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Old 6th May 2003, 23:34   #41 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: UK
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So what's the craic? Has Enstrom gone bust or is it for sale?

I am so pleased with my 280C that I would be interested in buying the company, well a bit of it anyway!

FS If you are interested in buying it, send me a PM, I may be interested in doing something.

I hope it can be kept going as it is IMHO a good product.
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Old 7th May 2003, 00:35   #42 (permalink)
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RB, I can't for several reasons, not the least of which is the cash requirement that I think is needed to really get the company going. My wife and I don't borrow money for any reason, and I think a much greater cash requirement would be needed AFTER purchasing the company. I think a new owner needs to invest heavily in the company for 2 plus years, then he has to wait a while for a good return, while steady investing in it after the initial heavy cash period. Unfortunately I just can't do this right now, even though I see the potential in the company. Besides, I'm more than a little uncomfortable with my present knowledge of the industry. I'd like to know a lot more.

There are 2 nice technical innovations I heard about recently. One is Enstrom seems to have finally come upon the right bearing combination in the bearing stack for the tail rotor blades. The change greatly reduces the maintenance requirement in that area. The second is they came up with a thick wall main rotor drive shaft, that seems to have eliminated all of the touchy tracking problems that Enstroms are known for. Unfortunately the thin wall drive shafts will remain in circulation for a quite while. Additional cash could change that.

I think more product innovations of the reduced maintenance type need to be made, in addition to product development that would make the helicopters more competitive against you know who.
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Old 7th May 2003, 08:41   #43 (permalink)
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If Enstrom do go bust, what is the implication for C of A? Someone told me that if an aircraft is no longer 'supported' by the manufacturer it cannot have a C of A here in the UK. Would it have to go onto a permit to fly?.

I love my F28A, one of the ones Dennis first sold. I learnt in Robbos but prefer my F28A to an R22 for its fuel injection, safety, looks, luggage space, cheap and available secondhand parts and extra (childs) seat. Yes it is slow, underpowered and heavy but it gets me and my family around just fine and is cheap to insure, and so far reliable and cheap to run. Its performance 2 up is about the same as an R22. The 280FX is no competition to R44 and too expensive to compete with R22. If Enstrom survive they need to go upmarket to compete with the R44 or bring back a simple 2 seat updated version of the 28A as a trainer to compete with the R22.

R22 pilots who have been in my 28year old Enstrom have been without exception impressed with the way it flies.

I have read a lot of negative stuff about Enstroms on this and other sites over the years - mostly not true. It will be a shame if the company fails.
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Old 8th May 2003, 23:45   #44 (permalink)
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Enstrom Situation

Those of us at Enstrom certainly suffered a shock when Steve Daniels was let go!. It seems that he got crossways with the ownership over Enstrom's needs for extra financing to support the expansion that we are presently going through. It was an unfortunate communications problem between him and the owners that got out of control and led to his downfall.

The good news is that owners are solidly behind the program and Enstrom is on firm footing financially.

Peter Parsinen is replacing Steve at the helm at Enstrom. He was Senior VP at Bell during their expansin several years ago and was the guy who recruted Steve originally; he had been advising Steve on the Sales and Marketing initiatives that we had recently undertaken.

The upshot of all this is that the expansion and improvements are moving forward just as they were. The increased orders have allowed Enstrom to add engineers to the staff so that we can go ahead with developing some of the product improvements that have fallen behind in recent years.

I think that you will see Enstrom emerging as a major player in the helicopter world, we will probably always be the smallest, but that will allow us to provide the individual customer support that we have been somewhat haphazard about in the past.
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Old 12th May 2003, 23:09   #45 (permalink)
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DR, I'm very glad to hear this, as I hope to be a customer sometime in the future.

BTW, how is the product support (for the 280FX) here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? I apologize that I haven't had time to research this very much.
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Old 15th May 2003, 13:00   #46 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Enstrom on the rocks?

I am orginally a fixed winger and recieved my private add-on for helicopters 2 years ago. I learned in the R-22 and loved it's attributes but never felt real confident with only about 40 hours in make and model. Plus, I never felt safe doing autos with my Instructor , let alone solo.

Then I purchased a 1980 Enstrom F-28C-2 and received the commercial add-on and also plan on getting the CFI add-on this summer. I now have about 100 hours in the Enstrom and 40 in the R-22.

The Enstrom has really improved my confidence because of it's "hands off stability" in forward flight and it's fantastic autorotation characteristics. The only issue of transitioning from the R-22 to the Enstrom was leanring how to manage the manual throttle, since there is no governor or mechanical correlator. After a few hours of dual instruction, I was able to proceed on my own solo. Soon, I was able to do all types of autos, even full touch downs with confidence and without an Instructor.

Then, I was able to manage the throttle by using my ears and not just the tachometer, as well as by the feel. That enabled me to practice loss of tail rotor to a full touch down landing, since I am comfortable using the throttle all the time. When I take other helicopter pilots up in my Enstrom, they are so impressed because the stigma becomes a myth.

