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Hill Helicopters HX50

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Hill Helicopters HX50

Old 7th Apr 2022, 17:49
  #421 (permalink)  
 
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Whereas the HX50 is £500,000 and has no "rebuild clock ticking" as soon as you buy it.
But doesn't actually exist yet..................R66 available used and new right now.
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Old 7th Apr 2022, 20:56
  #422 (permalink)  
 
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I dont see what the issue of their own engine. Lets be honest a gas turbine engine is actually quite simple and been around longer than I have and I am 59 this year. And I have said before my neighbour used to make the compressor wheels for a certain popular gas turbine engine. The wheels cost to make was barely £ 100, not the thousands the OEM charged for them
!!!
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Old 7th Apr 2022, 22:02
  #423 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hughes500 View Post
I dont see what the issue of their own engine. Lets be honest a gas turbine engine is actually quite simple and been around longer than I have and I am 59 this year. And I have said before my neighbour used to make the compressor wheels for a certain popular gas turbine engine. The wheels cost to make was barely £ 100, not the thousands the OEM charged for them
!!!
Ever thought about the development costs that went into these engines for an OEM? Stating that Developing, certifying and then producing a turbine engine for aviation use is “simple” is plain stupid.
Have a look at modern turbine blade capable of coping with 1000 deg C. Nothing simple about that.
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Old 7th Apr 2022, 22:04
  #424 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by johni View Post
I guess the market for the HX50 is the private owner who doesn't fly much. Hence the R66 makes no sense as it costs £700,000 and you have to pay a lot (£270,000 ?) for a rebuild after 12 years.

Whereas the HX50 is £500,000 and has no "rebuild clock ticking" as soon as you buy it.

Other options are Hughes 500 (expensive, cramped), Bell 206 (expensive, old), EC120 (expensive, unpowered), AS350 (v expensive)

....which is probably why Hill has so many orders! (that, and the 4 axis AP and glass cockpit)
NEVER going to happen for 500K…. NEVER. (Unless you accept huge losses of course…. I mean, theoretically you can give a helicopter away for free..)
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Old 7th Apr 2022, 23:19
  #425 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by casper64 View Post
NEVER going to happen for 500K…. NEVER. (Unless you accept huge losses of course…. I mean, theoretically you can give a helicopter away for free..)
I am pretty familiar with the light end of the helo certification standards. I find it hard to understand why folks have put money down on a single engine aircraft that will be demonstrably less safe than a Robinson or Bell. There is rrally no prior demonstrated performance to justify the trust in the Hill team. Have they certified a part 27 aircraft or a part 33 engine? Or developed a certified or TSO’d cockpit suite? Or even made a flying prototype of anything?

It is hard enough to get insurance on private use single engine helicopters certified to latest standard and amendment… this will be impossible to insure and nearly impossible to certify even if they surprise everyone and get one into the air.



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Old 8th Apr 2022, 00:23
  #426 (permalink)  
 
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It will be very difficult to insure, you're right. Some owners may just not insure it and accept the risk, but I think most will insure it for a year or two (at very high prices) and then stop.

By the way, Robinsons do not require the full 12-year overhaul if they're not flown commercially and are well under 2200 hours by then (most private owners would have 1200 hours or less). You have to replace some calendar components then, and do an inspection, but not the whole overhaul. It's still expensive of course, but I think it's 1/3 the price of the overhaul...?
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Old 8th Apr 2022, 06:36
  #427 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by casper64 View Post
NEVER going to happen for 500K…. NEVER. (Unless you accept huge losses of course…. I mean, theoretically you can give a helicopter away for free..)
Supply shortages have caused huge cost increases in all materials - the ones you can get.
Anyone who believes that a cost guesstimate, from simpler times, will be honoured needs to stop drinking the coolaid.

Though,I suppose they have built nothing, and anything materialising is far enough out to hope the problem goes away.
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Old 8th Apr 2022, 06:46
  #428 (permalink)  
 
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Or materials cost are not significant in the overall cost breakdown...

Why not go and look up the cost per kg of typical aerospace materials multiply it by 850kg and see what number you get...
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Old 8th Apr 2022, 08:04
  #429 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CRAN View Post
Or materials cost are not significant in the overall cost breakdown...

Why not go and look up the cost per kg of typical aerospace materials multiply it by 850kg and see what number you get...
Supply issues and inflation affect everything from the workforce to manufacturing equipment.
I don't agree with the notion that materials are not a significant cost component of manufacturing an aircraft.
Anyone who has ever attempted a build-your-own can attest to that.

You may have a point on a $4M aircraft, something at this price point will have a higher relative cost %.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 02:24
  #430 (permalink)  
 
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Wow so many haters! I know aviation is full of cynical old people but I didn't think it was this bad -- where's the excitement for something trying to revolutionise GA the same way the RV's did for owner-operated fixed wing.

Disclosure: I have an order in for this in the low 300's. It's up to 500 orders now .I don't care if you get one or not - I just want to explain a bit more about this project.

