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Old 27th Jun 2004, 20:31   #21 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Eurocopter AS 155

Does anyone have knowledge or experience on the 155?
I hear reliability may be a problem in comparison to the 365 and that an organisation in the Middle East returned them?
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Old 27th Jun 2004, 21:14   #22 (permalink)
 
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212man's the one to ask.
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Old 28th Jun 2004, 16:46   #23 (permalink)
 
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Anything specific you want to know? Any particular reason?

btw it's an EC-155 not AS: AS designators stopped when Aerospatiale merged with MBB and became Eurocopter

PS. the bit about the Middle East is correct to a point; it was one not "them" and I think you may find they were outside the FLM operating envelope (limit is +40 C), unless they were doing a lot of night flying! So perhaps their gripes about performance were not entirely justified.
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Old 28th Jun 2004, 23:27   #24 (permalink)
 
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must be nice to have enough money to buy an aircraft without reading the Flight Manual , it couldn't be that the salesman forgot to mention the temp limits could it ?. Are the any B2's delivered yet ? .
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Old 29th Jun 2004, 10:49   #25 (permalink)
 
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Thank you 212man. Just showing my age on AS/EC.
It would be to operate in Europe and UK and I don't know anyone with experience on the 155. My view is the 365 is well proven and reliable. I have heard less positive news on the 155, but only hearsay. I would prefer to move with technology, but maybe it needs a little longer to iron out the niggles? Any views on the varients? Would appreciate the weak points on the 155.
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Old 1st Jul 2004, 06:23   #26 (permalink)
 
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A Little Clarification!

When one orders an aircraft that is in development it is not possible to fly a production aircraft for evaluation or to have final performance figures. Those that were following the development of the EC155 will know that the Technical Specifications produced by Eurocopter went through several revisions. Not only did Basic Weight grow (as might be expected) but there was a significant erosion of performance shown in the graphs. Also the initial promised certification limit of +50c OAT was reduced to +40c OAT.

Whilst performance was a major concern with our aircraft, the prime reason it was returned was unreliability. One can fly when the Autopilot fails but when neither engine will start your VIP is stranded. When the electrical passenger steps fail regularly one is either limited to flying at 50kts or the Pilot has to attack and dismantle the steps - hardly compatible with VIP arrival and departures.

Given time many of our teething problems with the new aircraft may have been resolved. However we also had problems with systems/items that had functioned reliably on our 365s for years. Towards the end Eurocopter took our comments and complaints seriously and tried to address them, I believe this has helped subsequent purchasers but was too late for us.

Returning to the OAT Limitation comments. Certification flying to increase the OAT limit from the downgraded +40c was ongoing in America when we took delivery of our aircraft. We had been operating it for some 9 months before we reached the +40c limit and Eurocopter were aware we were operating beyond it. Certification proceeds slowly and being on a Government Register can have advantages.

I believe other operators have had their share of problems. We were told Eurocopter had to work with Bristow to find new Take Off Profiles for the Nigerian contract. Also via Turbomeca sources that, though never officially admitted, the engines delivered there were blueprinted to ensure maximum performance margins. Perhaps 212man can confirm the accuracy of this.

Despite all our problems, our EC155 was a very smooth, fast aircraft and often a joy to fly. I do not miss holding my breath everytime I pressed the Starter Buttons or tried to lift out of a landing site. Nor do I miss downloading all the Fault Codes after a flight only to find no one at Eurocopter knew what they meant!

Rumours suggest the projected EC155HP is no longer a runner, has anyone heard more?
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Old 1st Jul 2004, 20:14   #27 (permalink)
 
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Sandy,
apologies if offence given by my comment; slightly flippant I admit. I agree entirely with your remarks, many of which sound very familiar!

Davidi,
there are two in the UK now, though not on the G reg, a B and a B1. I have some involvement so if you seriously wanted to talk about them I could probably put you in touch with relevant people ( I have flown their B but not 'on the job' so can't comment too much on it's day to day use). E-mail or PM if you like.

I'm reluctant to say too much about our aircraft as a. they are not our aircaft but a client, and b. it is innappropriate for me to do so.

Suffice to say it is a fantastic aircraft in many ways but with a surprising number of reliabilty problems, many associated with what should be proven 365 componants. The new electronic stuff is pretty reliable. Any engine that runs at up to 845 C in the cruise must be in line for problems too, I'd suggest. By definition, it won't have much in reserve for when one stops, either.

The B1 addresses many of the problems unearthed by various operators, many of whom could be mistaken for thinking they have been used as intensive flying trials units. It also has the expanded envelope and increased performance (drops Cat A weight at 28 C rather then 19.5).

I think the one 'proposed' (not officially) with the Ardiden (developed from the TM-333) is on the back burner, but the success or otherwise of the AB-139 will determine the future plans. Pity it didn't have the 333 from the word go.

A delight to fly, though, as any one who flies it will testify.

Last edited by 212man; 2nd Jul 2004 at 14:59.
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 13:35   #28 (permalink)
 
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Let's hear it : the EC-155B1

Just found out recently that my company will use the EC-155B1 (for offshore) in the future.

