I looked into this a while ago, as Rotorway seem to be the only decent kit around, although there is a French one around which may be better.
The Rotorway kit is very good, although a lot of people don't think they're safe. The major issue is how well it is built, but that's down to you, the builder! The main problem is that the CAA inspector cannot get to all the bits to check it properly. However, Rotorway do offer a huge amount of support, and come along and do inspections every month or so, and are very happy to help you out with anything you get stuck with.
I would recommend a visit to their workshop near Stansted some time, as they are very friendly there, and you can arrange a free demo ride with them too.
There are only two instructors in the UK for this machine, one of which is the only UK CAA inspector for that particular machine, so a little bit more planning would be required for any training. I believe the US factory also do training though, and have a lot more resources.
I personally think the machine is great looking, and is nicely kitted out inside. The one main sticking point for most people is the tail rotor drive system, which is done with belts rather than a drive shaft, although they are working on a modification for this.
That said, the accident rate for this machine is low, and certainly no worse than for R22's, as far as I know. Most accidents being caused by pilot error, which is the same on many machines.
You can also pick up a fully built machine from Rotorway for about ??50,000. They had a couple that were built by people who then had to sell them on due to divorce etc.
A few people I know are interested in a share in this machine, including myself, but it never really got off the ground.
Feel free to message me privately if you want to have a chat over the phone about my experiences with this machine etc. _________________ Adam Bailey
PPL(H) - Based Headcorn/Denham/Manston/Panshanger/Shoreham/Brands Hatch
Don't know much about building Helos from a kit, but something you may like to watch, is a programme called "A Chopper is Born", this was part of a series of A ....... is Born.
A Chappie, Mark Evans, builds a Rotorway Exec from scratch and there were parts showing how each section went together.
It appears to be available from Amazon on DVD, try this link.
Joined: Oct 12, 2004 Posts: 1003 Location: EGSY (Sheffield) Once a city with an airport :-(
Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:51 pm Post subject:
Hehe, I was going to mention that video (I have it on DVD). It is MOST entertaining as Mark Evans is JUST the man for the job - he is smart, witty and an absolute natural with the camera. The heli gets built and followed right through and the first thing he does is visit the factory and talk to the people there. After that, virtually every procedure is carried out on film so it's like having a video guide to assembly. There are some tricky bits but he gets round these with very able help from a few engineers who just happen to be there or on call!
Very well produced and includes that CAA man doing the test flight and passing the one they built - it's then shown flying around etc.
P.S. I visted the firm when they were in Chirk (N. Wales) and spent a good while there talking to self builders in the factory who were doing mods or actually building. That would be about 15 years ago now as they have moved (see earlier posts on the location) _________________ PPL(H)
Indeed he was a vet - presented Pet Rescue on Channel Four before doing the Is Born series. His website is http://www.markevans.co.uk/ (You'd have never guessed!) - looks like the Is Born series is available from his website too.
Incidently, G-CBJV, the helicopter built in the programme, had a bit of a mishap last year - rolled over in a field, during shutdown. AAIB report here _________________ J.
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