I don't want to become over-confident, especially since I am still a low time rotorhead, but I do feel that the Enstrom has made me a better and safer pilot. I am also an A&P Mechanic, have been to the factory school for training and am highly impressed with the personnel at Enstrom!
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Old 16th May 2003, 10:16   #47 (permalink)
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Enstrom Support in Dallas

For Ensrom support in the Dallas area I would try Sky Helicopters in Garland, Ken Pratt is a Dealer for Brand R but I believe he has supported an Enstrom in the past and was great to us when we were at his facility during the helicopter show this year and in the past. Our president Peter Parsinen lives in Dallas so we could probably do some leg work for you if you need it.
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Old 16th May 2003, 17:15   #48 (permalink)
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Finally got the opportunity to get down to some serious work towards that helo rating, and on the Enstrom 280C at that!

My assessment of it - for what a helo novice's opinion is worth - is that it's a solid-feeling machine, but a bit on the expensive-to-rent side for a two-seat training helo.

Gotta travel much further than practical if I'm to get cheaper time on a Robbie or a Schweizer, so I've bitten the bullet to pay the extra money for the Enstrom time. I linked up with an aerial applicator who operates a 280C and happened to have an instructor ticket.

He's essentially the "only game in town", but to get my time on a larger aircraft - fitted with all the usual spraying kit to boot! - actually makes it seem worth the extra money. Well.... SOMETIMES!
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Old 17th May 2003, 03:07   #49 (permalink)
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Thanks DR, I know right where Sky Helicopters is. I'll try to get the time to go by and visit with Ken. I knew they were a dealer for Brand R and I've seen some Schweizers there, but had no idea they were also involved with Enstroms.
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Old 8th Jul 2003, 13:51   #50 (permalink)
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Enstrom boost from police order for 18 480Bs

Enstrom's management and ownership changes have been debated on Rotorheads a lot recently, so I'm sure it's a boost to the company to have this order!

Enstrom Press Release
Menominee, Mich., July 7, 2003 - Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has been chosen by the Indonesian National Police to deliver 18 helicopters over the next 12 months. Enstrom’s 480B turbine will modernize their helicopter fleet in support of typical security mission profiles in its demanding hot and humid environment. Other finalists competing for the contract, which was signed last week, were Schweizer and Eurocopter.

“This is a big win for Enstrom Helicopter Corporation,” said President Peter Parsinen. “The Indonesian announcement is a very important international endorsement stating that Enstrom is a top competitor in building quality helicopters for police agencies around the world. The Indonesian police are a very professional organization and great to work with. The 480B’s performance and price more than fill all the requirements to perform the police’s important security role.”

Parsinen went on to say that this win confirms Enstrom’s decision to rebuild its worldwide dealer network. He said Enstrom’s Asia office and its Indonesian representative, P.T. Poris Duta Sarana, were instrumental in the win.

At home, the deal will mean more jobs and an increased production schedule for the plant.

Founded in 1959, Enstrom manufactures the three-place, piston-powered F28F and 280FX, and the turbine-powered 480B. For law enforcement applications, the 480B is known as the Guardian and the F28F is called the Sentinel.

Last edited by Heliport; 9th Jul 2003 at 04:00.
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Old 8th Jul 2003, 21:53   #51 (permalink)
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I dunnno....but if I was out buying Aircraft for a Law Enforcement mission, I think there are better ones out there. Based on the Amount of Money, Location of Purchaser, and the Politics, it appears to me that Bell, MD and Eurocopter got caught asleep at the wheel..... or maybe there is now another rich Indonesian.......
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 00:26   #52 (permalink)
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I dunno either...the San Antonio police bought several Schweizer 333s not long ago. When you travel to the city, you see them buzzing around all the time.

If memory serves, both of these machines have seriously derated Allison's. Does this level of derating extend the TBO, or otherwise lower the maintenance cost? Would this be an advantage to some poilice departments with smaller budgets?
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 06:17   #53 (permalink)
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Back in May it was announced that the Indonesian police were evaluating three proposals for small turboprops as part of a $31 million procurement of rotary and fixed-wing patrol aircraft.
The fixed wing pitch is yet to be decided but the competitors are the Casa 235, Beechcraft 1900D and PZL M-28 Skytruck.

On the helicopter side, the Eurocopter EC120, Enstrom 480B and Schweizer 333 were shortlisted. The Robinson R44 Raven II, Bell 206B, Kamov Ka-226 and Changhe Z-11 had been eliminated from the competition [by May].

The force have $14M in fixed-wing money and $17M in helicopter order money.

Manufacturers were to provide as many aircraft as they could for the money, plus training, maintenance, hangars and heliports. They anticipated the budget will allow two turboprops and 10 to 17 helicopters.

Well they got 18 turbine powered 480B helicopters.