What are the experiences with this aircraft?

DJG
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 14:14   #29 (permalink)
 
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Will or May? Temperate or Tropical?

Dancopter are pretty happy with their's I understand.
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 14:26   #30 (permalink)
 
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How about you 212man.....you are the 155 Guru extant are you not?
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 14:47   #31 (permalink)
 
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SASless, no I don't need an extant, I've got an FMS to tell me where I am......
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 14:54   #32 (permalink)
 
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Well this works....fortunately I've downloaded the Tech Details from EuroCopter.


DJG
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 02:15   #33 (permalink)
 
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EC 155 Drivers

Could any of you 155 drivers tell me the pros & cons of the machine, especially the latest model.
If you don't like it, what machine of that size would you prefer.

Many thanks
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 06:58   #34 (permalink)
 
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Nigel,
We looked at the 155 for our operation which is probably completely different from yours of course and came up with the following:

Pro

Speed
Range
Quiet
Good visibility
Volume
Flat floor
Sliding rear doors
Huge luggage space
At the moment if you know where to look - cheap

Cons

Hover performance
OEI performance
Engine power degradation over time
CAT A vertical profile - none
Altitude performance
Empty weight
Air conditioning

I guess you have to assess your priorities.

The hover performance seems to be a trade with speed. Comes from tacking another blade on what was once a 4 blade rotor. MGW ISA OGE = 0.

OEI - see above. OEI MGW ISA +20 200fpm/80knots = 150 ft/nm???????? Curve of the earth even before your authorities have attacked it!

The Arriel 2C1/2 struggles to make power sometimes and you can be splitting hairs. Seems 350B3 operators can have similar problems. No doubt it will be addressed and nobody said when.

CAT A vertical profile. I am told it is a legacy from the 365 gear. It can't handle the increased gross weight by design. This seems plague a few designs that are growth variants. (A109 Power?)

We regularly operate and land at over 10,000'. Performance up there is pretty limited. They were slowly expanding the envelope and maybe it will go further and in fact the certification trials occurred in exactly the same area. I think it is a lot better now.

It is real easy to eat your payload with EEW increases. Check your figures closely. Don't know why in this day of micro electronics people fit radios out of a 747.

Air conditioning performance seems to be not as good as it could be and may never be.

In your patch if the question is Payload/Range/Speed, it may be worth looking at because some fairly impressive numbers can be achieved. 160 knots should be easy.

Price - if you were to look really hard you may find a deal. You just have to consider why!

If the Hover performance or CAT A vertical is not acceptable. The N3 is probably an option if you can find one of course.
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 07:36   #35 (permalink)
 
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I think that's a pretty good sum up above. It's also very smooth which is a bonus for passengers and crews alike (though it does have a particularly harsh 5 per coming into land through about 25 kts). If you are a single pilot operation it is very well suited to that.

Has a good range on standard tanks: 1000 kg fuel with burn down to 290ish kg/hr at FL 80 and 160 kt TAS. SL gives about 340 kg/hr at 150-155 kt TAS.

The helipad profile does exist now, but is very limited. The current weights are a reflection of the need to maintain a 35 ft clearance from the ground during a continued take off, with TDP at 100ft, but climbing higher is not possible because of the vertical speed/undercarriage considerations during a rejected take off (currently it is possible to reach 1000 f/min if at max helipad weight and rejecting from 99 ft).

The 5th blade and fenestron are very hungry at low speeds, but once above 15-25 kts the scene changes quickly. If you depart heliports/runways then fly to a windy rig, no problem. If you want lots of confined area and hovering OGE ops, not so good.

A certain Danish operator uses the B1 offshore in the North Sea, and as far as I'm aware are very happy with it in that role.

Build quality is not what it might be which can result in frustrating unserviceabilities.

Currently has short service intervals for major checks and component changes, e.g. 600 hr check takes a couple of weeks and MGB is lifed at 1800 hrs at the moment. Awkward for a single or twin a/c, but busy, operation perhaps?

Rumour is that a B2 is round the corner, fitted with the TM Ardiden (a derivative of the TM-333)

Can't comment on the air-conditioning, unfortunately!
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 08:51   #36 (permalink)
 
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Encountered some airframe problems. Seems to be the "plastic" frame isn't so stable. After some flighthours, you can count with problems. Some inflight sliding doors losts and also engine cowlings separated in flight.

Avionics and 4-axis AP are impressive, really good for single pilot ops.
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 09:00   #37 (permalink)
 
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tecpilot,
not heard about the engine cowlings; any details?

I agree about the AP etc, superb. EC-225 even better.
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 14:28   #38 (permalink)
 
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Me thinks having to have a runway to operate helicopters says it all.....eh, 212man. Berger done with the runway yet?
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 16:45   #39 (permalink)
 
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212man,

check your PM.
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Old 9th Dec 2004, 21:09   #40 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Guys.

There seems to be more cons for field ops than I expected. What other machine of same size or slightly bigger would you prefer?
Is EC doing anything about these problems?
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