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Enstrom Corner

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Enstrom Corner


Old 11th Dec 2004, 13:29
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
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Your advice did give the impression you assumed Outofwhack knows nothing. (I know that wasn't intentional.)

All he's doing is asking for advice on 'things to look for' so as to reject some machines without going to the expense of an engineeer - not planning to buy without an engineer's inspection.

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Old 11th Dec 2004, 16:57
  #102 (permalink)  
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Thank you.
Thats the kind of information I need. Much appreciated!

Albeit a newbie to rotary, I know enough about fixed wing aviation to know that engineers are not supermen and nobody should give their trust implicitly.

Althought I am a new CPLH and an old PPLA, I believe that one doesn't need to pass engineers exams to look along a blade and spot abnormalities. Only to legally condemn them!
Don't get me wrong.
I have the deepest respect for time served, authentic and honest engineers, who know their stuff. Bravo! But there are some that wing it! [like the engineer who was unfamiliar with my wooden fixed wing aerobatic plane at the last 100 hourly and caused many thousands of dollars unnecessary damage to it].

Anyway, I am bored of fixed wing now I have tasted helicopters. Has anyone got any pluses or minuses about Enstrom F28A.

Yours faithfully,

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Old 11th Dec 2004, 18:04
  #103 (permalink)  
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Maverick laddie & Shy torque:

Hehe.. I guess its not really absolutely necessary to use a Quarter, I guess its just more a custom.


Im not really very familiar with the F28, however it is my feeling from the many F28s Ive seen sitting in hangars around that they are pretty difficult to keep in flyable condition.

Sometimes its cheaper in the long run to buy a newer model helicopter like the FX280, S-300 or R-22/44.

At the very least if you opt for a low cost 1971 or around that F28 be prepared to have an expensive hangar queen IMHO!

However Im no speicalist in the F28, there has to be someone out there that knows more.

I have heard good things about the Enstrom, but the 15 hrs that I have in Enstrom were not that good. I had a lot of mechanical malfunctions during my IFR training in the FX280 Shark Enstrom I trained in. Out of those 15 hrs I flew there was never a single hour without some problems! However I have known a pilot with lot more hrs in them who really liked them and never had problems.
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Old 11th Dec 2004, 18:47
  #104 (permalink)  

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A few weeks ago a thread existed that was discussing the merits of Crashworthiness, it was started due to some incident with another R22, from the outcome of that thread it stood out quite well that the Enstrom was or seemed to be the more crashworthy of the bunch of small helis.

I have flown both types and to be really honest whilst the Enstrom are not that popular in the UK, they do seem far more sturdy than the others of the same sort of money, but a lot of people have quite a lot of distrust in the engine dept, most of the Cpls that I know always make the comment, that if you fly an Enstrom, it is either just about to, or just had some sort of engine problem. But the ones I have flown have been OK, and feel solid when compared with the R22, which has its own problems


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Old 11th Dec 2004, 19:09
  #105 (permalink)  
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Having flown most pistons, I would rate the Enstrom highly - very robust, superb EOL performance. Maybe a bit pricy, but a great training aircraft compared to Robbos, IMHO.
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Old 11th Dec 2004, 23:25
  #106 (permalink)  
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OOW, I know nothing of Enstroms, but about the blade delamination -
All metal blades that I know of are laminated. Solid metal blades would be far too heavy and far too expensive to mill. Rotor blades have a metal spar at or near the leading edge, with a honeycomb of some sort behind that, tapering to the trailing edge. The metal skin is laminated to the honeycomb, and to itself at the trailing edge. If the bond separates, the strength of the entire structure is compromised. The usual way to detect this delamination is, as mentioned, tapping the skin with a coin. Be careful, though. I've seen blades that could be dented with my knuckle, and taps with a plastic screwdriver handle or similar completely ruined them. If the delamination is severe enough, you may be able to see it visually, by looking along the blade at a very low angle, and seeing a slight bubble. If you can see it, the blade is likely worthless.
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Old 12th Dec 2004, 10:04
  #107 (permalink)  
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if you send me your emailaddress i will send you the page out of the manualMAINTENANCE MANUAL
but for starters
I. Inspection and Rejection Criteria for Bond Line Corrosive Delamination
(1) Main Rotor Blade
Inspect edge of all bond lines for separations, visually and coin tap. If inspection reveals evidence of delamination, depth may be checked on trailing edge and doublers with plastic shim stock .001" in thickness. Do not use shim stock to check spar to leading edge delamination, COIN TAP ONLY.
CAUTION: Do not use anything other than shim stock to check depth of lamination.
(a) Coin tap detectable bond separations at the skin-spar joint in excess of limits in Figure 4-1 and 4-2 are cause for rejection.
(b) Visual or coin tap detectable bond separations at the blade trailing edge of more than 3.00 inches in length or deeper than .25 inch are cause for rejection. (See Figures 4-3 and 4-4)
(c) Any bond separations on the doubler closer than 2.00 inches to the tip, or more than 3.00 inches in length, or greater than .125 inch in depth are cause for rejection.
(2) Tail Rotor Blade
Using the same method as in Part (I) (1), inspect all bond lines.
(a) Bond separations on the trailing edge deeper than .050 inch or more than 2.00 inches in length are cause for rejection.
(b) Any bond separation on the stainless steel cap more than 2.00 inches from the tip or greater in depth than .062 inch is cause for rejection.
(c) Any bond separation on the doublers closer than 2.00 inches to the tip of the doubler under which it appears, or greater than 1.00 inch in length, or deeper than .062 inch in depth is cause for rejection.
NOTE: Delamination as noted in (1) and (2) which are lesser are acceptable, if procedures in paragraph J are performed.
J. Preliminary Repair Procedures for Acceptable Blade Bond Delamination to Arrest Corrosive Action Prior to Refinish
(1) Skin to Spar Bond Sealing Procedure (Main Rotor Blade)
Separations smaller than the limits shown in Figures 4-1 and 4-2 may be sealed using the following procedure.

