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Why hasn't the Schweizer 333 taken over turbine training market?


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I have read responses from various people over the years and most pretty much were unimpressed with the performance. The posts I read, the pilots had time in a 269 airframe with piston power. The overall cost is pretty high compared to other piston airframes, not counting insurance on a $550K heli and the possiblity of a student hot starting the engine. I think a Hiller UH-12E3T would be a better choice? I do think the 333 with 3 seating would be great for flight training. The Army, I hear, has a WO Candidate ride along in the back of the TH-67 to observe the flight for added learning? Maybe some of the Army pilots could comment on that. Anyway, I think the idea of 1 hour of flight and 1 hour observation is not a bad idea.

 

I would like to hear others opinions, as well.

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The direct operating costs in the 150 range are only 50 less than the 206 so figure a 206 "rents" for $500, maybe the 333 could operate in the $400 range. That's great and a cost savings to students but the usefull factor for the 333 is a little more limited compared to the 206 or similar. Most schools that have a 206 don't rely on it much for flight instruction, but if they did I'm sure more would operate "cheaper" turbine helicopters. You are still left with the mindset that the 333 isn't a "real" helicopter to alot of people who operate bigger equipment. Much like the people who say the r22 isn't. I'm still waiting to see how Hiller does long term with their FH-1100 school and all turbine time training. I believe the real problem is that the 333 is a "new" helicopter and commands a high investment/aquisition cost. Same with the Enstrom 480B. I like those aircraft but it will take a few years for the "new" ships to become "old" and the price to come down for an operator to consider investing in a used one. Right now you can go buy a used 206 in the $300k range and have a descent ship that has more earning potential across the board than a $500k+ turbine enstrom or schweizer.

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I'm still waiting to see how Hiller does long term with their FH-1100 school and all turbine time training.

 

 

I always thought Hiller was an old, out-of-production piston helicopter. Can you tell me more about the sentence I quoted from you?

 

Jeff

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I do not mean to hijack the thread, but here goes!

 

I had the chance to visit the FH1100 factory and the Van Nevel Flight academy this past october. There were not any new ships in production, although there are plans for that. The ships that were there were in various stages of re-manufacture. I really liked Cedric and Georges Van Nevel, they seemed like great people and the idea of the school I think is also great. It had too many IF's attached for me in my current situation, but could be a great way to train if they do in fact start building new FH1100's again. I liked the FH1100, it had plenty of room, seemed like plenty of power and wasnt bad looking either! The price was right as well, and comparable to the costs I am encountering here in Southern California.

 

I wonder how many 333's are in use. I have yet to see one outside of Heli-expo a couple years ago. However, as a student pilot with a full time job, Im certain that I am lacking exposure to aircraft!

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The FH1100 was designed as a turbine helicopter for the Army's Light Observation Helicopter program. The US Navy picked the original FH1100 as their choice for the LOH, the Army chose the Bell 206, and then later, the Hughes 369 as well, to progress to the "fly off" competition. While the Navy administered the design portion, ultimately, the Army had the final call, and ultimately they chose the 369 as the OH-6A.

 

When Hughes attempted to negotiate a higher price for the next OH-6A purchase option on the contract in order to recoup his losses, the Army declined and rebid the LOH program. Fairchild-Hiller did not resubmit the FH1100 for the contract, so we ended up with the Bell 206A as the OH-58A.

The Army, I hear, has a WO Candidate ride along in the back of the TH-67 to observe the flight for added learning? Maybe some of the Army pilots could comment on that.
Actually, they are all WO1s or 2LTs now while in flight school. Yes, they do fly as an observer on the way to the stagefield during Primary flight training and they ride along in the back with a CCD and monitor that displays the instruments to the back seat during Instrument training.

 

I think it is simply economy. You have an hour and a half to two hours per student and you have limited time to transit in between. Both students get the benefit of conducting the preflight under the tutelage of the instructor and one student flies out and the other student flies back in to the home field at the end of the period. Same thing with the instrument flight. In order to get the training in and be effective, you maximize your time training to the fuel stop, swap students and maximize the training for the other student on the way back home...economy.

 

Oh, and swapping out which student is first and which is second means that every two days each student has done a start and a shutdown.

 

Did I also mention that Schweizer created the 330 to compete against the Bell 206B-3 for the National Training Helicopter program?

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Ahhh,

I seperated in July 92', maybe thats why I was thinking that..

 

Later

 

 

Wow...sounds like a divorce ! ( no DD214 for me !)

 

I was remembering the 333 I saw at HAI a few years ago...I thought it had 2 small middle seats that were set back from the main 2 seats...making it a 4 seater...is it wide enough for that or is it just a 3 seater?

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It can be a 4-seater. There are 2 pilot seats, widely separated and the same distance from the front, plus another seat set back and higher. It usually carries one, but can be made to carry 2 small people. Possible to put the instructor in this seat with a third set of controls and a student in each front seat. Gotta practice the Handover-Takeover routine, though.

 

It flies very nicely, a good step up from a B47 Soloy in speed and manoueverability, but lacks hydraulics. The trim system works well to take out the forces, but you need an A Grade thumb to beep like crazy as you pass translational. Power seems OK, and it gets top marks for small size and fitting into tight spots. Viz is good, despite all the window frames. Went for a gallop with an East Coast Sheriff's 333 around their area of responsibility, what a hoot. :blink:

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Wow...sounds like a divorce ! ( no DD214 for me !)

Nope,

I have my 214 and a few medals to boot. I recieved my Good Conduct and Achievement Medals before seperating. I saved the AF a few thou on a normal recurring repair, so my section sup. wrote me up, and the Commander of USAF Europe signed it off.

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Mechanic- I hope you know I was jokin....the way you stated the "separation"- all I could think of was a divorce...anyway, I have the utmost respect for anyone, current, former or retired military (I never served)

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Viking, you probably wont find a trainer 333 because there is no real market for turbine training (with some exceptions). High Desert Helicopters tried to include a 20hr turbine transition in their commercial program with a 333 but it sits in the hangar (might be sold now) because there is no real market for that type of training. Most students dont have enough money layin around for a turbine transition, and they cant justify it because most pilots out there today got their transition from their first 'commercial' employer after their 1000 hours of instruction. Its cost not availability of turbine transitions.

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  • 4 months later...
Viking, you probably wont find a trainer 333 because there is no real market for turbine training (with some exceptions). High Desert Helicopters tried to include a 20hr turbine transition in their commercial program with a 333 but it sits in the hangar (might be sold now) because there is no real market for that type of training. Most students dont have enough money layin around for a turbine transition, and they cant justify it because most pilots out there today got their transition from their first 'commercial' employer after their 1000 hours of instruction. Its cost not availability of turbine transitions.

They JUST sold this a week or so ago!

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When Hughes attempted to negotiate a higher price for the next OH-6A purchase option on the contract in order to recoup his losses, the Army declined and rebid the LOH program.

 

Not to hijack the thread...but....Hughes bid LESS than his cost to obtain the first contract, He figured he would be a shoe in on contract #2, make a fortune, and make the $$ on future spare parts as well. The decision to re-bid the contract really pissed the old man off, considering all the ties he had with the military and DOD.

 

When the old Hughes plant ( Playa Del Rey) was still in operation back in the late 70's, I used to drive over and just park and watch the pilots do auto's all day. I figure I owe my love of helicopter to the OH-6..

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