Check with engineers but I have had it happen on occasoins engineers told me it has got something to do with the software of the Vemde.
Another glitch with software is that it on occasions can give MRrpm exceedence (usually during start up - it will show on the over limit page as a nil time occurance) or when you overfly/fly near radio transmitters.
Hi all Colibri operators, Received an information leaflet and questionaire from a subsidiary of Turbomeca, concerning T45 control during start. The subject has been thrashed to death on this forum, and it would seem to have made TM take notice. The limited information seems to indicate a T45 rate of increase software solution. By installation of a linear actuator fed by the processed information from the VEMD, the fuel input can be limited to prevent a overtemp. The leaflet states the operation as follows:
"The linear actuator acts on the stop of sheath of the driving flow command. It is controlled by a law programmed in the T45 controller. This is obtained from parameters such as N1,P0 and T45. The actuator is authorized to operate by the T45 controller as long as N1 is lower than 60%. It is inhibited once this threshold is exeeded. The CT45 system ensures a starting aid whatever the conditions(cold weather ,altitude)"
"The starting procedure remains unchanged but the control of the T45 is no longer necessary. Furthermore the pilot keeps the control on the system: he can, if necessary,reduce the fuel flow, cut the power or increase the fuel flow." Sounds good if it works. Will be available as a retrofit. Wonder if you can negotiate with ensurance regarding reduced rate on "Turbosure" insurance
I just read the blurb that accompanied the brochure and to quote from Item 9 "The selling price of the system should be around 30,000 to 40,000 Euros. Compared to its operational utilities, would you be ready to invest this amount to equip your EC 120"
30 to 40 grand ! !. How much is the similar kit for the C20's? Bet it's way less than this.
Yes, that definitely has the sound of a Eurocopter/Turbomeca/EADS cash till in the background. It is not rocket science to add and certificate a software add-on and about 1,000 US$ (cost price) of actuator.
So we shall all go back to manual starts, people will occasionally burn the engine, the EC120 will get a bad reputation, and lose sales.
I think that is a little short sighted of Turbomeca.
On the 206 models there is a system available that I can not for the live of me remember the name of but it is a kind of a mini-Hums with automatic fuel control that costs $10.000 US (Euro 8.000.-)
It works real good, I used to fly a LongRanger with it. The procedure was to open the throttle to flight idle and then monitor the TOT. The engineers would usually all go out and watch when a new pilot who had newer used the system would do his first start. They usually had a good laugh when he´d get a terrified look on his face when the TOT needle would jump straight up to 790°c and then it would pulsate between 780 and 790° which is a good fast start for the 250 engine.
--Buitenzorg, thanks for the tip, yes it was Intellistart and I can vouch for that it works very well on the LongRanger.--
I think the system you're referring to is called Intellistart. I remember talking with a colleague who'd tried it and it was great, 17 secs from hitting the switch to idle. However, at the time they'd not yet tried it on a LongRanger with both an old and worn FCU and a weak battery, a more realistic challenge.
I would be interested in this too, especially as these two helis are the different ways I was thinking of going after gaining my ppl(h). I Thought the EC120 was an amazing quality product after reading the magazine tests, but then I read a thread on here some months ago that was slating the EC120 battery positioning and switches, and also probs with the VEMD along with other probs.
Made me think that yes the EC120 is modern and pretty (and expensive), but maybe the 'good old' 206 might be the better bet? I would really be interested in the honest professional opinion of somebody that has flown both? Especially as I'd never get this kind of response from the sales people...."EC120 not powerful enough...? I've seen one lift a Chinook!" You know the kind of thing.
aging fleet replacement.. Looks like 120's get old fast...
NEWS From the County of San Bernardino
The Board of Supervisors today authorized the sheriff to purchase two EC-120 patrol helicopters as part of a phased-in replacement of the county's aging fleet of law enforcement aircraft.
