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Upgrade from Bell 206 B3

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Upgrade from Bell 206 B3

Old 7th Nov 2019, 23:34
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Question Upgrade from Bell 206 B3

Hi !

My friend is looking for upgrade from his 1980 Bell 206B3. He would like to take 5-6 adults with full fuel. Budget that he has, is a sum of value of it's current helicopter plus 500k USD - I guess we are talking about 800k USD here. He flies ~50 hours a year ( VFR only ) so he would like to avoid as much as possible any calendar based mx inspections, specially on engines. He has EASA license and he is based in EU but he considers getting US PPL(H) and keeping N-reg if required.

What are his options ?

best regards


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Old 8th Nov 2019, 01:42
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At that budget, there are no options.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 02:43
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What are his options? Find the very best 206L3 or L4 currently available - anywhere, especially in terms of maintenance and overhaul times remaining. Calendar-based maintenance inspections are a fact of life and cannot be avoided so if necessary get a knowledgeable person to go over the maintenance records. Be patient, the LongRanger that fits your requirements is out there.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 04:16
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Longrangers generally are able to carry full pax OR full fuel, not both.

How many hours does the pilot have to start with? Does he fly an hour a week, or is it a 4-hour block once a month? Perhaps not a lot of that being recurrent training, he is in a risky area.

A used B407 might be the go?
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 04:18
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Might be able to find an AS350 with an LTS101 engine conversion for around that sort of money MAYBE.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 05:41
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Sounds like a Barbie doll: “math class is tough”. Helicopter flying is tough, you could be overgross and fly away, or under and crash - there are a lot more variables than just weight. Try refine the mission to something like “I want to carry 1000 pounds ”x” distance, and the t/o landing areas are”xxx”. 6 anorexic strippers weigh less than 3 NFL linemen. More fuel than you need for the job is granny gas.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 05:53
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B206L1/3 or AS350B/BA probably about the only choices.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 07:08
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Only options are

MD 600 brave choice
Bell L3 best choice
AS 350B2 expensive to run choice
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 07:54
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Most Longrangers I've flown were in the 1150kg Empty weight range.
Full fuel @ 416L is 333kgs
Pilot @ let's say 90kgs will give you 1573kgs which will leave you 309kgs for PAX/Equipment etc.


I doubt very much 6 people will be less than 309kgs (Here in Australia 3 pax would weight that, almost)

I can't see an L3 being his answer if he needs full fuel-full pax.

Last edited by Heliringer; 8th Nov 2019 at 08:13.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 12:53
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An R66 will hold full fuel and 5 reasonably sized people. If it's not optioned out with a lot of heavy stuff you get 420kg of people at full fuel. That pretty much nails the average UK adult male weight at 84kg per seat. Nothing left for bags, snacks, air conditioning or floats, though
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 13:44
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What would you want aircon for with that dirty great fan on the top?
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 13:51
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Plenty of times I wished for aircon despite the dirty great fan on top. 42 degC at 4 grand and 90+% RH with a full load of SLF in the back and no A/C 'aint very pleasant. Especially when hauling for 6+ hours per day. And especially when the aircraft was delivered new with aircon but the bosses in air-conditioned offices saw fit to remove it to save weight.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 14:47
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This is a close as you’ll get and is pristine;

https://www.avbuyer.com/aircraft/hel...s-350ba/357041
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 16:41
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You are not going to get off the ground with 5-6 adults in an L3 with full fuel. You may be able to do it in an L4 but they are running well north of $800K.
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 18:06
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Originally Posted by havick View Post
Might be able to find an AS350 with an LTS101 engine conversion for around that sort of money MAYBE.
I happen to have one for sale should he be interested. AS350 D model, with air conditioning. It will lift about 1,300 lbs with pilot and about an hour of fuel. Great for sea level operations.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 09:27
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Hello !

thank you all for answers ! Just to narrow mission profile helicopter has to take 6 male adults, including pilot, each having mass of ~90 kg and fly for 125 NM in VMC conditions. Then come back with the same load without refuel with 45 minutes of fuel to spare ( 250 NM total trip ). Takeoff is made in vertically to about 30 feet AGL and then acceleration can begin. Landing profile is other way round.

Any chance that Long Ranger will cope with that mission ?
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 09:53
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Well I think you are into Bell 407 or AS 350B3 territory with that mission profile. Both of which will cost more than $ 850 !!!!
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 10:53
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As others have said and looking at the later more detailed requirements, you're not going to buy that performance for that budget. Perhaps your should get in touch with NigelH as you'd possibly be more successful with his 109, though I think he may have sold it. For the budget you could get into a decent AS350 SD1 which would be a good buy but not with the performance you're looking for. An SD2 would get you closer, and is an outstanding aircraft for the money without the French engine headaches or fuel burn.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 14:01
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Angel

http://www.helilynx.com/wp-content/u...ce-15Feb08.pdf

See above ,not sure if there are any for sale anywhere

https://www.controller.com/listings/...pter-as-350sd2

Not too far outside the budget , but a wee bit of a ferry flight
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 15:45
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At the end of the day, there are certain things that simply cannot be done cheaply. Six full-size males (plus their crap, undoubtedly) on a 250-mile roundtrip with a hover-hole at home base? Ehhhh...come on. You say "VMC conditions" but guess what? Days that start out nice and VMC often turn into not-quite-VMC for the return. There are no guarantees. Things happen, forecasts are inaccurate. Bosses don't like to cancel flights on clear days just because there's a chance that it might turn crappy later. Hey, it might not! (Trust me when I say that I have first-hand experience with just such a boss.) Either way, the pilot is going to want at least three hours of fuel to start off. Fuel disappears faster than drugs at a frat party when the cops pull up outside. Such a trip will probably need a 407. Bring your checkbook - the big one, not the wife's. And if the principal can't afford a 407, go find a good, used King Air 90 and do the trip by airplane.
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