i have had 6 enstroms from a f28a to a 480 turbine i found them to be a safe and reliable helicopters ive not had a engine problem or any other major fault and i have over 1000 hrs on enstroms they are also very enconomical to run

there are lots of enstrom engineers out there if in doubt ask one of them
regards steve
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Old 12th Dec 2004, 14:58
  #108 (permalink)  
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Helpful post Steve.

If you're serious about getting an Enstrom, you might want to speak to Dennis Kenyon at Shoreham.
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Old 12th Dec 2004, 19:22
  #109 (permalink)  

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Do you always bite the heads off newbies? How patronising!
I think that was a bit unfair. Peter's responses are always very balanced and biased towards safety.

For whichever type, get an INDEPEDENT engineer to review and assess the machine prior to contract.

There are not so many Enstroms in the UK, certainly compared to R22/ R44. There must be a reason for there being so many R44 machines compared to the Enstrom piston machines (take the turbines out of the equation for now for simplicity).

Worth looking at the relative maintenance costs and revenue potential if looking to see time as well. If few people have them them less likely to find high hours (safe) pilots to fly them and less maintenance operations to service them.

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Old 13th Dec 2004, 00:06
  #110 (permalink)  
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I have a 28A which is a good reliable machine. Maintenance costs are a bit higher than an R22 but that is probably because it is 30 years old . Performance is about the same as a 22 but there is the extra seat. There are quite a few second hand blades around with good history at prices which make Robbie owners green. I got one a few months ago for 1100. Reason for the change was a 3 inch spar delamination which was not dramatic. just a bit of vibration. There is no honeycomb in Enstrom blades. Just air. They are not lifed, except on condition.

It has just done a full year with no days out of service except scheduled maitenance. It flew 121 times in the year. a total of 55 hours. Not much but it is only used for fun.

Last edited by Gaseous; 13th Dec 2004 at 00:25.
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Old 13th Dec 2004, 01:49
  #111 (permalink)  
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OOW, I don't own an Enstrom and I haven't flown one yet, but I've been looking at them for some time.

There are a couple of mods that would be nice to have on an F28A, if you can find a machine that has them. First, Enstrom makes a new thicker walled main rotor drive shaft, that eliminates the touchy track and balance problems of earlier Enstroms. New Enstroms are delivered with the new rotor shaft, and earlier machines can be retrofitted with it. Unless this has been changed, the typical unmodified F28A with the older thin wall rotor shaft, will have the historic touchy track and balance issues.

Second, I understand that earlier Enstroms can sometimes have issues with the tail rotor drive bearings. This has been corrected on new machines, and again earlier machines can be retrofitted with the new bearing kit assembly.

