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Which is the best helicopter trainer


Best Training Helicopter  

253 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the best overall helicopter trainer

    • Enstrom 280
      14
    • Robinson R22
      71
    • Schweizer 300 series
      124
    • Bell 47
      10
    • Hiller 12E
      0
    • Brantly B-2B
      1
    • Rotorway Exec
      2
    • Robinson R-44
      20
    • Other
      12
  2. 2. What is its BEST characteristic as a trainer?

    • Safety
      98
    • Easy to fly and learn in
      61
    • Can transition to other helicopters easier
      42
    • Cheap to operate
      17
    • Crashworthy
      7
    • Fun to fly
      7
    • Simple systems
      3
    • Complex systems
      0
    • Difficult to fly
      13
    • Other
      6
  3. 3. As a student what is your PRIMARY consideration for a good training helicopter?

    • Cost
      65
    • Safety
      106
    • Easy to fly
      22
    • Difficult to fly
      5
    • Crashworthy
      9
    • Image (Does it look cool)
      0
    • Other
      8
    • [Not a student pilot]
      39
  4. 4. As a flight instructor what is your PRIMARY consideration for a good training helicopter?

    • Cost
      7
    • Safety
      128
    • Easy to fly
      25
    • Difficult to fly
      0
    • Crashworthy
      10
    • Image (Does it look cool)
      2
    • Other
      2
    • [Not a flight instructor]
      80


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"Best" is a pretty broad term. If it's about $/hour, the R22 wins hands-down.

 

If it's about the best blend of safety*, training quality*, and $, then it's the 300CBi. (*by this I mean things like safety envelope re RRPM, ect, ruggedness of aircraft, room in the cabin, view outside, tolerance to absorb abuse. We all know that an aircraft is only as safe as its pilot)

 

If money is a smaller issue, then it's the Enstrom - real-world handling, huge safety margins.

 

The R44 is to the Enstrom what the R22 is to the Schweizer. Take that how you will.

 

The Rotorway is just too mechanically unreliable to be safe - too many critical things break in that aircraft. The Brantly has a little of the same problem, and it is fairly rare.

 

The B47 and Hiller are, unfortunately, hard to keep running. They are both solid training platforms with unimpeachable track records, but it's risky to tie your future to such limited availability.

 

As for the "other" - well, if the "other" happens to be a B206 or an AS350, and money is no object, there you go!

Edited by flingwing206
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A machine doesn't have to be simple or easy to fly to be a good trainer - we learned in the Huey, with a turbine engine, hydraulic system and piles of electrics. We still soloed in 10 hours, (if no solo by 15 hours, kicked off the course) and had covered all the emergencies from touchdown autos to hydraulics off and manual fuel. So, simplicity in itself is not a major factor. Perhaps it is Predictability - you know what it is going to do next, and Repeatability - when you did the right thing last time, it did the right thing again this time.

 

Flimsiness is not a good characteristic in a trainer. Forgiveness is.

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Eric I agree with you, but in the civilian world it just isn't financially possible to train folks in full-sized turbine helicopters. They are just too expensive to run - the difference in fuel cost alone would be upward of $10,000 by the time you get to CFII, not to mention the highly possible expense of overtorquing or overtemping. So we train in small piston trainers because we can, and we struggle through the transition to larger, heavier aircraft at our own relative rates.

 

The best trainer would (as the US Army has decided) be the aircraft you will be flying at the end of your training, but even the Army recognizes that there is a point of diminishing returns - little sense in doing primary training in a Chinook or CH-53. I think they have the perfect-sized primary trainer for their needs in the TH-57.

 

For the rest of us, we train in the best we are able (or willing) to pay for. Hence the popularity of the R22 over the 300CBi, the 300CBi over the Enstrom, the Enstrom over a Jet Ranger, and so on. Believe me, if I could have paid for it, I'd have done all my training in a 206 or AS350 - I'm happy I could afford Schweizer!

