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Enstrom Corner

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Enstrom Corner


Old 15th Apr 2004, 20:02
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 12
E 480

Glad to hear about other operator experiences....they're a pretty rare bird in Canda.
As stated, I'll concure on the flying characteristics, they are very nice and forgiving. The machine is very stable in the hover and has heaps of tailrotor authority. I would agree that it's the least likely helicopter that I've flown to 'bite you back' . I did see 100kts once.....but I also had 300-400 fpm ROD....and the bad guys were still pulling away from us! Possibily our torque pressure reading was not accurate, but we did re-check it more than once. For our machine to see 125kts we'd of had to find a hard point for the JATO bottle!
The door latch problem was never solved but it did make a great secondary torque indicator!

The major 'breakdown' we did have was the tranny letting go in low hover....and I thank the lord for his mercies everyday!
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Old 17th Apr 2004, 02:01
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 106
Thanx for the info guys, much appreciated.
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Old 17th Apr 2004, 10:38
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Escrick York england
Posts: 1,507
i must agree with tot[who has also flown my 480s] i have owned 2 x 480s 1 s/h and 1 new

and have nearly 500 hrs on them i found them a joy to fly ,safe and very reasonable in cost ,the bills i got were substantially less than some of my friends 206/500/341s

parts wernt that bad and the doors they were a problem but when the modded doors from enstrom came i didnt have a problem at all

enstrom staff take time to speak with you ,they help out if you have a problem and a vist to the factory is a must i bought a new 480 they treated me as if i had bought the factory great company great people , and a fantastic product ,[i have also had 4 piston enstroms too ] sadly i wanted more seats so i changed otherwise i would have stayed with the product.

note to my knowledge no person has ever died in a accident in a enstrom product in the uk [europe too i think]

steve atherton
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Old 18th Apr 2004, 01:38
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: the hills of halton
Age: 66
Posts: 753
OT I assume you were the pilot of the york region police machine . Any idea if it is still parked at Fort Erie ?.
How are they doing with their new machine ?.

Edited due to errors :-
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Old 18th Apr 2004, 05:19
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 12

Not sure where it is now, and not even sure how the new program is going. Silverline lost the contract....it went to National and thats the last I heard of it.
Flew the 480 for about 6 mos, long enough to get pretty familiar with it and like I said, nice bird, but needed more ummpphh...
Glad to hear the door issue has been resolved in later models.....sure got our attention the first couple of times it happened inflight!
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 08:44
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Manchester
Posts: 87
Enstrom F28

Noticed a posting under the 'widowmakers' thread re. the Enstrom.

Anyone got any pro / con views on the Enstroms ?

Cheers, BeeGee
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 09:08
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Africa
Age: 52
Posts: 79

Never been in one myself but my instructor hated them ever since the donkey on his let go (hey Im picking up this lingo eh?) in the mountains. He made a perfect auto but never trusted the things after that. I never did hear what caused the engine failure.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 10:46
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Escrick York england
Posts: 1,507
i have had a f28a,f28c,f280fx,f28f,and 2 x 480s i found them all to be inexpensive safe helicopters
relaiable and over all nodody has ever died in one in the uk and we have lots over here

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Old 11th Aug 2004, 12:08
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,837
Niagara/Pan-Air Helicopters of Metcalfe, Ontario had a small fleet of F28Fs back in the 70s and early 80s, before they were sold. According to the owner at that time, the machines gave excellent service -sightseeing in the summer and instructing in the off-season.
He said during the whole time they had them they only had one mid-air mechanical problem which necessitated a precautionary landing.
However, turbocharging apparently shortens the life of engine.

Last edited by rotornut; 11th Aug 2004 at 12:24.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 13:20
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Denver, CO and the GOM
Age: 58
Posts: 515
In my limited experience with the 280C, I found it to be safe and predictable in flight. It was also demanding maintenance-wise, but if you took good care of it, it took good care of you. Drag dampers could be a source of irritation, but the only engine-stopper in the aircraft I was involved in came from a failed fuel-injection system.

When using it for training, the CFI must watch boost and RPM carefully, and monitor EGT and CHT as well, otherwise stuck and failed valves are likely (I saw one of those).

However, there's a very solid feeling to the aircraft, and they auto very nicely. The turbocharger is great in the mountains, and the ship is comfy for two and luggage.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 13:22
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: W'n. USA--full time RV
Posts: 132
Many years ago we got a corporate demo of a turbocharged model to park alongside our f/w jet. Corporate honchos were distinctly UNimpressed by sea level slow speeds with limited weight while turbocharger boosted engine in struggle to stay in the air. Conclusion (cheap shot) was that all that sexy streamlined bodywork weighed so much the machine couldn't get out of its own way. Certainly there wasn't much reserve power, and it appeared that maintenance would be a bear.