The Patrol Helicopter Replacement Program is designed to replenish the Sheriff's Department’s aging fleet of patrol helicopters over a five-year period. The EC-120 was selected after an extensive evaluation by Sheriff’s law enforcement aviation experts based upon the aircraft’s operating capabilities, maximum payload and lower operating cost. The EC-120 also costs approximately $250,000 less that the department’s other style of patrol helicopter, the McDonnell Douglas/Boeing MDH-600N.
The purchase will cost $2.28 million and will be funded from the Sheriff’s Department Special Revenue Fund Budget
SAN BERNARDINO — The Sheriff's Department is working on a plan to have a more advanced eye in the High Desert sky.
The department wants to replace its aging fleet of seven helicopters with six new models from American Eurocopter which can better handle the county's diverse geography and perform more tasks, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
The sheriff's current primary helicopters, American Eurocopter EC120s, are not able to adequately handle the tasks required of them in San Bernardino County, officials said.
"We've been operating (the EC120s), but we've found them lacking in power," said Lt. Tom Hornsby, of the Sheriff's Aviation Division.
The Sheriff's Department's plan for replacing the fleet calls for purchasing three Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopters, at a cost of $2.6 million per helicopter, during the 2004-05 fiscal year and another three helicopters during 2005-06, according to county reports.
The Board of Supervisors already approved the purchase of two helicopters with contingencies and with the cost of the third helicopter to be covered by revenue from the sale of the current fleet, according to county reports. However, a recommendation before the board to authorize the purchase at Tuesday's meeting was postponed until Feb. 1.
Hot summer air can steal power from the engines of the EC120s, and they are limited at performing rescues in rough terrain and mountainous areas, Hornsby said. They are also unable to carry extra passengers beyond the helicopter's crew, he said.
In addition to the four EC120s, the Sheriff's Department's Aviation Division also operates a Sikorsky H3, a McDonnell Douglas 500 and a McDonnell Douglas 600N. All seven will be sold to help cover the costs of the purchase, according to county reports.
The AS350s that the Sheriff's Department wants are common in Europe's Alpine areas. They have the extra power needed in mountainous areas and during high temperatures, Hornsby said. They can also carry three to four rescue personnel with their supplies in addition to the on-board crew.
The AS350s are also equipped with fire buckets for an initial attack during fire season and have an external hoist for dropping rescue and fire personnel in inaccessible areas, Hornsby said.
"Those are a couple of missions that we can't even think about doing with the EC120s," Hornsby said.
It illustrates just what I was asking about. I know that I am a low-hours spode compared to many on this site, but that doesn't mean that I don't care about helis the same as all of you. There aren't as many types of helis as there are planes, but real information about them is harder to come by. As mentioned before, the mags only get to test helis when distributors give them a few hours, or an affiliated owner gives them a flight, so where's the truth? The best (and most honest) comment I have read recently was by Dennis Kenyon in Loop, where he is talking about whether to recommend somebody to buy an Enstrom 280 or not. Brilliant and insightful because it was honest and based on professional and personal experience. So why can't we see that on here; what about a league table, a ratings guide? Similar to the 'Good, the Bad and the Ugly' ratings that you get in some car magazines. Why won't people cough up and say what they feel about helis and types?
Excerpt from Jane’s Defence Weekly dated 24 Jan 06
“Singapore to receive EC 120 helicopters for pilot training
Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) is due late in 2006 to take delivery of six EC 120 Colibri light utility helicopters, five of which will be used to provide flight training for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) under a SGD120 million (USD74.5 million) programme finalised in November 2005.
The public-private-partnership will see the company own and maintain the aircraft, with pilot training performed by the RSAF. Known as the Rotary Wing Course (RWC), the contract covers a period of 20 years.”
The EC 120 replaces a fleet of AS 550 Fennec’s, the military version of the AS 350B2 and is to be equipped with a Chelton EFIS cockpit.
After a very thorough evaluation the EC 120 beat the Bell 206.