Edited by flingwing206
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Eric I agree with you, but in the civilian world it just isn't financially possible to train folks in full-sized turbine helicopters. They are just too expensive to run - the difference in fuel cost alone would be upward of $10,000 by the time you get to CFII, not to mention the highly possible expense of overtorquing or overtemping. So we train in small piston trainers because we can, and we struggle through the transition to larger, heavier aircraft at our own relative rates.

 

The best trainer would (as the US Army has decided) be the aircraft you will be flying at the end of your training, but even the Army recognizes that there is a point of diminishing returns - little sense in doing primary training in a Chinook or CH-53. I think they have the perfect-sized primary trainer for their needs in the TH-57.

 

For the rest of us, we train in the best we are able (or willing) to pay for. Hence the popularity of the R22 over the 300CBi, the 300CBi over the Enstrom, the Enstrom over a Jet Ranger, and so on. Believe me, if I could have paid for it, I'd have done all my training in a 206 or AS350 - I'm happy I could afford Schweizer!

 

 

Another R-22 went down during a training flight yesterday in Scottsdale Arizona. 2 killed. Too early to say why or if a 300C might have had a better outcome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The price difference between the 22 and 300 gets overplayed I think, at my school there was no difference in $/hr ($194/hr please let me know if I got ripped off). Having done my training on both also makes me wonder how safety can be everyone's greatest concern while picking the 22 over the 300, especially a fuel injected cbi or a c(no carb ice). I'll take ground res over a low inertial rotor and low g mast bumping especially when we're talking about training here, not speed or stability or comfyness or the fact that all you 22 lovers can sill wear your skirts while you're flyin. :D (pardon the jab, it's just too hard to resist)

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The price difference between the 22 and 300 gets overplayed I think, at my school there was no difference in $/hr ($194/hr please let me know if I got ripped off).

 

the fact that all you 22 lovers can sill wear your skirts while you're flyin. :D (pardon the jab, it's just too hard to resist)

 

Hell no you didnt get ripped off. Thats a great price for either ship. But the real reason I am replying is to find out exactly what you meant by your last statement.

 

As for myself the only helos I have trained in are the R-22 and the Bell 47 (With an hour in a Hughes 500 thrown in for fun :D ) and I would say of the 2, the B-47 has my vote. However I am hoping to do a bit of training in the S-300 when I return to the states, which has my overall vote as the best helo trainer.

 

Thanks

Chuck

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I'll take ground res over a low inertial rotor and low g mast bumping especially when we're talking about training here, not speed or stability or comfyness or the fact that all you 22 lovers can sill wear your skirts while you're flyin. :D (pardon the jab, it's just too hard to resist)

 

:lol: :D :P !!! - now don your helmet and take cover - jabs at the R22 or it's drivers always illicits a cult-like response! :unsure:

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This is just another tastes great/less filling argument nothing more. Each of the Helicopters mentioned has its good and bad points as far as training goes. I learned in a Bell 47 and when I did, almost 25 years ago, it was what I had to fly, thou Hughes 300's were around. The R-22 was out for all of two years, I didn't pay no mind to it. That was then and now is now. Train at a school you are confortable with, its it 300's fine or R-22 fine or F-28's fine. From a pratical stand point, can I get a job asap when I am done well cross the T's and dot the I's and make sure you have sufficent time in the R-22 for the SFAR sign offs and a few days at the factory school, This has nothing to do with what I think or my opinion of the Robinson. This has every thing to do with be able to get employment when the time comes. The rest of it is as I said Taste Great / Less Filling!

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Chuck,

The last statement was referring to the t-bar cyclic. Rumor has it that Mrs.Robinson was a good conservative lady and wanted to fly with a dress on. The real reason prolly has more to do with weight and cost, but what fun is that?

 

My annonymity is my helmet. :D

Flew a 22 today though, great fun at 75' 70kts through the trees, well around them anyways.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's interesting looking at the CFI vs student responses - students show a higher preference for "less expensive", CFIs show higher preference for "safer" and "easy to fly".

 

Also noted is that NO instructors chose "difficult to fly" in the 'primary consideration' catagory, but a few students did.

 

Just goes to show what experience may teach you.

