Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:32 pm Post subject: planning on buying a helicopter
hi, my name is anthony and my uncle from vietnam is thinking of buying a helicopter and asked me to learn more about them. he is looking for something that sits 8-10 people and prices isnt really an issue. so the more information the better, comments about likes and dislikes about certain types/companies are appreciated.
the reason for this post is to figure out what types of helicopters are out there that are suitable for my uncle's needs, not who is going to fly it. but if you guys would want to move to vietnam and become a private pilot for my uncle, thats a different story. but for now, whats the best helicopter for private use that sits 8-10 passengers and looks/preforms nice?
Joined: Sep 16, 2006 Posts: 736 Location: North England
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:56 pm Post subject:
Well thats me told
However, What exactly does your uncle plan on doing with a helicopter. What sort of distances, Frequency of journeys and expected enviroments, as well as altitudes. In fact as much information as you can supply would help. _________________ R22 2.6 h/r wanting more, a hell of a lot more
If money is not a problem you could consider the AS365N2 or N3 even better. It's fast, smooth and can sit 8/10 pax in the back even if it's not very confortable in that configuration.
The A109E (Power) or S (Grand) can fit 6 pax in the back and 1 in front if you're flying single pilot...but I personally don't think it's good to have a pax up front.
The Agusta is smaller, lighter and slightly cheeper if compared to the Dauphin.
Otherwise you have to move on to a single engine helicopter but you won't be able to fit 8/10 pax no matter what.
The EC130B4 can fit 7 pax, which is not bad, otherwise I can't think of any other helicopter at the moment.
When buying an helicopter, you should also consider the cost of fuel/insurance/maintanance/ landing and parking fees if operating from airports and pilots (training if not typed rated or recurent training if already typed).
That said...good luck!
is there a website or something where i can compare stats and prices of different helicopters?
Not that I know of. 8-10? That's gonna be a big bird. Sikorsky S-76 or S-92 will be big enough. Also the Eurocopter EC 155. Either way it's gonna be a big price tag. Bell makes a 429 a 427 and a 412 that will be plenty in size and power, though I'm not too familiar with those birds. The 430 is nice but if it's anything like the little sister the 222 then it's gonna be a lot of maintenance.
Joined: Jan 12, 2007 Posts: 54 Location: The DEEP south
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:38 am Post subject:
If you are looking at seating 8-10 people, you are really into medium helicopters. Although the A109 Grand can carry 6-7 pax, there is a real issue of payload (pax) vs fuel (endurance). Put all the pax in and your endurance goes WAY down. I don't know much about the EC130, but I'd say the same is true there (AND its a single engine machine, so performance limitations apply as well).
I think the suggestion of S-92 is patently ridiculous. That is simply more machine than you could possibly need for private use (unless price really IS no object).
At the moment the Bell 429 is not yet certified. Not sure whether the EC155 is yet available in the marketplace either.
My suggestion is that you have maybe three or four real contenders. The following is an abridged (and not thoroughly researched) list of pros and cons of each:
1. AW-139 - Reasonably new piece of kit and very popular medium twin. Heaps of room, lots of power, and can be configured for lots of passengers if thats what you want to do most of. Like any aircraft these days, you can expect lengthy waits for aircraft off the assembly line and huge markups for machines for sale second hand (probably not a lot of second hand 139's out there yet).
2. S76 - Fairly common Sikorsky medium twin machine. Lots of variants available, each with their particular strengths and limitations. The D model is still being tested, but it'll be out in the next few years and should be a good piece of kit.
3. B412 - Still churning these out from Italy, but not a particularly elegant solution. Seats plenty and plenty of lifting power. Not, perhaps, what you would normally think of as a people mover but it will get the job done. There are plenty of these out in the world, but they are in high demand for EMS and other users, so the competition to get a good one will be stiff.
4. AS365N3 - Don't know much about Dauphins but they seem to have a fair bit of room, also twins, and can be found out there if you look in the right places.
If you are serious about this, you'd best get your uncle and yourself together with someone who is reasonably savvy in the aviation world and start making up a list of things you MUST have in your aircraft (single or twin, seating, interior, VFR or IFR) and those things which would be nice to have. Initial cost of the aircraft must be determined (used or new machine) as well as running costs (pay for pilot or pilots, maintenance costs, fuel, etc). I agree that you DO NOT want to tell anyone in the business of selling aircraft that money is no object...I can't imagine your uncle, no matter how filthy rich he is, is the least bit interested in throwing away money. Once you have had a REALLY GOOD think about this stuff, then you buy tickets to Italy, France, USA, etc and start visiting the Eurocopter, Sikorsky and AgustaWestland factories and start talking nuts and bolts with the sales staff. If new isn't the way you want to go, find a reputable broker and get him to find you a variety of aircraft to look at...this may involve you traveling around the world to really assess your (prospective) new cab.
And the list just keeps on going. How to hire pilot(s), maintenance staff, hangar, etc.
I hope this helps a bit. Happy to discuss further if you'd like.
Thank you very much for this post. I agree with you that my uncle is not willing to just throw money away, but the reason I said that was because I wanted to know all my possibilities for helicopters out there. Neither my uncle nor I know anything about helicopters therefore I did my best to do research for him. By searching for answers, I find that forums are the best because the answers are not from sales persons and are from real people who love this field. Again, I would like to thank everyone who has aided me in my research phase.
PS. I would love to travel to europe to view them up close. Another note, My uncle was trying to have a helicopter in his possession within the year. So I'm not sure if new off the line is possible.
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