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EC225

Old 1st Aug 2004, 13:57
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HeliComparator and Eurochopper,

First one thing, HeliComparitor - I do not post here to fool or to hide "glitches" as you state. If you doubt my veracity, it is your loss, frankly.

Fitness for the job is the customer's, nobody can dispute that. Your choice (assuming that you are a customer, and not an EC salesman) is what counts. Please chose, buy and operate as you wish. Have your opinions and debate as you wish! The marketplace is the best forum.

However, Compliance with the law is not subject to our opinion. The governments that we have pick experts, these experts tell the manufacturers what to do to make a new helicopter. Only they determine compliance.

The only measure of compliance is the Type Certificate, upon which neither sales guys not customers get a vote. The tests that the S-92 underwent were all passed, with new designs and new concepts in many cases, because the requirements are new, and revolutionary. The latest FAR/JAR/EASA regs are known, published in 2003 and the S-92 is certified to them. The gearbox meets the requirement, and in fact has six times the protection for its crews as the reg requires. (the shutoff valve is felt by several customers as better than the alternative, a collection of parts and valves and reservoirs that adds complexity, weight, maintenance and failure modes. ) I listed some of the other new requirements above, the actual number is enormous. Of the 1700+ , the facts are irrefutable:

The S-92 meets all, the Super Puma MKII meets 44% of them, and is allowed to ignore the remaining 56% because it is "grandfathered." This is exactly as if you could sell a brand new 1987 car as if it could compete with a 2004 model on its safety features.

There are hundreds of JAR paragraphs that the Super Puma MKII does not meet, because it is so old, and safety technology has changed so much. That is irrefutable, but acceptable to the authorities, and to the customers who buy it. It is not acceptable to the customers who decide to buy a newer, better product.

If the EC 225 salesmen say "fully JAR compliant", it is up to them to provide its certification basis, which lists (by JAR/FAR paragraph) what it meets and doesn't meet. It is also a matter of public record, as published by the certifying agency. It is my knowledge, until proven otherwise, that the 225 does not comply with the latest JAR/FAR.

Nick

PS The paper 225 has respectable performance, I agree. But, the empty weight of the EC 225 does not include the many safety features desired by the end customer. For example, crashworthy seats and the structure of the floor to support them. If you ask EC to sell you those seats (assuming your passengers ask for the latest protection, and assuming you are wise enough to know how to ask) then EC will tell you the aircraft grows by about 1000 lbs empty weight ( "crash-resistant seats can be fitted" says the EC press release. ) They will try to talk you out of them, because they haven't even designed them yet. Now once you have configured the seats that way, ask them to give you the choice on each other JAR paragraph, and add up the weight. Two S-92 customers told about the flying squad of EC salesmen that descended on them with all this bunk! This is proof of their grandfathering, since there is no 'option" under the new requirements, it must be part of the design. Let me know when you decide that the certificate means something.

Last edited by NickLappos; 1st Aug 2004 at 14:48.
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 14:54
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Nick ....

Never try to teach a pig to sing! Sacre Bleu! Mon Sweet....give up! In your heart....you really know the 225 is the superior machine....after all...it is European! Thus...it just must be! The chaps on the far side of the Saltwater Divide (funny how salt water keeps ruining our relationship with these guys!)....just are not going to concede that something from over there....is inferior to something from overhere....at least not gracefully.
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 15:08
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Nick,

I have asked this on another thread and gotta no reply to date, so I will ask again here.

What is the expected date of "certification" allowing passengers (paying) to be carried on the S92 in Europe, Canada and The USA?
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 15:22
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Mikila1A,

When you apply your home-grown definition of "certification" I know you have an agenda, and not a simple question. Just call a spade a spade, Makila. You don't want information, you want to set up some kind of a point. Just say that point and stop pussy-footing around.
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 16:41
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Nick, you said

"However, Compliance with the law is not subject to our opinion. The governments that we have pick experts, these experts tell the manufacturers what to do to make a new helicopter. Only they determine compliance."

So you don't have "politics" in the USA? There is no tendancy for US citizens to grant favour to good old US products? So some of these experts wouldn't just happened to have worked for the manufacturers before getting their government jobs (how else do you become an expert?)

Seriously, I don't think the US is any worse than any European country, but to think that these things are black and white is
naive.

So you're still not going to confirm or deny that the 92 will not run for 30 mins without some oil in the gearbox?

No, I thought not, better to stick to your "attack is the best form of defense" smokescreen and use lots of bold type!

By the way, were we talking about the L2?

For the record, the S92 has 1 level of "backup" function to cope with gearbox oil loss - the pilot activates a valve that cuts off external oil feeds and we hope that the leak was not from the gearbox itself. The 225 has 2 levels of backup - 1) an intrinsic shutoff of external oil feeds when gearbox oil level gets low (no, there are no valves to have failure modes) and 2), should we be unlucky enough to lose all gearbox oil from a leak to the box itself, a manual activation of a total loss cooling system that runs for 30 mins plus.