I know this project intimately well after watching every video (there's an owners app that has about 20x more content than on YouTube, although the last couple of monthly updates on YouTube are fairly good), and spending 10 days in-person at the Hill development centre consulting with some software stuff. This project is 100% happening. Jason Hill is probably the smartest person I've ever met and knows his helicopter inside out and is just as excited about door hinges as he is about rotor shaft modes of vibration and nickel super-alloy metallurgy. Also a solid beer drinker (but not as good as an Australian ha ha)!

Jason told me small engines are actually difficult to do well (read: thermal efficiency, lightweight) compared to large ones. He has some good videos about the challenges of modern (efficient) turbines like making sure the pressure/temperature distribution of the compressor casing is modelled along with blade tip lean at 60,000 rpm to make sure the tip clearance remains as low as possible, which is where the efficiency comes from. Really difficult stuff, but he's basically hired half of former Rolls Royce/turbo-machinery-industry for all this stuff & finalised most of the designs and already stamping out parts. The engine has no accessory gearbox but instead a 10kW starter/generator on the cold section (basically a bit that pokes out and a fixed stator around it). Epicyclic gearbox designed to modern standards 30mins dry. 400hp max continuous, 440 takeoff (5mins 2x/hr), 500hp (30 seconds contingency 2x/hr).

Fuselage is probably where half the big gains come from: he's got some former F1 composite guys that have made a single piece "monolage" from laid up dry-cloth impreg with resin under bag vacuum - you can pick up the 1/3 scale model with 1 finger. The design has had to change to add more structure to the roof (less overhead window) so some early comments about this were correct. Lightning mesh. They are just about to do the first full-scale prototype.

Hub is fully articulated using elastomeric bearings, which have degraded failure mode (rubber crumbs away over time) and held in compression. He said these are 13k euros each to buy from Big Aviation™, but this is the kind of stuff he can just make himself with sandwiches of metal & rubber and some effort. Rotor is going to be composite with twist & planform distribution and tapered tips for optimum efficiency. The whole mast is cowled really tight which is apparently the key to reducing drag.

Performance wise it's all on the website and public videos: max gross (800kg payload) gives a vertical 500fpm takeoff at 10,000ft ISA+15. Ducted fan tail rotor is huge giving authority in 35kt wind from any direction. 5hrs range 700NM is just epic (with 3 large blokes payload). And if it goes faster than 140kts (which he is incredibly tight lipped about, but says the drag is significantly below budget, so 140kts is possible on much less than 400hp max continuous, meaning it could probably do more like 150, 160, ... hopefully higher!! at MCP) which would make the range increase significantly too. Or take 3hrs fuel and 5 big blokes and go 500 NM, vertical in/out of anywhere basically.

Haters gonna hate but for the rest of us with orders in, it feels like massive information asymmetry here - we know something others do not. Instead of shitting on projects like whining primadonnas, we actually spend time doing research, and if there's no blockers - lock in the early-bird price discounts! Sure there will be some issues & unknown-unknowns, but from what I can see so far it's bang on schedule, on-price, exceeding performance margins and I genuinely think is going to revolutionise the light helicopter market. I think everybody is over-estimating the risk for what is basically just a conventional helicopter design using modern aerodynamics and manufacturing techniques by some of the smartest people I've met.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 13:43
  #431 (permalink)  
 
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I hope you get a discount from them for that Shagpile You are definitely on the very evangelical end of the Hill spectrum.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 16:29
  #432 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shagpile View Post
Wow so many haters! I know aviation is full of cynical old people but I didn't think it was this bad -- where's the excitement for something trying to revolutionise GA the same way the RV's did for owner-operated fixed wing.

Disclosure: I have an order in for this in the low 300's. It's up to 500 orders now .I don't care if you get one or not - I just want to explain a bit more about this project.

I know this project intimately well after watching every video (there's an owners app that has about 20x more content than on YouTube, although the last couple of monthly updates on YouTube are fairly good), and spending 10 days in-person at the Hill development centre consulting with some software stuff. This project is 100% happening. Jason Hill is probably the smartest person I've ever met and knows his helicopter inside out and is just as excited about door hinges as he is about rotor shaft modes of vibration and nickel super-alloy metallurgy. Also a solid beer drinker (but not as good as an Australian ha ha)!

Jason told me small engines are actually difficult to do well (read: thermal efficiency, lightweight) compared to large ones. He has some good videos about the challenges of modern (efficient) turbines like making sure the pressure/temperature distribution of the compressor casing is modelled along with blade tip lean at 60,000 rpm to make sure the tip clearance remains as low as possible, which is where the efficiency comes from. Really difficult stuff, but he's basically hired half of former Rolls Royce/turbo-machinery-industry for all this stuff & finalised most of the designs and already stamping out parts. The engine has no accessory gearbox but instead a 10kW starter/generator on the cold section (basically a bit that pokes out and a fixed stator around it). Epicyclic gearbox designed to modern standards 30mins dry. 400hp max continuous, 440 takeoff (5mins 2x/hr), 500hp (30 seconds contingency 2x/hr).

