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Hill Helicopters HX50

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Hill Helicopters HX50

Old 8th Dec 2020, 22:37
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Thracian View Post
Whoa: https://youtu.be/iSFRBU5t8eI
Wait!
495k GBP (well, maybe + VAT + 2 weeks of owner operator factory work at Hill Helicopter's)?
That's about 545k Euros or 660k US Dollars.
And 5000 hours on condition maintenance schedule come as the icing on this cake? Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not a native english speaker and might have missed some "details".

For a brand new single turbine 5 seater this sound very attractive - if you can live with the "private use only" stamp and if you can wait until 2023.
They say that the "commercial" version of this machine will be available about 3 years later and for about double the price point.

Of course, we'll have to se the flying prototypes in action, but man, this sounds (and only sounds until now) amazing.

Thracian
Super impressive proposed price, I'd have expected at least 5x that.
Either they have achieved an Elon Musk like efficiency improvement in turbine engine manufacture or they are just deluded engineers.
Has anyone done a reality check on this effort?
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 00:58
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Sounds like Hughes with the 369, selling all those under-priced OH-6s with the hope of turning profit on the commercial 500 version.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 04:09
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CGameProgrammerr View Post
Actually that's not true; factory assist (aka build assist) is a real thing.
It sure is, but it depends on what authorities permit and that does vary, it still requires a fair amount of work from the builder.
The business needs a sales strategy that works globally but perhaps a US/UK-centric focus is sufficient.
It all depends who the target customer is supposed to be. Amateur builders are traditionally very cost-sensitive.
We're also not talking about building a Vans RV - this is still a $600k+ aircraft.

Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
Really? Pop along to the next Goodwood or Salon Prive, plenty of owners willing to get their hands dirty.
I've never understood Hill's desire to keep using super-car owners as a target market.
In these parts at your typical Ferrari, Lambo day, custom shops do the mods and servicing. The few that have an interest in aviation would sooner fly a Gazelle, Robbie or Jetbanger than have the schlep of doing it themselves. Time is money and they wouldn't waste it banging around in a shed or factory.

Kit helicopters have never taken off (ok, they have regularly taken off, just not always landed again) and it's not just because they'd try kill you without a moments notice.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 18:57
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
Really? Pop along to the next Goodwood or Salon Prive, plenty of owners willing to get their hands dirty.
The real question is (for potential U.S. owners): are these owners willing to get their hands dirty doing the compulsory inspections, flight testing and paperwork associated with getting their special airworthiness certificate for experimental aircraft and special operating limitations in accordance with 14CFR91.319 and FAA Order 8130.2J? That is a sh*t ton of work. Lots of flying around a dinky airport before you can go anywhere, more inspections and flying before you can fly over congested areas. I suppose it's an opportunity for starving pilots to get some HX50 hours, flying off the required test hours for the wealthy owner/operator! But more likely this is going to fall flat with most well-heeled potential owners. They might enjoy their two week vacation getting their hands dirty, but they are going to hate that they can't just uncrate their new toy on this side of the pond and fly it wherever they want immediately. Perhaps the ten or so experimental versions that Hill might sell over hear are enough to pay for the actual certification process. Or maybe I'm just flat wrong about this.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 19:16
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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Airworthiness is not a big deal; you get a DAR to examine it and certify it, which he does by filling out a form online that also generates the special operating limitations. Of course unfamiliarity with this helicopter will make that take a bit longer. The special operating limitations define the center point of the 25-mile radius for phase 1 (radius varies but is usually 25 miles), and after 40 flight-hours you're automatically and implicitly transitioned into phase 2, with no additional paperwork or inspections needed typically. Flight over congested areas is allowed implicitly when phase 1 is complete, unless the DAR for some reason issues restrictive operating limitations.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 19:38
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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Where dies it say that this is a experimental/permit to fly helicopter. I thought it was a production helicopter which would stop it from becoming a experimental/permit to fly
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 20:00
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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They announced the HX50 will be classified as experimental-amateur built (E-AB) but built at the factory with assistance and would allegedly take only two weeks to do. By not certifying it, that allows them to dramatically reduce costs and build up revenue from being able to sell it much earlier. If/when they're eventually able to offer a certified one (like originally intended), they're going to call it the HC50.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 21:12
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Originally Posted by CGameProgrammerr View Post
Airworthiness is not a big deal; you get a DAR to examine it and certify it, which he does by filling out a form online that also generates the special operating limitations. Of course unfamiliarity with this helicopter will make that take a bit longer. The special operating limitations define the center point of the 25-mile radius for phase 1 (radius varies but is usually 25 miles), and after 40 flight-hours you're automatically and implicitly transitioned into phase 2, with no additional paperwork or inspections needed typically. Flight over congested areas is allowed implicitly when phase 1 is complete, unless the DAR for some reason issues restrictive operating limitations.
Thanks for the clarification. I had not realized that these transitions were automatic and implicit. That seems to fly in the face of the regulations, but, hey, it's the FAA! Still, to be limited to 25 miles for 40 hours is going to sit poorly with the likely demographic, I think. It'll be interesting to see how this all develops. How many will be brought to the US, and how many will get caught outside their 25NM limit early.
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Old 9th Dec 2020, 21:34
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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40 hours is a small price to pay for saving $600k, and technically the only way to get caught is if you actually land > 25 nm away and get ramp-checked. But it would be foolish to skirt the rules, especially with an expensive aircraft. The bigger deal is that phase 1 can't be flown over congested areas, which can severely limit the airports available to be based at and also severely limit where you can fly, for those of us who live in big cities. But still it's a small price to pay.
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 06:17
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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This is getting more and more confusing, So it's a kit aircraft like the CHI KC 518 Adventourer, yes 5-6 places, yes turbine, yes value priced. is it successful? no!