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  • 1 month later...
Or maybe it just shows that there's too many instructors who are not up to their job. So they want easier machine to teach with.

 

I think that student's opinion is what matters here, not instructor's who (by choosing the easiest machine to fly with) want to make their job as easy as possible. And after all, it's always student who pays the bill, not the instructor.

 

Long live Robbie!!!

 

Finnrotor B)

:huh: sigh....

 

One wonders if the predominance of the R22 as a trainer has anything to do with the FAA's decision to eliminate the touchdown auto from the CFI PTS. Probably just coincidence.

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Guest pokey
Eric I agree with you, but in the civilian world it just isn't financially possible to train folks in full-sized turbine helicopters. They are just too expensive to run

 

Check out VanNeval Helicopter Academy's view on that fling. They also bought the type certificate for the old hiller fh1100, and are claiming an operating cost of $186.oo /hr ! I have dealt with these guys (sold them 206 tools) about 10 years ago, & i have nothing good NOR bad to say about them. Just pointing out their training ideas, & wondering what it is going to turn out like.

 

Their website is: www.fh1100.com

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Finnrotor,

 

You aren't serious are you?!!!

 

Or maybe it just shows that there's too many instructors who are not up to their job. So they want easier machine to teach with.
If an instructor finds it easier to teach, then the quality of his teaching should be better. As teaching and learning almost go hand in hand, then surely the quality of learning is better too.

 

Another point...I would rather start a student off on an aircraft that is easy to fly (rather than one that is 'difficult to fly') as that is in keeping with all the education philosophy training I have had over the years! It's called 'progression'....

 

I think that student's opinion is what matters here, not instructor's ...
"Students, you go and design a helicopter trainer...afterall your opinion is what matters, not the instructors!" God help us, if it ever comes to this! Surely its the instructors who can see past the 'financial' haze that a student has! What you're saying is that cost should come before safety?!

 

And after all, it's always student who pays the bill, not the instructor.
Afterall, its the instructor who is in that machine day-in, day-out, each day is exposure to risk.

 

Gosh, I almost took your post seriously, until I saw that you'd signed off with..."Long Live Robbie!" Some sort of crussade for you, is it!?

 

Joker

 

P.S. For the record, I have absolutely no problem with the R22. With over 400hrs instructing in both. (Finn, how many do you have in both types?) Sure, the R22 is great for those long 2-hour cross-country flight; and hell yeah, it fits in a garage (car port).

 

However, the question was, "Which is the best helicopter trainer?" There is no doubt about it that the H269 series is a superior training ship than the R22. That does not belittle the R22 instructors and students, nor does it 'big-up' Schweizer instructors and students, its simply a fact. Most people who disagree either haven't had any time (or minimal time) in a H269, or have financial interests with R22s.

 

Training aid selection when instructing is crucial. That's what I learnt during my education degree. Whether it be diving, climbing, canoeing, or just teaching sports in general, there are certain philosophies which should be applied when selecting the training tools and aids. For example, when teaching tennis or baseball to small kids, you might use a bigger than normal ball that bounces slower. This is to make it easier for the child. When teaching a beginner climbing or canoeing, you don't get them climbing a E4 (5.11b US ) grade climb or a Grade 4 river on their first go do you? When teaching someone to ride a bike, you don't give them a unicycle to start off with, do you? In gymnastics, if I had had an accident with a child when doing handstands, and I couldn't show that I had taught them 'headstands' before that, do you think the courts would be on my side? Ask yourself why not?

 

BECAUSE fundimental education philosophy is for progression from the easy to the more difficult. Not only is this proven to be a more efficient way of learning, but it also ensures first of all safety, and secondly success, which in itsself promotes learning. Unfortunately, not enough flight instructors take seriously their 'FOI' study, and so this sort of thing gets lost in the aviation world!

 

So when someone asks me which is the better helicopter trainer, in my mind there is no doubt that the R22 is not it!