The current fleet is 20 years old BO105s. As these are twins it looks like the Enstrom's will supplement rather than replace them.
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Old 15th Jan 2004, 07:24   #54 (permalink)
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Has anybody experience an Enstrom Tail Rotor Drive Shaft Bearing Failure

Recently I Know of a pilot operating an F-28F who experienced a drive shaft bearing failure.
Has anybody experienced a similar problem, as in the the UK it is unheard of.
The pilot safely landed the aircraft.
After the failure, the pilot was unable to unable to identify the problem using the recommeded checks but visually was able to identify the failure of the rubber around the bearing.
The AAIB have inspected the aircraft.
It would be good to know if this was start of a new issue or a known problem
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Old 16th Jan 2004, 22:24   #55 (permalink)
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see your private messages
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Old 12th Apr 2004, 12:08   #56 (permalink)
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Enstrom 480

Hey guys just after a bit of info on the 480. Anyone operated, flown, seen or been near one of these.
Anyone with rough DOCs?
Anyone know if they usually get through to service?
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 04:49   #57 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
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Spent some time flying one...about 350hrs in it.
Typical C-20 operation, torque gauge appears lifted right from a 206, 'cept its redlined at 72%!! as the transmission may have been lifted right out of a Festiva! We actually had a tranny give out on us in low hover...customer support left a little to be desired, but maybe thats improved.
It looks heaps faster than it is, 90kts on a good cool night but had some interesting quirks. As you approached Max Q in flight, you knew that you were approaching 90kts because the airframe twisted in such a way that the passenger door would 'pop' open with a distracting change of pressure! and you knew that 90kts had been reached when the pilots door would 'pop' open as well!
Its a machine that could get you stuck into a confined area as it really couldn't pull the skim off a rice pudding.
The handling, despite being unboosted, was very good and predictable but there was one 'gotchya' in the collective. While at flight idle, it would tend to creep upwards, sometimes rather abruptly.....never forget to friction it down should you need to take your hand off it!!!...I don't know whether it was particular to our machine, or characteristic of the type but was a dangerous quirk.
The auto rotative characteristics were wonderful. Very forgiving, lots of inertia...really no excuse for not keeping the greasy side down!
Great visibilty in all flight regimes, plenty of tail rotor authority, very good adverse wind characteristics.

Hightlights - easy to handle, fairly smooth and quiet
Great autorotative handling
Lots of tailrotor ( but could really be just lack of Q!)
Reliable powerplant....the C-20 is topped to about
240? hp....should easily run to TBO
Fairly inexpensive to operate and purchase

Downsides - Needs more ummmmphh (a better tranny, which I
believe has been addressed in newer models to a
certain extent)
Relatively unimpressive cruise speed
Airframe weakness
Customer support
Exhaust is under the belly....extreme fire hazard
during off-site landings and is prone to cracks
Heater was weak for Canadian winters.

Hope this helps!....insofar as DOC's go....well i jusat flew 'er and fueled 'er.....but I think you could count on about 60% of a 206
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Old 15th Apr 2004, 05:18   #58 (permalink)
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overtorqued - was that a standard 480, or the later 480B model. One would assume that the B model may be higher spec than the original, but you never know!
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Old 15th Apr 2004, 09:53   #59 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Enstom 480

After reading the earlier post, I would like to add a few facts in defence of the EN480. I have flown just about every 480 in the UK, including the earliest one as well as all the latests 480B'S.
Just like every other product in the world,you will occasionally have a fault that needs attention. However I can catagorically state that all of the 480's are the EASIEST, MOST FORGIVING, EASIEST TO LAND, and least likely to "BITE YOU BACK" than any of the other twenty or so types that I fly!!!
480: MTOW 2850LBS, TORQUE 66.5PSI MAX 125 Knots
48OB :3000 LBS.VNE TORQUE 74.5 PSI MAX 125 KNOTS, Passengers total 4 adults, or 5 smaller ones. USUAL CRUISE 100 KNOTS, Light load 110 knots.
Brilliant spot turns on windy days 35 knots!!! B206 17 knots!!
Will land on STEEPER sloping ground than any other heli!
SLOWER ROD in auto than anything else!!
Cheapest turbine to operate!!
22 gallons per hour average.
Last 3 yrs I have flown them approxiametley 500 hrs., major breakdowns:NONE, minor breakdowns: tail rotor gearbox oilseal leaking, faulty engine oil pressure gauge, radio interference on 480B caused by maingear box electric cooler pump motor.

Very early ones have poor door fasteners
Very early one have cyclic shake about 95-100knots
Collective can "want to rise" if not adjusted properly.

Last edited by TOT; 15th Apr 2004 at 10:16.
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Old 15th Apr 2004, 18:46   #60 (permalink)
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Manufacture reserves rights to make changes!

I was flying a very early model. As mentioned above, I believe the transmission was uprated and maybe some other improvements. Lets hope they solved the frame-flexing!
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