Also, I understand that Enstroms can sometimes be tricky to service, and most of the drive system alignments have to be done with precision. So when shopping for an Enstrom, be sure to also shop for an excellent Enstrom engineer to service the machine, because you'll need him. An Enstrom that is properly setup and serviced will be a safe, fun, low cost, and trouble free machine to own. An Enstrom that is not properly setup, will be a major headache to own.
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Old 13th Dec 2004, 12:43
  #112 (permalink)  
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I have had no real big problems with my 280C and found it reasonably inexpensive to operate.
There are a few 280 models for sale at reasonable prices 50 - 80K Sterling and I would think about going for one of these if you can, it has the turbo which helps in hot and high (although even that struggled to get my fat ar$e off in the middle of summer ) and has a lot more power. The early 28a can be a bit short of power in the summer or 2 up and probably never goes 3 up.
The only other downside is the increase in fuel consumtion over the R22 but you can get better than 1 litre/min by leaning it.
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Old 13th Dec 2004, 12:53
  #113 (permalink)  
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I would recommend you talk to owners - I have one guy you can contact - he has been operating them commercially for some time now and can give you a good idea of what to expect and look for.

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Old 13th Dec 2004, 14:58
  #114 (permalink)  
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I used to instruct in Enstroms and then in R22s and R44s.

Enstrom advantages:

Turbo model can get you out of dangerous situation with extra power (esp at altitude);

easier to learn to fly; good preparation for more advanced training eg. night rating, IR, turbine helis;

Can do autos and tr failures to the ground every time;

Very rugged and tough; crashworthy;

No weight limit on seat and plenty room for 2 (cramped for 3);

Looks like a proper helicopter;

Significant boot space - weekend bag for 2 no problem

Enstrom disadvantages:

More expensive and fiddly to maintain; blades difficult to keep right and lamiflex bearings esp expensive;

SLOW, SLOW, SLOW esp round nosers;

More difficult to adapt afterwards to Robbie, esp 22

Detractors would say that it has to be able to auto to the ground in practice because you are going to have an engine failure but others say that's more due to dodgy maintenance in our neck of the woods...
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Old 18th Dec 2004, 12:06
  #115 (permalink)  
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enstrom vs eurocopter


Is the 480 4 times better than the 120 , the numbers would suggest LOL.

Is there any one out there that has flown both ?.

I think the selection process for the basic trainer helicopter , won by the 206B , left a sour taste in all the other contenders mouths . The winning helicopter did not meet the specs in several important areas but was still selected .
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Old 18th Dec 2004, 13:03
  #116 (permalink)  
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It is a funny notion perhaps but I think the rift between Enstrom and EADS is based on the fact that France in particular did not partake in this Iraq thingy. And lets face it Eurocopter constantly presents new techology to customers. As for the flying characteristics; I have flown the 480 on a few occasions and I might be wrong but I guess the EC 120 has a slightly bigger cabin though unfortunately can't say much about the EC 120.

This might not contribute to your question but it is perhaps a thought worth thinking of...

What I still cannot understand is the fact that the major helicopter manufacturers in North America seem to be sleeping at this stage in regards to competition. Because Bell Helicopter builds supreme aircraft as well as Sikorsky and MD Helicopters, and each and everyone of them is toppled by EADS. They must have a more agressive marketing strategy. And the U.S. government goes out there and contracts a foreign manufacturer for the supply of aircraft. Where is the spirit gone "Buy American"? Is this tactic simply to put even with Europe to create a less hostile attitude? But when I look around everyone flies Squirrels, the EC 135/145, etc... EADS obviously found a better way to present its products and access customers.
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Old 18th Dec 2004, 20:14
  #117 (permalink)  
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We could've done that.....

....but we didnt.... is the way that whole article reads, if anyone has read it. The question begs....so exactly why didnt you then? Maybe thats why they lost out?

Just an observation.

Regards, SD..
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Old 18th Dec 2004, 20:28
  #118 (permalink)  
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I believe that you may have answered your own question.

" ... the major helicopter manufacturers in North America ....must have a more aggressive marketing strategy.
Where is the spirit gone 'Buy American'? "

IMHO, American manufactures should have been spending more money in their Engineering departments and less in their Marketing departments.

The European VTOL manufactures will eventually see competition, but it will be coming from the Far East.
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Old 18th Dec 2004, 20:31
  #119 (permalink)  
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alouette said "EADS obviously found a better way to present its products and access customers."

Not so obvious to me, alouette. The tired old Super Puma line is losing ground to the S-92, I think. 55 contracts for the 92, vice ?? for the EC-225 says an awful lot.
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Old 18th Dec 2004, 22:10
  #120 (permalink)  

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Hey Nick!

You know your'e not supposed to advertise for Sikorsky on this site! LOL!

From one old SK driver to another, Merry Christmas!


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