Jump to content

MD 600 Thoughts


Flyfisherman79
 Share

Recommended Posts

VR - Just for information's sake is the MD 600 a worthwhile utility / everything platform for a single pilot hoping to start a business at some point down the road? I've read through the information on the MD site and it "sounds" like a capable utility machine. The direct operating costs are only slightly higher than the 500 (which rings in at under 300 bucks an hour).

 

Any pilots have any experience with that ship? Any owners willing to talk to me about this unrealistic daydream? How much does that ship cost? Just looking for information is all and I have never heard a word about this helicopter. Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard that MD offers the amazind deals on their ships, but then they can't back them up with parts/service after things start to break. However, I've never owned an MD, so I'm not talking first hand.

 

I understood that that was a past problem with MD and that they have remedied it. I have no proof of this besides what I have heard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understood that that was a past problem with MD and that they have remedied it. I have no proof of this besides what I have heard.

 

 

Thanks for the replies. I have also read some that same stuff. Mostly, I ask the question because I really dont hear/see/or read much about MD in the utility world. About all you ever hear is MD 500's in Law Enforcement ops and tour ops (namely Hawaii). That leads me to wonder if the MD 600 is NOT a reliable ship or there may be some other aspect that it is not used more. Based on that helicopters performance numbers and operating costs, I was wondering if it would be a good ship to build a business around later on down the road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

500 and 600.

 

Up here in the NW USA, the 500 is heavily involved in light utility work (fire, christmas-tree slinging, driptorching, slinging siedlings, christmas boughs, timber cruising, gps-mapping and so on). Many people even consider it to be the best light utility ship out there because it is quicker than the 206, can get into smaller spots and still lift about the same. But the performance of the 500 is limited both to load size and altitude of the job.

However the 206 far exceeds the 500 in the light tour market. More comfortable ride, more quiet for passengers (the 500 tranny is awfully loud when you sit in the back), easier to get in and out of, bigger windows for view and more head- and legroom are just a few of the reasons for this.

 

When it comes to the 600, i personally think one of the big reasons it hasn't caught on as a utility ship is its competition. The AS350 is a natural helicopter to compare it to. They lift about the same, fuel consumption is roughly the same, and they both do similarly well at altitude but the AS350 has according to Eurocopter accumulated over 13 million flight hours. That is a big number!!

Most operators are probably a little hesistant to go spend a couple million dollars on a new ship, plus all the tooling, spare parts inventory, pilot training, mechanic training and so on when they have operated a ship as reputable as the AS350 for years on, and know what they get for their money.

The other thing is, as a few guys have mentioned already, MD's situation the last few years even though it sounds like it is getting better down there, operators would hate to have their equipment AOG because they can't get parts for it.

It may be a good tour helicopter, but there again you have the competition being AS350 still, and also the LongRanger, both proven helicopters, in addition to the newer Eurocopters which are popping up at tourbases all over.

 

My opinion anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that reply Flyby. I'm also in the NW...where are you?

 

I have been doing quite a bit of research and it does sound that things are improving in Mesa with the supply aspect.

 

Personal favorite helicopter is the 500. For the utility side, as you pointed out it has 206 and AS350 competition to which win out. I compared the numbers side by side for all the ships and the 600 looked like a good bet.....and its sleek, fast, and agile! Seems that the power plant (Roles Royce) I read had an insane amount of flight hours as well that they openly advertise.

 

I have not compared the operating costs to deeply with the 206 or Astar. I dont know how the insurance premiums vary between those 3 ships as well. By no means am I the process of purchasing anything, other than the rest of my training, but its never to early to do the research for plans down the road, right. Anyhow, thanks for the reply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I few the Army version of the NOTAR for 18 months and found many issues. This aircraft was not for the beginner the main rotor would under speed before the collective could be reduced during engine failure. There were some features if you do NOE flight that were nice. I would suggest you decide what environment this will operate as you primary decision point. I have been a Test Pilot, and Instructor Pilot in the 500 Series bird for more than 12 years and would be glad to talk about the pros and cons. Hal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HAL,

 

I wasn't even aware the Army ever had NOTAR aircraft. I understand that the Army funded MD's original research and that MD offered up a couple of examples to the SOAR for evaluation purposes, but they were given back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HAL,

 

I wasn't even aware the Army ever had NOTAR aircraft. I understand that the Army funded MD's original research and that MD offered up a couple of examples to the SOAR for evaluation purposes, but they were given back.

