I am lucky to have been offered a position, flying as F/O in the north sea. Still waiting for the start date and still don't know what kind of machinery I will be flying.
However it will most certainly be the S 92 or EC 225.
I might have slight say in what machine to fly, so I would be greatfull if anyone could give me inputs on which is the 'better machine' - mainly regarding noise and vibrations as I guess I will be spending quite a lot of time in it for the time to come..:-)
Good points made already, and I would say that it doesn't really make much difference which aircraft. Both are good aircraft to operate. I currently fly the S92, but would not be at all bothered if someone sent me over to fly 225. What would bother me though is moving base. I would say that this is the most important factor. There is quite a difference between the 5 bases we operate, and different places suit different people for different reasons. If you are going to commute, then find out which place is easiest and cheapest to commute to and from. If you are going to relocate, then find out which town suits best. Also the size of the base may be a factor. Some prefer the smaller bases with a more informal atmosphere, and some are happier at the busier airports and bigger operations and more people at work. Overall though, dont stress it too much. You will enjoy wherever you end up, and you can always move later on if you want.
If I were you in this current economic environment, I would be happy with any type. The only people who can objectively answer your question are those who operate (ie not just have flown) both types. I am not sure if there is such a pilot on the North Sea.
Good luck and remember you still have a long and steep learning curve ahead.
As someone who fly's the S92, but has experienced the 225, I would say from a pilot viewpoint the 225 is better.
The negatives with the 225 are possibly the two Makilas squeeling above your head. I also know of some 6ft+ pilots who find the distance between the top of their head and the overhead switches way too small
Either way I am sure you will enjoy whatever you end up with.
The problem is that there are few if any in this world that have significant operating experience on both the 225 and the 92. When you have come from a steam-driven aircraft, both are a major step up.
We will shortly have S92 and EC225 simulators next to each other in Aberdeen, I think that will allow more informed discussions on this point.
Everyone knows I am biased to the 225, but having spent a couple of hours in the S92 simulator, here's my version of the pros and cons:
S92 pros: Larger cockpit, more stable flight characteristics, manufacturers philosophy is to tell the pilot as much as possible about what is going on in the systems, N Sea aircraft have fully de-iced rotors which reduces stress in winter, and air conditioning for summer
S92 cons: more stable flight characteristics = sluggish control response (for a helicopter). Human interface (ie displays and controls) not intuitive, system information very complicated, rotor-deicing very unreliable, can't take full fuel with full pax, Vibration issues.
EC225 pros: Fast, smooth and lively, very precise autopilot. Manufacturers philosophy is that the pilots are the weak point in the system, so best not to tell them too much! Various protection modes built into the AFCS, eg automatic rrpm control following an engine failure, automatic engagement of 3rd cue when approaching the back of the drag curve in 2 cue. Very simple, intuitive but effective pilot interface. Can take full fuel with max passengers (flight planning is a doddle!). Takes a 160kt ILS on a turbulent day in its stride.
EC225 cons: Small cockpit, no rotor de-icing (but doesn't need it like the 92 does due to limited icing clearance), no aircon (on the N Sea aircraft)... running out of things to complain about...
As someone said, its probably more about the base - here at the moment its primarily Scatsta for S92 and Abz for 225, though of course that can change. On your side of the sea perhaps there is more even spread?
Off course 'choosing' operating base is priority number one.
I am sure that both types are amazing machines. A few years down the road, when the euforia of flying big machinery is fading, I guess vibrations/noise issues will be more important, bearing in mind that I most certainly will spend half my life in the thing..!
From what i understand most L2's will be replaced with EC 225 in the near future leaving 'us' with a mix of S92 and EC225 on both major bases (KSU/BGO), but that might off course change in the future...
Good point about long term noise. The 332L2 had an issue with noise, but I think it was primarily the fans needed to keep the crt screens cool. The 225 does not seem to suffer this problem and its a noticeably "low pilot fatigue" machine, in part due to low vibration, but also I think due to low noise (relatively of course!). I have heard that the 92 cockpit is noisier than the 225, but I have nothing concrete to back that up with - that is an area the Sims cannot show up, depends on where the instructor sets the volume knob!
I must say after I read the first post I cringed at what I suspected would be lighting bolts fired back and forth. I am enlightened to see such good debate, advantages and disadvantages of each aircraft discussed civilly. Perhaps now that both aircraft are fully fielded and have several years of operation we as an industry see each in a different light.
I’ve been fortunate to fly in, sell and lease both helicopters. And I must say each is a fantastic machine and as HC so eloquently put each manufacturer’s philosophy of design really shows itself in these two helicopters. And each will have its appeal to different pilots and engineers, its Mercedes v. BMW; Airbus v. Boeing; or Burgundy v. Bordeaux. Each has some attribute that in a given location, mission and condition perform better than the other.
but when the next S-92 model B comes out it most likely have 5 main wings and be smooth as silk, increased MTOM, more cruise and will most likely leave the 225 behind in comparison, also mind that the 225 is based on 35-40 years old design, which is both advantage and disadvantage at the same time
but in the end it is what will be in your wallet at the end each month that really matters regardless of which of the two buses you are driving
but when the next S-92 model B comes out it most likely have 5 main wings and be smooth as silk, increased MTOM, more cruise and will most likely leave the 225 behind in comparison,
That is a beautiful thought, and one I shall try and have with me when I go to bed at night. Now I generally am biased toward the Sikorsky, especially as I have flown Pumas before, but I suspect we will have run out of oil before SK have a B buzzing about the N.Sea!
but when the next S-92 model B comes out it most likely have 5 main wings and be smooth as silk, increased MTOM, more cruise and will most likely leave the 225 behind in comparison
Pure speculation of course, but I am inclined to agree that its difficult to see where the Super Puma family should go next when the EC225 is such a good product. At the moment EC are concentrating on the EC175, which will of course leave the S76D (30 years old and barely changed in the mean time) in the dust... (Dave, now see what we have started!)
It would be nice to think that EC will then go on to develop an EC225 replacement with a larger fuselage (taller cabin, bigger cockpit please!) whilst keeping the excellent pilot interface of the 225 - ie the Mark 3 they were going to develop 15 yrs ago!
Location: Retired to Bisley from the small African nation
Waltzer on SAR
Oh yes, but ...
A SAR machine is a device for getting the winchman to and from the scene of the action. Both ac are, I'm sure, excellent pilots' aircraft. The question is more to do with the working environment in the back.
As well as a host of other things - about 5 billion of them last time I heard ...