I don't know enough about the 22 to comment, but I know 2 H300 operators who have been complaining about the cost of the machine to maintain lately. They always need tweaking in some capacity and need an engineer around most of the time. They have C's and Cbi's - apart from the obvious timelife components, I understand there's not a lot of difference in maintenance between the newer and older models.
Run 300C models for about 15 years at about 300 to 500 hours a year.
The only unscheduled maintenance in the past 3 years / 1300 hours has been 1. cracked skid - while wheeling it out ( last week ) $ 2500 2. Clutch actuator failed $ 500 3. radio display u/s £ 120
If I go back another 3 years and 950 hours
1. Engine overspeed - student started with throttle fully open £ 11000 but insurance paid 2. Broken ring gear £ 470 3. Trim diode £ 25 4. Trim pivot pin sheared £50
I have owned 7 different machines all generally not a problem if you a) Keep it in a hanger b) warm it up and shut it down properly c) LOOK AFTER IT d) Use an engineer who knows the type
Their biggest problem is they are not user friendly eg changing the oil filter needs belly panel off, although new ones you don't need to do this. Blades - erosion strips will only last 3 years unless looked after really well. Just bought a new set of blades and strips sealed up much better. If you have the old cone feathering bearing change to elastomeric fork will save a fortune.
Now one of my customers left his outside with no covers on for 6 months - £ 10K later it is up and flying !
Flying Squirrel - Can't comment on H500's ship but, in general, the big concern with an engine overspeed in this model is the lower pulley drive shaft. Overspeed requires an eddy current check.
I've owned a 1998 300C for over two years now (the fuel injected, 3 seater, 950lbs. payload model of the H269 series). The only unscheduled maintenance I've had to perform is:
1) New alternator 2) Starter relay
I also changed out the original starter for a SkyTec high torque starter - highly recommended for the colder months.
The CBi, though not as powerful as the 300C, has extended life limits on more components
Vertical Magazine ran an article last year comparing the R22 and 300Cbi. They calculated the scheduled maintenance to be somewhat less for the 300CBi at 2200 and 4400 hours. They also speculated the downtime is less in the CBi, for scheduled maintenance, attributed to the incremental, local shop performed CBi maintenance vs. R22 return-to-factory overhaul.
Location: Region 5 / Region 4 / and sometimes Region 8?
I believe one consideration often neglected in comparing the operating cost of R22s vs. 300s is the comparative ease of rotor overspeeds in R22s in autorotation training.
This cost mostly applies in a busy training environment, with new instructors teaching new students, and can be minimized with good CFI training on how to recognize student mistake processes and recover without letting the rpm wind up over the red.
I've never had the pleasure of giving instruction in the 300 series, but, having recieved my initial training in one, I don't remember having nearly the trouble controlling the Nr as most students I've trained in R22s. I have seen several R22s go out of service due to overspeeds at much cost in mx. and lost revenue time.
If anyone out there has time teaching primary students in both types, perhaps they could comment on this.
The engine was cold - worst case. What normally happens is the following
1.Too much charge is put into the pots ( throttle fully open ) 2.Engine fires - the explosion in the pots is so great that the the piston whistles too quickly down the barrel. 3. Due to xs speed everything is momentarily elongated 4. This causes the big end to take a scoop out of the white metal bearing - the metal normally found in the scavege filter after an overspeed. 5. Usually the driveshaft remains intact
Most overspeeds are usually not that bad because a) the erpm needle leads the engine quite considerably b) engine is reasonably robust c) if engine is warm there is a protective coating of oil everywhere.
Generally the 300 is a great little ship they will take the abuse that an R22 will not tolerate. Bear in mind one was designed as a military trainer trhe other as a 1 + 1 personal transport machine.
"Robinson R22 Beta II vs Schweizer 300CBi: A Battle of Equals? The Schweizer 300CBi and the Robinson R22 Beta II are the two major production helicopters contending for today's flight training dollar. Ardent fans of each respective helicopter will argue to the death the unique merits that make their choice the best. Vertical test pilot, and East Coast US Editor, Guy Maher travels to Helicopter Adventures in Florida to take a close look at each machine, cut through the hype, and evaluate each helicopter in its training role."