But at that time (1987) the Pasadena police department had a sizeable fleet of Enstroms and seemed perfectly happy with them. And it probably wasn't the sexy lines that did it. So we probably didn't give it a fair chance.

(The winner with the corp. honchos was the AS305 at $2 M; not exactly in the same class.)
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 13:28
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Caribbean
Posts: 170
Flingwing207 has it right.

Built well. Flies well. Loads of room.

Can be a maintenance headache if not looked after well.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 13:41
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 622
Thumbs up

I didn't like the F28C, but the 280FX is pretty nice ship to fly. VERY, I mean EXTREMELY, stable in flight. In fact, with the trim set right you can take your hands of the cyclic and change course by shifting your weight in the cabin (not recommended - just an observation). Auto's are relatively smooth, but it's a little different with that "boat-like" fuselage because it catches a lot of air.

Furthermore, the transmission was made from an old Chevy (I think) and the design hasn't changed much. One of the major CONs is that you have to send the transmission to the factory for any major maintenance or overhaul... they don't allow that job to be completed in the field.

Also, the lamiflex seems to be troublesome for some folks. That, plus the higher maintenance and the difficulty in getting a really good track and balance may lead you to other manufacturers. Anyway, it is a very stable platform and you can do cross-country's in the 280FX for days and days without killing your spine.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 15:44
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 573
I am a fan of the Enstroms. Good, solid and ideal for trips around the UK. Two up and luggage and I mean not the piddly stuff that's squeezed into a Robbo.
Good auto as good as or better than the 206/47.
Lamaflex bearings mean that when on the ground the collective lever needs to be set at mid way up. Turbo chargers need plenty of cooling/stabilising temps before shutting down.
F28 trim is a problem but this was sorted on the 280. In the F28 hovering needed cyclic muscle to hold position.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 17:35
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Manchester
Posts: 87
Thanks for posts.

So, better than the R22 or 44 for a novice learner type ? Or is the Schweizer better ?

Bee Gee
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 18:22
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 322
I am happy enough with my 280c, it has more room than the robbo 44 in the front and can lift me (100kg) and a similar passenger with full fuel and luggage.

Pros - Pleanty of power and not calander lifed
Cons - 1ltr - min fuel consumption
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 22:05
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 739
BG, I think if you're going to fly an R22 or R44, you should train on an R22 (or R44), as the Enstrom is a much more forgiving ship for the low time pilot. The Enstrom is also more practical (i.e. carrying a load and going somewhere) than the Schweizer, although I think the Schweizer is an excellent training ship. I want a 280fx as my first helicopter, but a late F28 might be a good choice as well.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 23:10
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Norwich, CT USA
Posts: 145
I use to fly an F-28 A way back in 1983. As I recall it was not a bad helicopter. We did have a lot of Lamaflex berrings go bad. I think that was a tracking problem at the time. We also had a F-28c as well. As I remember they performed pretty good in the hill for what we were doing with them.
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Old 11th Aug 2004, 23:47
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 2,013
Only limited time in the machine, but I HATED every minute of it. For a repetetive job like film work (lots of stops and starts) it was a mongrel to start when it was hot. It shook, it rattled, the fake woodgrain plastic and the dashboard looked like an old car (a Leyland P76, actually) and the dipstick was the worst design I have ever seen.

It needs 29" MAP just to hold level flight, so if the turbocharger quits you are out of the sky, even with the rest of the engine working.

There was a fatality in Sydney in the 80s when a junior pilot on a photo shoot ran out of pedal in a hover and spiralled into the deck. Another Enstrom made a spectacular landing in a front yard when the engine stopped due to "fuel contamination" - it was contaminated with air!

Glad to never fly one again.
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Old 12th Aug 2004, 08:46
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Hood River, Oregon, US
Posts: 19
Enjoyed my time in the Enstrom. Very solid feeling machine. I flew the F28A out of Fresno in 78. Very high rotor inertia. Autoed like a dream. The comparison above to the B-206 is right on. The A model, without a turbo, was underpowered anywhere but sea level. It was imperative to lead collective pull with throttle or you were going to loose rotor Rpms. Once lost, and at full throttle, you had to "milk" the collective to get em back ever so slowly.

Having talked to the factory lately, they claim to have extended the life of lamiflex bearings significantly. No AD's or bothersome service bulletins. No calender parts.
I'd buy one again.

Fly safe,

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