feeling resulted in an unplanned landing 4 feet from a fence. A left turn would have been better as the power is fed in as the turn is started and the tail rotor power requirement falls as the turn is arrested. This surplus power can be used to start the transition. I now try to avoid right pedal turns in confined areas or at least am very careful doing it. Yes, proper throttle control would have stopped this happening but experience has shown me left turns are easier and safer. Visibility is better with a left turn as well.

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Hello PhilPrice, was wondering where you were?  8 minuets hand off flying in the Enstrom, now that’s impressive !  My first hour in the Enstrom wasn’t all that pretty, but improvement was fast there after.  I will need a few more hours in the 280FX  from my instructors to get  a discount on the insurance, that and a letter from the main man.

 

I guess  there are only four Enstrom owners in this forum, that’s including myself even though I have not taken delivery yet ?  I have located two other Enstrom owners in my area, so I am not totally alone in my preference.  Was wondering if there were other Enstrom owners in your areas or are you all the one and only ?

 

Thanks a bunch

boots

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Hi Boots,

 

There are a few around here as Manchester Helicopter Centre train exclusively using Enstroms. They also sell them and have done for years. There are a few Enstrom engineers (mechanics in US of A) which helps. Keep in touch though. As far as I know there is no owners club which is a shame. Shared experience saves making all the mistakes oneself. Enjoy your new helicopter.

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Thanks again PhilPrice and I will indeed keep in touch with the other two Enstrom owners here locally. Another reason I feel confident to own the Enstrom is that there is going to be a service center for them just about 40 or 50 miles from me.  I have talked to the owner of the service center and was impressed with the background in helicopter maintenance and the fact that Enstrom personnel  is working with him to get the Enstrom line of  helicopters added to his existing  maintenance  set up.   I have been told that there is a lot of interest in the Enstrom line of helicopters  here in Texas and that there will also be a dealership in my local area soon., sounds very encouraging !

 

Thanks

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Hi Pairofboot's  I used to work at Manchester Helicopter Centre (Hi Phill) this was about 6 years ago but I got to fly about 180 hours on the Enstrom there (There a great company, Realy good people) Norman Bailey the owner wrote a book The Helicopter Pilots Manual (Volume 1) Its a flight training book for a PPL course but he based it on the Enstrom performace. I know you already have your PPL but it might be an interesting book.  ::2thumbsat::
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Hi Dean and thanks for the tip!  That book sounds interesting  and it never hurts to go back and review the basics, besides its been along time since I took my check rides .  Since the book is based on flying  Enstroms it might make a good addition for any Enstrom enthusiast.

 

Thanks Dean

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  • 1 year later...

i did all my training in enstroms, unfortunatly i now am having an issue finding somewere to start building time. any help anywere guys?

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  • 4 years later...

After all the talk about the good flying characteristics of the Enstrom 280FX I did an internet search to see the helicopter; all I can say is she has a good personality but she's UGLY :lol:

 

If you think the Enstrom 280FX is ugly, how would you describe the R22, the Schweizer,the Brantly, and the Hiller.

 

The word ugly just wouldn't be sufficient.

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  • 9 years later...

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