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Bell 206 B3 or Robinson R44 ?

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Bell 206 B3 or Robinson R44 ?

Old 9th Dec 2018, 03:07
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Makati City, Philippines
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Bell 206 B3 or Robinson R44 ?

I am trying to decide which one to buy. A helicopter I could use for charter and personal service. These two types are quite a competition.

Please help me decide on pros and cons.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 05:40
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Well, having flown both myself I'd say it depends. Want to carry more stuff, pick the 206. Short flights, with minimal stuff, pick the 44. Other than that, I don't really know, as they fly very similarly to each other, but I'm guessing one may cost more?
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 06:32
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One is cheaper.
One has the potential for two paying couples. (4 pax) and a “boot”.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 07:16
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A good 206 (there are some horrid ones about) is a much nicer place to be. More comfortable, more space, more refined.
You will also be able to fly through turbulence without having to drop to 60kts and worrying about shedding your tail.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 11:37
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The Bell doesn't need rebuilding every 12 years. The Robinson is cheaper to buy.

The Bell doesn't really depreciate, but costs more to maintain annually. The Robinson seems to depreciate with age following each 12 year rebuild.

When you start the Bell, you feel like a Skygod. When you start the Robinson, you feel like a tractor driver!
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 12:24
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Then there is the issue of Piston vs Turbine with the usual comparisons of fuel burn, TBO's, Remaining Life, and overhaul costs or Replacement Cost.

The important cost issue is buying all those brown paper bags with the eye holes in them....so no one will know you are actually flying a Robinson.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 13:42
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Avgas is generally a fair bit more expensive than jet a1 (depending where you find yourself), that can even out fuel costs somewhat.
The general rule is people buy what they can afford, that's why robbies sell.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 15:11
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Funny, being a Robbie guy myself, I couldn't care less if I'm flying a 44 or a 206, but I'm getting a feel from the others that there seems to be a bit of a bias on this forum.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 15:22
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Originally Posted by Robbiee View Post
.... but I'm getting a feel from the others that there seems to be a bit of a bias on this forum.
Do you think so!!! I'm with you
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 15:45
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Originally Posted by Robbiee View Post
Funny, being a Robbie guy myself, I couldn't care less if I'm flying a 44 or a 206, but I'm getting a feel from the others that there seems to be a bit of a bias on this forum.
But if you could choose which one you wanted to own or indeed fly (finances not a consideration) you would choose the Robbie every time?
Pull the other one
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 16:08
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If you have a coherent business plan, the answer: whichever one makes you the most money.

I have NO idea what the market is like in the PI. I can only speak to the US. In the US the answer is a no-brainer: it is MUCH easier to make money with, and much less expensive to fly, the R44. And that INCLUDES putting money into an account for the big 12 year overhaul.

In the US the retail cost for an R44 is in the $500/hr range, and for the 206 in the $1200/hr range. Even though the R44 is not as capable you will find many more people willing to rent time in it. Insurance will be FAR less costly on the 44, and therefore it will cost you a lot less when it is idle. And any personal time you put on a 44 will cost you half of what it costs to operate the 206, yes, again, INCLUDING putting money away for the 12 year overhaul.

Two caveats with the 44: 1) assuming a brand new or newly overhauled machine, put at least 200 hours a year on it otherwise it'll time out before overhaul and that's money down the drain. 2) Save that money for the overhaul or you'll be throwing away $100K worth of run-out machine at the end. It's mostly in this latter area where people go wrong.

So...figure out a realistic business plan and go with what makes you money and what gets the cost of your personal flying where you want it to be. A 44 vs. a 206 is apple and oranges, chalk and cheese, they work in two relatively different market segments. If you can make the 206 business plan work, obviously it is a nicer, more capable machine to be flying.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 17:16
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I didn't ask about making money. I said if money wasn't a factor, which would you want to own or fly.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 17:55
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer View Post
I didn't ask about making money. I said if money wasn't a factor, which would you want to own or fly.
And I was answering the original poster, not you!
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 18:16
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer View Post


But if you could choose which one you wanted to own or indeed fly (finances not a consideration) you would choose the Robbie every time?
Pull the other one
Well, if you want to play that game, then to be honest, I'm not all that impressed with either one, so I'd buy an R22 for when I feel like just a quick pop up to watch the sun set over the city, and Airwolf for when I want to go out and play.

I'd just stick them in my garage in between my Aventador and Trans Am
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 19:27
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The Robinson is much cheaper to buy.
The Robinson is much cheaper to maintain.
The Robinson will probably accomplish 95% of what you plan to do with it.
I'd go with the 206 every time.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 19:50
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Whenever I contemplate getting into a Robinson.....I order a Double Cheeseburger and Fries (Chips) to ensure I remain unable to make it through the Entry Door.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 21:11
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I think your rates are a bit off .... a 206 in the UK is only about 20% more than a 44 . It has an extra seat . It has luggage space . It is also a proper helicopter and is far less likely to kill you !!
personally I would by a 109 Mk2 for the same money and get 150 knots and full IFR !!!!!! ( and 8 seats !!)
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 23:06
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Nigel, you might get 8 seats, but if you put somebody in each of them, your fuel will get you to the airfield boundary and back. If it is a small airfield.

Maybe our Mk2 Plus Widebody was a heavy example, but we barely got 45 mins endurance with full seats, and in a country the size of Oz, it wasn't very far, even at 145kt.
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 10:45
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Originally Posted by nigelh View Post
I think your rates are a bit off .... a 206 in the UK is only about 20% more than a 44 .
Not at all. $250 vs $500 per hour to run, $500 vs. $1000+ to rent. Get your Google going.
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It is a proper helicopter and is far less likely to kill you !!
US accident statistics do not support that assertion. We've been down that road a million times. In the OP's country, maybe that's true. But then the difference would be proper pilots and maintenance, not the machine.
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Old 10th Dec 2018, 11:15
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Go and grab an hour in each type. In particular try an auto. there are huge differences! B3 has a lot of intertia in blades when things go quiet.
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