 

P.P.P.S As someone said earlier, this is all really a mute point. I learnt to ride my bike without stabilizers. My friend had stabilizers. I took a few more bumps and scratches than him in the beginning, but 25 years on and who do you think is the better bike rider? Of course, there is no conceivable difference between us. Similarly, I learnt to drive in a Nissan Micra, my friend learnt on his dad's tractor. Again, today we both can get from A to B as well as the other. What I'm saying is that it really dosen't matter that much which you start in, to someone who is going to be looking at this as a career. What matters most is the quality of the instruction.

 

 

P.P.P.P.S Our friend, A.N. Oppenheim would be turning in his grave if he saw this questionnaire!!!

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:huh:

oh well...

 

Finn, if you want to sit at the grownups table, you have to act like a grownup. Your posts display an immature glee at people's annoyance in response to your attempts to cloak uneducated opinion as fact. You exhibit profound ignorance on the basic fundamentals of learning theory, preferring to throw erasers and smirk. I'm fairly certain that if you had even a tenth of the background in training that Joker has, you would realize how facile your arguments are. Instead, you employ purile and jejune mockery which only serves to irritate. Let me direct you HERE for a little refresher. When you're done reviewing, c'mon back and provide some factual, compelling, informative discussion on how to facilitate learning. Until then...

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Finnrotor,

 

No smoke coming from my ears...I'm not the type that would get upset by what I read on an online forum. Honestly!

 

If there is any smoke at all, it’s not about the R22/300CB thing, its about this...

 

So now this is about science of learning and not helicopters??
Isn't this a 'Flight Training Forum'.

 

My main ‘fire’ is that in this industry where training is vital and on-going, there isn't as much education theory as there should be. This has been something I have maintained all along.

 

It frustrates me that the FOIs are covered in a week's ground school, or in just a few short sessions with an instructor. Most people see the FOIs as simply a hurdle in the way of that great SAR/EMS job. Unfortunately, most instructors see their time instructing as another hurdle to the same goal.

 

We have too many 'pilots trying to teach' rather than 'teachers who are pilots'.

 

I am not saying that if you're not a trained teacher, you are a crap flight instructor, nor am I saying that I’m the best instructor. Not at all. Indeed, I know some brilliant flight instructors who had no training at all...(maybe they are what I would call 'natural teachers'.) It’s the pilots who are not the ‘naturals’ who could benefit.

 

The point is that the education of aviation could be better than it is, if only 'one of the newest professions would take some guidance from 'one of the oldest professions'.

 

So maybe you hit the nail on the head…maybe we should be talking a little more on the science of learning. In fact, I think in the next few years this is going to be a major development area in aviation as the industry matures.

 

As for me writing ‘essays’ to answer your few short lines…yes, that’s something I need to work on…being more concise!

 

Joker

 

P.S. Here’s a totally unrelated non-helicopter question. “Why, when lighting a gas cooker does the ignition need to be held on for a few moments before you get a self-sustaining flame?”

 

 

"Learning to fly helicopters is like unwrapping the cellophane from a CD box - Its a bummer getting started but once you do, its so easy!"

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:lol: You ain't serious about this? So now this is about science of learning and not helicopters??
It's always been about learning. People learning to fly helicopters. Training helicopters should facilitate learning, just like textbooks or instructors. In every realm of learning there are effective and ineffective tools employed by skilled or inept trainers. In the end, the best result will be achieved by the most skilled instructor employing the most effective tool.
But i think i have enough hours to have an opinion. Maybe a bit more hours that where your opinions are based on...
Finn, it's likely that I have more time in the training industry than you have on the planet. And yes, you have enough hours to have an opinion.

 

When held to the measure of a tool for training, a helicopter is measured very differently than if being evaluated, say, as a personal transport device, cargo carrier, weapons platform, etc. The R22 would find its true home as a Light Sport aircraft - just reduce the MGW by 20 lbs and there y'go - the first certificated LSA helicopter, and picture-perfect for the role. But to say that the R22 is a highly effective tool for teaching people to fly helicopters is to completely ignore the overwhelming evidence given in every type of motor, academic, artistic, etc, learning.