 

 

In speaking with a light colonel (retired) from the 160th SOAR, they did try out the NOTAR, but did not decide to go with it. I am not sure of the specifics as to why.

 

In reference to the original poster, I am still very concerned about the long term support for MD products. They put a lot into the LUH program and did not get the contract (pending civil litigation). Without the contract it is anybodies guess as to how long the investors will continue to pour money into the company. This is just my personal opinion, but I can tell you that I speak the same as a lot of other law enforcement people who have also used MD products for years. Don't get me wrong, I love the 500 series for flying the law enforcement mission (except the special operations, i.e. rappell, diver insertion, bambi bucket. Not enough power). My agency is concerned about being left standing without a chair to sit down on should the music stop playing at MD.

 

In regards to the 600, I only have an hour in the aircraft (demo when MD was trying to sell us on the 600) so I can only give you my initial impression on that aircraft. I do however have over 4000 hours in the 500 series. The passenger compartment in back seemed cramped (a 500/600 series feature). The lateral trim was WAY too sensitive. Other than that it flew like a big 500E model (which is a lot of fun to fly). I know that the US Border Patrol got a number of the 600's, you might try calling the aviation Branch (they are I.C.E. now though) and asking about their experience with the 600's.

 

Good luck,

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Army did not have a NOTAR, however you were right that the 160th did have a NOTAR and I was the Maintenance Test Pilot and Standardization Instructor Pilot for that aircraft within the unit. I spent 12 1/2 years in the unit. I was instrumental with the non-acceptance of that aircraft due to many hazards it provided. I did have the chance to fly the MD600 while I was in Phoenix AZ and it did much better than ours, however I was not allowed to put it through the rugged Test Flight Procedures I could ours. I may know the LTC you have spoken with, give him a message for me NSDQ.

Hal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Hi Hal,

I am interested in the technology like NOTAR. I have a website at home.wanadoo.nl/helicopter.

I have read a lot about the 160 SOAR NOTAR expiriment. I have read there where load trails in C-130 and C-141. The dutch magazine told there where 2 NOTAR beams fitted on 2 Little Birds. Is that tru? Do you know the serials of these helicopters or they are classified? Regards, Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VR - Just for information's sake is the MD 600 a worthwhile utility / everything platform for a single pilot hoping to start a business at some point down the road? I've read through the information on the MD site and it "sounds" like a capable utility machine. The direct operating costs are only slightly higher than the 500 (which rings in at under 300 bucks an hour).

 

Any pilots have any experience with that ship? Any owners willing to talk to me about this unrealistic daydream? How much does that ship cost? Just looking for information is all and I have never heard a word about this helicopter. Thanks

 

I have a couple thousand hours in this airframe as an instructor pilot and maintenance test pilot. This is by far the best single pilot airframe I have ever flown and crashed. Parts were not a issue and the estimated cost was less than two hundred dollars a hour, however subject to change without notice. Still my favorite bird to fly.

Hal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I've never flown a 600, but our unit had a 520N (which was before my time) and all of the pilots hated it. It was nicknamed "Clubfoot". That said, another LE unit that is co-located with us had the 600's. Their guys seemed to like the ship. It's fast and has plenty of power. They sold both of their 600's due to increasing issues with parts availability. Another neighboring agency has 520Ns and again, they seem to like them. I guess there's no 'tweeners. You either love or hate the NOTAR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parts are getting better but look at some of the competition

from another sites thread on service

Probably true!!!

Depends on perception…

Bell and Rolls Royce’s perception of service is to have the spare parts on the shelves of their warehouses ready to deliver to you

 

Eurocopter and Turbomecaâ„¢s perception is that the rapid availability of spare parts is not their problem and that the owner/operator should order a large stock of spare parts (at least 10% of the value of the helicopter) when the aircraft is ordered.

 

Yes, stories of 8 months delivery against receipt of order are not exceptional, and they are usually true. However remember that Eurocopter truly believe that this is the operator’s problem not theirs.

 

You have to balance this issue against Eurocopter's superior product line.

Her is a link to thread

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.ph...licopter+spares

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...