Fuselage is probably where half the big gains come from: he's got some former F1 composite guys that have made a single piece "monolage" from laid up dry-cloth impreg with resin under bag vacuum - you can pick up the 1/3 scale model with 1 finger. The design has had to change to add more structure to the roof (less overhead window) so some early comments about this were correct. Lightning mesh. They are just about to do the first full-scale prototype.

Hub is fully articulated using elastomeric bearings, which have degraded failure mode (rubber crumbs away over time) and held in compression. He said these are 13k euros each to buy from Big Aviation™, but this is the kind of stuff he can just make himself with sandwiches of metal & rubber and some effort. Rotor is going to be composite with twist & planform distribution and tapered tips for optimum efficiency. The whole mast is cowled really tight which is apparently the key to reducing drag.

Performance wise it's all on the website and public videos: max gross (800kg payload) gives a vertical 500fpm takeoff at 10,000ft ISA+15. Ducted fan tail rotor is huge giving authority in 35kt wind from any direction. 5hrs range 700NM is just epic (with 3 large blokes payload). And if it goes faster than 140kts (which he is incredibly tight lipped about, but says the drag is significantly below budget, so 140kts is possible on much less than 400hp max continuous, meaning it could probably do more like 150, 160, ... hopefully higher!! at MCP) which would make the range increase significantly too. Or take 3hrs fuel and 5 big blokes and go 500 NM, vertical in/out of anywhere basically.

Haters gonna hate but for the rest of us with orders in, it feels like massive information asymmetry here - we know something others do not. Instead of shitting on projects like whining primadonnas, we actually spend time doing research, and if there's no blockers - lock in the early-bird price discounts! Sure there will be some issues & unknown-unknowns, but from what I can see so far it's bang on schedule, on-price, exceeding performance margins and I genuinely think is going to revolutionise the light helicopter market. I think everybody is over-estimating the risk for what is basically just a conventional helicopter design using modern aerodynamics and manufacturing techniques by some of the smartest people I've met.
Sounds great! So Jason is the best engineer and the best businessman ever - quite a combination. To be fair I've met some brilliant people but usually they are pretty good at one and not so much the other. He's persuaded 500 people to part with a big fat non-refundable deposit and he can build what's usually 13k part for the price of a sandwich. And the (on paper...but that's just boring detail) performance is exceeding expectations Truly amazing.

Hey, it's your money, you spend it how you want. But I'd be careful calling anyone who is a bit sceptical a 'whining primadonna'.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 18:47
  #433 (permalink)  
 
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Let's hope this thing actually gets to fly. We've all looked at a $100 washer and thought "Why?"
Why does a low tech 50+ year old engine cost 30k when i can buy a whole car for half that?
Maybe this guy can make it work, look what Musk has achieved.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 21:19
  #434 (permalink)  
 
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Rudestuff, quite right
Here are some examples
MD helicopters a mesh screen infront of compressor $ 15000
Schweizer a steel tube 12 inchs long $ 1500
Dont even get me started on Augsta prices
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 22:42
  #435 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by johni View Post
let's hope the build quality and reliability is better than what Musk achieved
What Musk delivers isn’t too bad.
Sometimes it needs to be reset during a trip but it stays on the road while you do that…..

oh wait…
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Old 30th Apr 2022, 11:00
  #436 (permalink)  
 
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Only thing that bothers me in all this is why non-refundable deposits?
If this comes to fruition, there will be hundreds of people waiting in line to get one of these birds. No need to "secure" orders.......oh, wait, nevermind.
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Old 30th Apr 2022, 12:27
  #437 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know for sure why the deposits are non-refundable. However, my guess is - it secures the funding.
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Old 30th Apr 2022, 14:11
  #438 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hughes500 View Post
Rudestuff, quite right
Here are some examples
MD helicopters a mesh screen infront of compressor $ 15000
Schweizer a steel tube 12 inchs long $ 1500
Dont even get me started on Augsta prices
Engineers don't eat dirt and have bills to pay. Safety=certification=cost. Manufactures had no choice but to spread the entire cost on the few that care for their life more than saving a few dime.
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Old 30th Apr 2022, 18:31
  #439 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing in low volume can be produced cheaply.
musk’s Roadster, which took 100’s of million $ investment to produce, cost $109k - in a largely unregulated environment, using many off the shelf components.

History shows snakeoil salespeople are good at their craft.
When the dream leaves youtube and flies reliably, without injury, then they can claim success.
I seriously hope they get it right, just the whole system is designed to prevent success. As it has been sold, anyway.
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Old 30th Apr 2022, 19:06
  #440 (permalink)  
 
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Mee3
What utter bollocks. The US military paid for the development of both machines. Are you really telling me that a piece of garden mesh on a plastic frame is $ 15k. I get a blade on the same machine is the same price ! My neighbour used to make compressor wheels for RR 250. They cost a fraction and i mean a fraction of what RR charged them out . So it is possible to make a machine that doesnt cost the earth
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