Build at the factory in two weeks, well ask any AME, doing an annual with the owner helping is more work than doing it by yourself. So I don't see the plus there.

Finally, did I understand he is targeting the rich crowd? (supercar owner of sorts). How is that going to go when the rich owner ask his rich buddies to go golfing in an "experimental" helicopter?.
I know some rich business people, they became savvy at managing risk, most of them are smart enough, I know better than to venture offering a ride in an R44 much less an experimental aircraft.

My last comment could be misplaced, I must be missing something
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 11:31
  #231 (permalink)  
 
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All of the wealthy pilot-owner types around my neck of the woods are flying R44s or R66s. They see the value of the design. None of them predate SFAR 73 and they don't live in a country that crashes then at high rate. Thus they don't have that crusty attitude towards them that you get here.

The real question remains: will the value of the design outweigh the 40 hour fly-off requirement? Thinking about it some more, I think it will. These guys will hire some local starving pilots to fly it off for them. Sure, they'll fly some of it. But for most of them 40 hours is an entire year's worth of hours. They just don't have the time. And I think they'll see the 2 week build trip as an adventure vacation they can dine off of at cocktail parties and whenever they've got new folks in the helicopter. "Built it myself, I did!" Which is bullshit. Hill says the plan meets the letter and the spirit of the law. No way is it going to meet the spirit.
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 11:33
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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Build at the factory in two weeks, well ask any AME, doing an annual with the owner helping is more work than doing it by yourself.

Doing anything with the owner helping is more than I could ever cope with.

Invoicing the owner after they have "helped" and getting paid is another story, no matter how wealthy they are.


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Old 10th Dec 2020, 16:45
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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The owner of an experimental does not usually help an A&P with the annual. Either the A&P does it by themselves or, in some cases, the owner does it by themselves. But it's true it will need to say "experimental" somewhere that all passengers can see it (headrests are a good option) and have a somewhat scary-looking warning placard about it not being certified. But this is true of all experimentals and yet there are tons of them.