As I said before, I don't think this is a particularly big deal for the S92 - I'm sure it will have a long and safe operating life. But justifying that the 92 is better in all respects just because it complies with some beaurocratic rules is dangerous ground! And don't snipe at the enemy on their big day - looks like sour grapes
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 17:00
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Nick,

On the contrary, I have no agenda or reason to have one. It was / is a simple question. Why would you think such?

PM me please and we can surely discuss it, again I thought it a harmless question

sorry if for some reason i have offended you.
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 22:22
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HeliComparitor,

What is black and white is what regulation basis the aircraft choses. That is what we are discussing, I think, and what we would like to know for the EC 225. The reason why I mention the 332 MKII is because the certification of the 225 is simply an amendment of the 332's certificate, in other words, the 225 is a 332, and except for the few differences, yet undefined, it is a MKII+

Perseverate on oil loss, it seems to help you leave the subject. Hyjack the thread if you wish, it seems to amuse you.

However, you have added nothing to our understanding of the cert basis of the 225, which is the subject of the thread.
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 23:05
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Sorry Nick.

Quess for some reason I have pee'd you off.

Again, in all sincerity, thought it was just a honest question!

Well, enough said about that I quess?
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Old 1st Aug 2004, 23:41
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Interesting comments here from both sides of the pond... What really interests me though is what the OIL companies think. As I understand CHC are expecting some deliveries of the S-92 soon, i've heard that pilots from CHC Europe (Aberdeen) are due to head to Sikorsky soon to train on the 92, but do CHC have a contract yet for work with the 92? Also, the Shell offshore contract for central and southern North Sea is out for tender at the moment, annoucment I believe to be after Christmas, so the next few months may be vital for Eurocopter/Sikorsky.
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 00:25
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OK Makila1 I will relent, text is awfully hard to decipher, and I guess I got a bit touchy, sorry!

The first aircraft is undergoing final cert of the customer peculiar equipment, and the crews are due to train literally any day. The training school is setting up shop for the first class this week (!) and the simulator ihas undergone its final FAA review.

The delivery will take place when all the items fall into line, within a few weeks I am sure.

simfly tells it as it is. Our customers will tell us all what they want, mostly by buying the products they value.

I can't comment on any individual customer (all this writing that I do is strictly as an individual, I cannot speak for any manufacturer, nor do I pretend to.)
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 08:30
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Nick,

No problem mate, this skin is pretty tough. If our little quip got me worked up I would have left this business many moons ago.

Thanks for the answer all the same, that was all I was looking for.


Cheers
.
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 09:30
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Nick

My last word on this thread - I know I will never get you to change your public opinion! You will be able to get the last word by replying, which should keep you happy!

Subject of the thread: "EC225 receives European IFR certification". Is it called "Which bits of the EC225 are certified to recent versions of JAR29"? No, so who actually hijacked the thread first? Your hijack was aimed at rubbishing the opposition for commercial reasons, mine aimed at redressing the balance 'cause I like to see fair play (no, I don't work for EC) . So we're even!

Not quite - I still didn't get you to verify my take on the gearbox lube system, but I guess your silence does that for you.

You are right that its black and white whether the aircraft is either fully certified to some recent version of JAR/FAR29 (S92) or only partially - well mostly actually (EC225). However does that necessarily mean that the S92 is safer? I would say not necessarily because are we sure that the latest standard of JAR/FAR29 is a higher standard in all respects than an earlier certification basis? Have look at the bird strike criteria - I am speaking from memory here but I think you will find that FAR29 calls for a 1kg bird whilst BCARs (British cert requirements) called for a 1.8 kg bird - the L2 met that years ago. (Could this be the only case where Americans are lighter than Europeans?!).

You have to look very carefully at the small print before buying a helicopter and anyway there's a lot more to safety than certification requirements.

Have a nice day now!
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 12:07
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Helicomparitor,

You said, "I know I will never get you to change your public opinion! "

I do not opine, I state facts and ask for them from each manufacturer, you seek opinions, and judge them. In your continued perseveration about the S-92 oil system that FAA/JAR and EASA certify to the highest standard, you failed to discuss the sub-standard passenger crash protection of the baseline EC 225, which is an obvious non-compliance with the latest FAR/JAR/EASA, and clear sign of grandfathering (thus it is meerly an option, and not part of the base design). You fail to discuss bird strike protection, or turbine burst protection or any of the other several hundred paragraphs of FAR/JAR that are swept under the thick, musty carpet of opinion.

Airworthiness Certification of a helicopter is not subject to soft cloudy opinions. It is subject to a defining set of rules and tests, with dates, revisions and certainty. To some, including Government authorities, safety and progress are the amassing of facts, tests and solutions to old problems, Helicomparitor, not opinions.

