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Enstrom Corner

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Enstrom Corner

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Old 4th Apr 2002, 06:16
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Enstrom Corner

Hi there

I am looking at getting an Enstrom and wondered what the differences between the 280 models is.

As I understand the 280 became the 280C when Enstrom added a turbo and a 280F when the engine was increased to 225bhp. What has been added to get the 280FX?

Being based in the UK has anyone any experience flying either model at maximum all up weight. Was there sufficient power available.

Has anyone flown through the Alps in one.

Thanks in advance

Steve
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Old 4th Apr 2002, 07:47
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the fx has the same power plant as the 28 f 225 but its a little faster. the first was f28 the came the c [turbo ]then the fx /f regards steve a
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Old 4th Apr 2002, 16:17
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Why ENSTROM

Hi Steve

Why an ENSTROM? Why not an R44?

Jase
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Old 5th Apr 2002, 05:54
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I fly 44's also and own a 22 but it comes down to a number of things:

Mainly that the Enstrom is not lifed like the 44. If hasn't got a 12 year life, I am not forced to change oil every 3 months if I do not do 25 hours, likewise with the other maintenance intervals.

It uses about 3 gallons an hour less.

I am big chap around 235 pounds and I have worked out that I can only carry 3 passengers with full fuel in the 44 which I can also carry in the Enstrom. Most of my flying is either myself or my partner. The 44 rear seats will be mostly empty.

My only gripe will be a 50 minute trip to have any maintenance done but hey, its another 50 minutes flying and thats we like.

I am interested in any other comments.

Thanks

Steve
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Old 6th Apr 2002, 02:32
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I've also been considering an Enstrom 280FX, and would welcome any comments regarding this machine or Enstrom products in general.
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Old 6th Apr 2002, 10:30
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Enstom

Out of interest what are peoples view on the older Enstrom F28
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Old 7th Apr 2002, 17:04
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Did some time on the basic F28 and 28C.

The basic 28 is BASIC, believe me. Instrumentation often consists of ASI, Altimeter, DG, tacho and Cessna style tiny basic engine instruments all in a line in a car type dash. It may have VSI ahd AI but often not. As TOT said it is a delightful thing to fly if well tracked which is a job for a magician, but if you have a nearby friendly Enstrom magician that is fine. Engineers generaally hate Enstroms because of atrocious accessibility of the bits they need to get to regularly, and the total impossibility of reaching those less often touched. However, it's a nice toy, power restricted for hot, or high, or heavy ops, but in the UK a 12 stone me, a 20stone wife and her 10 stone husband achieved a 30 minute sightseeing trip perfectly OK. It is slowish, 100mph seems familiar, but it does everything a real helo is supposed to do with no vices that I ever heard of. Baggage space is good.

The 28C has lots more power, a bit faster, better instrument panel that is likely to be laid out in a T of sorts, more range, payload and a simply wonderful exhaust bark from the stack just behind the pilots door.

Both are stable, very very maneuverable (see Denis Kenyon's legendary displays...awesome) and posess the best possible qualities in autorotation, huge inertia, though not of B47 standards.

I believe that no Enstrom has ever had a critical in flight failure, so the dynamics are considered bullet proof.

I loved my time on the F28 and 28C, though I certainly preferred the C for "Work". Maintenance though may be another matter. These machines are getting rather old now, and engineers never liked them when new, simply for the ease of access problems. Looking in my logbook though I am impressed by the number of tracking details I did. That is clearly not an Enstrm strong point.

Overall, a good private owners machine that will utilise your skills in limited power situations (particularly the F28) and be great fun to fly. It carries 3 - midway between the Robinson products, but treat it as a 2+1 machine. It will be cheap to buy, but check on maintenance costs carefully. Talk to other owners if you can, and if you buy one, buy a good one with a personal recommendation behind it if possible.

Good flying!
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Old 7th Apr 2002, 18:48
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hi tot

the n reg yellow and blue 480 flys well too as you know.

its nearly a 480b


please if you get a min will you check your log book and email me or send text message the date you delivered pv to me

see you soon
steve
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Old 8th Apr 2002, 07:09
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I was speaking with someone at the weekend who says he wouldn't touch an Enstrom again and never sell one to anyone. He mentioned about teeth being lost on the ring gear during startup and cam wear problems if the engine is overboosted due to the engine never being designed for turbo charging. The problem is there is no way over knowing if someone has previously overboosted it. If you buy an Enstrom, be prepared for allot of trips to the engineers. He also mentioned about blade delamination.

Any comments?
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Old 8th Apr 2002, 10:50
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I've heard of some serious recent problems with the Tex Lyc 540 series engines when they are turbocharged, but hadn't heard of any real issues with the turbocharged 360 series.
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Old 8th Apr 2002, 17:35
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I had the ocassion to look very close to 2 Enstroms recently. One was about 4 years old and the other looked brand new. Next to these contraptions sat an R22.
What I would like to know is this:
What attracts a sane person to pay a not insubstantial amount of money to climb into these devices and defy gravity.
Even ignoring my background and trying to approach the subject from an unbiased point of view. These contraptions seem alarmingly fragile and heath robinson to say the least

Is it down to one or some of the foll:
1. Any excuse to fly rotary.
2. Cheapest means of getting airborne in 3D.
3. Blind faith
4. Crass stupidity.