It's illegal to hire a pilot to fly off the 40 hours because it's illegal to hire a pilot to fly any experimental for any reason; it cannot be flown commercially. CFIs are the one exception (so they can instruct in experimentals) but they need to file for certain paperwork allowing them to do that.
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 20:04
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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"It's illegal to hire a pilot to fly off the 40 hours because it's illegal to hire a pilot to fly any experimental for any reason; it cannot be flown commercially."
Are you sure this counts as commercial flying?
In the UK the LAA specifies the pilot for the initial flights. Only if the builder has suitable experience will it be them.
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 22:25
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Actually I may have been wrong. Maybe it doesn't count since you own the aircraft and are just paying someone to fly it, as opposed to renting the aircraft. Otherwise it would not be possible to hire a ferry pilot to ferry an experimental but I'm pretty sure it is.
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 16:57
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The "homebuilt experimental" category has many advantages. Plenty of sport pilots and homebuilders use it.

A person can build something in his garage and be flying it next week if he wants to.

Certification , on the other hand requires millions of dollars with millions of rules administered by millions of bureaucrats . Ever wonder why there are very few new aircraft developed today ? That is why.

I am sure Hill Helicopters intend on gaining certification some day , but in my opinion their entry level experimental category is a clever tactic to get some actual machines built , sold , and flying while the agonizing certification process drags out.

I acknowledge there are not a lot of "wealthy" people who wish to assemble their own Hill Helicopter under factory assist rules .... and then not be able to use the machine for commercial purposes , but we may be surprised how many jump at the chance.

Even the autogyro industry has moved forward by leaps and bounds and many "executive types" have bought them (over $100k) and fly them under experimental rules. One model has a titanium frame and mast and state of the art composite blades. The titanium comes from the same factory that produces Boeing parts , blades come from an established manufacturer.

There is an "experimental" gyroplane and an experimental helicopter that have flown around the world. Single engine (Rotax) , added fuel tanks , and 12 hours over open water.

In my opinion Hill Helicopters are wisely taking advantage of this category .... if they can get enough committed customers they are well on their way .
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 17:19
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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How many home builders spend more than $600k on a kit?
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 17:21
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Agreed. Companies have gone bankrupt waiting for certification, or even trying to get existing experimental models certified. For example the Seawind 300C, derived from the experimental 300, had undergone certification testing/development for 13 years before the company gave up and folded. Hill can very easily go bankrupt if they have no income at all and selling experimental versions is a great way to provide people with a ridiculously well-priced helicopter, as well as the enormous PR boost from actually getting them to customers, while getting enough money to survive (or to attract more investment).

I hope this is not all BS. So far though it's just CGI and promises.

Bell: this is not a homebuilt. It's classified as experimental but is not actually offered as a kit; it's built in the factory. But as for your question, kits only appear cheap because they typically exclude the engine, avionics, etc. You're really getting a fully built helicopter for allegedly ~$600k plus two weeks of your time.
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 18:04
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Originally Posted by CGameProgrammerr View Post
Agreed. Companies have gone bankrupt waiting for certification, or even trying to get existing experimental models certified. For example the Seawind 300C, derived from the experimental 300, had undergone certification testing/development for 13 years before the company gave up and folded. Hill can very easily go bankrupt if they have no income at all and selling experimental versions is a great way to provide people with a ridiculously well-priced helicopter, as well as the enormous PR boost from actually getting them to customers, while getting enough money to survive (or to attract more investment).

I hope this is not all BS. So far though it's just CGI and promises.

Bell: this is not a homebuilt. It's classified as experimental but is not actually offered as a kit; it's built in the factory. But as for your question, kits only appear cheap because they typically exclude the engine, avionics, etc. You're really getting a fully built helicopter for allegedly ~$600k plus two weeks of your time.
most regulators wonít allow you to factory build an aircraft and call it experimental.
its a short cut around certification.
Our regulator permits production built kit aircraft, the factory is expected to meet certified manufacturing processes and the aircraft is then expected to be maintained to certified standards.
most regulators arenít that flexible.
the idea you can co-build an aircraft in a factory in 2 weeks, while meeting all existing amateur/experimental regulations is laughable.
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Old 11th Dec 2020, 18:30
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Glassair, US manufacturer have been doing just this successfully for 15 years with their two weeks to taxi programme.

https://glasairaviation.com/sportsman/
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