Let me clarify the difference, "Helicomparitor will not publically change his opinion, regardless of the facts." That being said, you have every right to those opinions, and we have no rubber hoses to beat you into submission about this. It would be a dull pprune if we all posted Me Too! to everything.
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 12:20
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Hands up who else had to look up "opine" in the dictionary.
Nice word, well used Nick.
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 13:00
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Cetainly nothing "Grandfatherly" about the engine in the 225. It is new and complies 100% with the turbine burst requirements. It was tested to destruction and no debris escaped the engine casing.

I don't really understand that diagram on the S92 web-site which appears to show a burst turbine throwing shrapnel through the rotors and passenger cabin.
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 14:06
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vertalop,

The Makila engine on the 225 is not new, it is a growth of the basic engine (this is not bad, it is good, as that engine is a reliable one, for sure!)

Like virtually all engines, it is designed for turbine blade retention, not disk retention. Blades weigh small fractions of a kilo, disks weigh several kilos. The "everything" that you saw retained were the light blade shreds, every engine has to do that.

To meet the current regs, and not be grandfathered, the aircraft has to maximize the safety of its design to allow fly home after the bursting of the engine turbine. These 1 to 2 Kg chunks literally shoot big holes in things, and when the engines are tightly clustered around the transmission, with the primary flight control rods between them, turbine bursts mean big problems. Perhaps you recall the dramatic footage of the L-1011 landing (cartwheeling into flames) at Soux City in the states years ago after the crew had to control the aircraft with the throttles (!!) and saved a large percentage of the passengers, this accident triggered the new rules for transport aircraft. This was proven a necessity for helos after an accident in the North Sea where the primary flight controls were cut after a turbine burst and the aircraft tumbled into the water.

The layout of components, redundant controls and passive shielding are methods of meeting this requirement. The purple ring on the S-92 shows the places where detailed shot-path analysis was performed, and how that area does not include the primary controls or servos. This was one of the reasons why that engine layout was selected, and also one of the reasons why grandfathering of old designs is necessary, since entirely changing the layout is impractical.

That being said, I do not know of any data to show that the EC 225 meets this turbine burst requirement. The type certificate data sheet will tell the story, by telling which paragraphs it meets and which it grandfathers.
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Old 2nd Aug 2004, 22:03
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Oh dear, I said I wasn't going to come back on this thread but since the subject has changed, can I change my mind? Wow - was Nick pointing out that old proven reliable technology was actually a good thing safety-wise. Perhaps that's because the CT7-8 fitted to the 92 is an even older engine than the Makila!

The Makila 2A (as fitted to the 225) has turbine blade shedding to cope with otherwise unresolved overspeed - ie an overspeed that is not contained by the normal electronic overspeed shutdown at 120% N2 (as happened in the Norwegian accident Nick refers to). At 140% (from memory) the turbine blades are designed to all detach simultaneously and are contained within the engine. No more blades = no more turbine disc acceleration so the disc won't burst. Now what would you rather have, a turbine disc bursting and hoping that all that airframe reinforcement doesn't allow bits to hit the flight controls, rotor blades etc, or a system that intrinsically guarantees that the turbing can't overspeed to the point of disc destruction?

I have to say that I am not sure exactly what JAR FAR 29 says on this subject. Can anyone point to a web location that has the publications as I can never find them? However I am pretty sure that the Makila 2A is compliant. Some EC/TM person could confirm that?

If you don't change anything, you can fall back on grandfather rights, but once you change something, it has to be re-certified and hence meet the current requirements. If Sikorsky can get their FAA to grant certification to the 92's gearbox, I am sure that Turbomeca can do the same with the DGAC/EASA and their 2A (sorry, couldn't resist )
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Old 3rd Aug 2004, 12:57
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The concept for blade shedding as a way to avoid turbine bursts seems elegant (that's engineer speak for really cool.)
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Old 3rd Aug 2004, 14:08
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Helicomparator JAR/FAR 29?

Well if you go to a relevant web site (maybe JAA.nl or FAA.gov, for example) you might find links to them. The JAA one even has a link to the EASA site, if a google search doesn't yield a result (which I think it might).

I think underfloor fuel tanks would be a grandfather right, would it not?
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Old 3rd Aug 2004, 14:53
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The document that contains methods of compliance for the subjects that have been discussed in this thread is AC 29-2C and can be found at http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...7?OpenDocument

The pages of interest are:
  • for the 'turbine burst' criteria FAR 29.903(c) at revision 29-36 (pages E - 13 to 28).
  • for the 'gearbox run dry' criteria FAR29.927(c) at revisions 29-17 (pages E - 54 to 56) and 29-26 (pages E - 56 & 57)
This text is a PDF file of 7MB.

Enjoy!
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