I nearly fell off my penny farthing when I read that someone suggested flying one thru the Alps

I'm not trying to be smug or cocky..only, I would equate these machines in the car world to driving a Sinclair C5 down the M6

Why don't prospective purchasers save for a second hand R44 or MD series (500)(not the notar either).
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Old 8th Apr 2002, 17:44
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steve i have had 4 enstrom pistons never had a problem with ring gear or delamination. i have heard of people having problems with delamination but these were on 1976 /1980s ships. the rotor blades are lifed on condition when they start to delaminate they usually are very old .
they are not any worse that others read posts about koala vibration..
i know of a md600/900 both having probs with blades even robbos had to change there blades on 44s a few years ago

go try a enstrom its the only way but beware when youve done a auto in one robbos seem a bit [lot] fast and your check book might be coming out

regards steve
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Old 8th Apr 2002, 18:28
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Check out http://www.mckenzieauction.com/past/200203211000.shtml

One of these things sold for $80500 Canadian + fees and tax.

Good component times but then again it was an ex-drug machine.
Very few entries - CYXU DIR PLANTATION, SLING FERTILISER RET DIR CYXU............
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Old 9th Apr 2002, 07:11
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Ok Steve I will go test one at Shoreham and see how I get on.
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Old 11th Apr 2002, 13:42
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Thumbs up Enstrom

I learned to fly in R22's and now I own a F28C-2, Enstroms are great machines. The transition required getting use to "no governor" and the use of a 4 way trim switch.

I fell much more safe flying the Enstrom than I did in R22's. Autos are much eaisier and the ship is much more stable, especially in gusty winds. I can trim the cyclic for "Hands Off" in cruise which can never be done in a Robinson. The rotor system is extremly smooth. It has plenty of reserve power and tail rotor authority. The NTSB reports a good safety record and my insurance rates also reflect that. My insurance company said that the Enstrom was the most insurable for me, due to my low hours and it's good accident record.

I am also an A&P mechanic and I do all my own maintenace. This heli is not as eaisy to work on as an R22, but I do not find it difficult to work on. I think the reason Enstroms may have a bad reputation for maintenance is because some mechanics may not now how to maintain them. One needs to attend the factory maintainence course, just like Robinson requires, to be properly checked out on how to manitain one. Once, an Enstrom is set up correctly, it flys smooth and reliable.
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Old 13th Apr 2002, 02:52
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The following link is to the type certification document for the Enstrom helos:

Enstrom Type Certificate

One interesting part is the retirement times for various parts on pages 25-29. This data looks pretty good, however the retirement times seem rather short for some of the TR parts, including the spindle and TR gear set.

Does anyone know if good Enstrom maintenance exists in the Dallas/FW or north Texas area? There does seem to be quite a number of Enstroms being operated here in Texas, so hopefully there is.

I'd love to hear more about other's experiences with Enstrom helos.

(edited to ad request for maintenance info)

Last edited by Flight Safety; 13th Apr 2002 at 03:07.
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Old 13th Apr 2002, 05:35
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When you go to Shoreham be sure to check out what you are considering buying. This week they took delivery of a job lot of five 280FXs from the Chilean Army and I am wondering whether or not our CAA will give them UK tickets or not...?

Remember what happened with MW when they tried getting round the rules using Swazi registrations on the Gazelles? No more Swazi reg's around now...

PP
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Old 13th Apr 2002, 09:32
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pp heli
i belive it is 13fx s from chile
these can go back on the n reg or on the uk reg
these are production 280 fx not as in the case of HT2/ HT3 gazelles These were not AS341g gazelles so to put them on the caa with full c of a would require type certificates for the HT2/HT3 which would be very very expensive
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Old 13th Apr 2002, 14:30
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Enstrom Type Certificate

Flight Safety,

The tail rotor and main rotor gear boxes are factory overhauled at 1200 hours, for around $4,000 and $14,000 respectively. Everything inside is new except for the case.

Most older tail rotor spindles have been replaced with newer a newer style that has a much higher service life. Most of the parts with the low service life apply only to the original F28 "A" model.

Any of the piston models with the "C" designation or the 480 turbine have higher service limits. And a majority of the "C" model parts are also on the turbine, including main rotor blades. The "C" model parts on the piston powered models, were robust enough to use on the turbine. That is why Enstrom piston powered models are among the toughest built heli's in the industry.
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Old 13th Apr 2002, 17:49
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Once when working on the V-22 program I got into a conversation with one of the Boeing engineers. We started to talk about light helicopters and I told him (having never seen an Enstrom up close) that I thought They were a piece of crap. He took a degree of offense to my remark stating that during his summer holidays away from the university he used to work in the engineering department assisting the chief engineer. That wasn’t bad enough, it turned out that the chief engineer who had designed the helicopter was also his father. Later on when I got a chance to see the Shark model I was duly impressed with the design and the build quality.
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