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Bell 222 or Older A109?

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Bell 222 or Older A109?

Old 27th Feb 2008, 19:58
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SEL
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Bell 222 or Older A109?

This question grew from a discussion over coffee on a fog bound day the other week. Bearing in mind they both originated around the same era, what is the general consensus on the 109 and the 222 of the 80s?

Considering an older 109 and the 222, what are your thoughts on their relative strengths and weakness both in themselves and in comparison to each other. This assumes a similar purchase price of between, say 0.5m to, say, 0.8m? Any of you flown or operated both in your time? How do they stack up today as useable aircraft?

Discuss. You have 90 minutes and extra paper is available if necessary...
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Old 27th Feb 2008, 20:16
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Join Date: May 2003
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We operated a 26yr old A109 until about 4 months ago.

It was a maintenance nightmare, every trip something failed. Spares were no huge problem to obtain, there are still a fair old selection of parts available for aging 109s.

We do about 35-40hrs a month and mid last year we managed 2 days a week servicability. In one month we replaced a tail rotor gearbox due to chips, a torque matching linear actuator, a transponder, a VHF radio and had an engine chip light. This was beginning to be typical for a month.

The DME and RADALT could never be persuaded to work properly, if at all from purchase, depsite being looked by at least 3 seperate avionic engineering companies (no criticism of them, just a pig of a job).

We swapped it for a 109E which is a lot less hassle, but it still has a few issues, primarily related to what i would call 'engineering induced faults'.

There a few decent aging 109s around, but anyone considering buying one wants to have a serious look at it first.

I love the 109 its a great machine to fly, and the new ones can carry fuel and a few people which is an improvement over the old ones were it was an either or option.

GS
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Old 27th Feb 2008, 20:18
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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SEL

I used to fly an old 109 A model, quite liked it although avionics and systems are now really old. Never flown a 222, although a pal of mine at the time did, he liked it, but it was always down with maintenance issues. They didn't keep it that long. If you could find a good well maintained old 109, and there are a few about, it would still be a good enough budget twin I think..

BC
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Old 28th Feb 2008, 00:26
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While on the topic, has any one got any info/photos/contacts and particualrly feedback on winching from the 222? I know it was a very rare thing! Did anyone ever fit a two person winch? How does it go with Cof G and that door issue?

thanks
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Old 28th Feb 2008, 02:49
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IHL
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Canada
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I flew a 222 in the mid 80s. During my time on it they went to the "fir tree" PT rotor which fixed the wheel burst problems- Got about 1,000 hours on it. It was an OK IFR aircraft but it had a small margin between empty weight and gross weight- about 2000 lbs so after you load fuel there was not much room for payload. Single engine performance was good considering it had 2 X 650 shp engines and a gross weight of 7,850 lbs compare that with a 76A which has 2 X 650 shp engines and a gross weight of 10,500 lbs.

Never did any hoist ops with it but I did do hover exits- the c of g was very stable for hover exits and you hardly notcied a lateral c of g change when loading or unloading in the hover.

Never flew a 109 so I can't comment.

The 222 with its limited payload was quite- well some what useless.
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Old 28th Feb 2008, 08:01
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Angel

It gave us AIRWOLF.......dreams for children to be Helicopter Pilots.....
The 109............well, unlike the 222, it has matured into a remarkable machine today
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Old 28th Feb 2008, 10:49
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Airwolf dreams? I wish I was so young! The Bell 47 (TV Whirlybirds) gave me the idea of flying helis for a living.... by coincidence I watched someone having fun in one in South Yorkshire this very morning.
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Old 29th Feb 2008, 06:43
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I think that a zero time machine since major inspection (1200hr) brand new paint (gorgeous!) and new leather interior which can fly spifr cruise at 150 knots and is ultra smooth (unlike the 222 which shakes like a dog just out of the water !) all for under $1.3m ( which is what you could have mine for ) is better value than anything else around. Get a good engineeer who knows them to check it out and then enjoy flying the fastest sexiest toy in town !!!! of course you could get a power for 4 x that price....
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Old 29th Feb 2008, 10:50
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Join Date: Nov 2002
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If you fly a MK2 at 150 knots cruise, be prepared for more maintenance costs ! But I have to agree they are great
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