 

First-use learning devices are most effective when their basic function is easily mastered. As long as they have the performance available to faithfully respond to any inputs required for training, the easier they are to figure out, the better. For example, the "beginner" alpine skis now available in most resort rental shops are the easiest to use they have ever been, yet are quite capable of carving a respectable turn when on the feet of a skilled skier. However, put a pair of World Cup racing skis on a first-time skier and their learning will be seriously impeded. Harder (whether or not high-performance), does not enhance learning (and in the realm of control response and controllability, there is no evidence that the R22 outperforms the 300 anyway). In fact, harder can create bad habits as the new learner employs inappropriate tactics to get their desired results. For instance, while inefficient, it's easiest for a new student to hold the R22 in one place by stirring the cyclic. With this the case, now a CFI has to work twice as hard, as they have to convince the student to give up something that's working before they try something that while ultimately more effective, is more difficult and frustrating to master. An effective tool would not reward improper use, thus eliminating this problem.

 

Helicopters are not complicated, although helicopter aviation is complex. As far as flight instruction goes, a good teacher who is an avarage pilot will consistantly outperform a good pilot who is an average instructor. And don't confuse cheap and plentiful with effective. Nobody goes to Wal-Mart to find high quality.

P.S. Here’s a totally unrelated non-helicopter question. “Why, when lighting a gas cooker does the ignition need to be held on for a few moments before you get a self-sustaining flame?”
Oh, thanks, Joker! I was going to get to bed early tonight, now I have to get to the bottom of this conundrum...
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Joker

 

P.S. Here’s a totally unrelated non-helicopter question. “Why, when lighting a gas cooker does the ignition need to be held on for a few moments before you get a self-sustaining flame?”

"Learning to fly helicopters is like unwrapping the cellophane from a CD box - Its a bummer getting started but once you do, its so easy!"

 

My guess is the igniter needs to be held down to keep producing a spark until the vapor density around the ignition source is at the correct level to sustain combustion without the ignition source...............

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“Why, when lighting a gas cooker does the ignition need to be held on for a few moments before you get a self-sustaining flame?”

 

My guess is the igniter needs to be held down to keep producing a spark until the vapor density around the ignition source is at the correct level to sustain combustion without the ignition source...............
Maybe, but I think it is much simpler than that.

 

Hmm.... after much research which yeilded no useful information I resorted to experimentation on my own gas cooker. putting my life on the line for the betterment of humanity this is what I came up with...

 

Here's my theory.

 

As the gas is sent up the flue to the burner head it is pretty cold. For this reason the combustion is not self-sustaining and the flame will go out. Remember the old 'Fire Triangle'.

 

However, after a few moments of 'aided' combustion, the steel / iron plate (which also serves as a sort of flame retention head) gets hot enough to heat the gas / air mixture enough to make the combustion self sustaining.

 

Method

 

I proved to myself this by using conducting two experiments...

 

1. Try igniting your gas burner, but let go of the starter after a very short time. The flame goes out..(this we all know of course).

 

2. Next let the flame burn for a good long time (in order to bring the steel / iron burner head plate to a good hot temperature. Then switch off the flame. Very shortly afterwards (before the head plate has had time to cool) try igniting the burner again. Hey presto, it lights up and stays lit first time!

 

Conclusion

 

By holding the ignition, you are simply heating the head plate enough that it can heat the gas to a combustable temperature without the need for an electric spark.

 

QED

 

Joker

 

P.S. Appologies for the thread hijack!

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My guess is the igniter needs to be held down to keep producing a spark until the vapor density around the ignition source is at the correct level to sustain combustion without the ignition source...............

 

 

Maybe, but I think it is much simpler than that.

 

Joker

 

P.S. Appologies for the thread hijack!

 

 

Yeah, but eye did sownd pretty darnd smart, didint eye??? ;) :D

 

Chuck

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Guest pokey
Yeah, but eye did sownd pretty darnd smart, didint eye??? ;) :D

 

Chuck

 

 

yip yip yip ! ya shir did sownd like yer smarty-pants were just back frum dah kleeners :lol:

 

 

reminds me of that old saying "if ya cant dazzle 'em w/brilliance,,,,,,, baffle 'em w/ bullsh*@ ! " of korse !

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