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Hill Helicopters HX50

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Hill Helicopters HX50

Old 16th Oct 2022, 19:54
  #581 (permalink)  
 
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It is like many in the microlight industry - it is assisted assembly rather than actual building - a crate load of bits and some instructions and away you go.

Control rigging and track and balance won't be done by the 'owner' I suspect.
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Old 18th Oct 2022, 20:23
  #582 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shagpile View Post
Wow this thread justifying $30k parts that cost $400 to make is like Turkeys arguing the merits of Christmas. Pilots on forums are like the Peoples Front of Judea versus the Judean Peoples Front.

You guys are arguing different things - one is amortizing the $1m R&D cost into the part. The other is talking about a lump of metal being machined for under $1000. You are both right.

Jason Hill is saying he's swallowing the difficult R&D upfront, then he can stamp out machines for realistic prices. The entire merit of this project is modern industrialisation of 20-50 year old concepts, with modern materials, processes, alloys, aerodynamics and so on. Just what a modern helicopter should look like; nothing more or less. There's no fancy hybrid drives, parachutes, etc.

You are all forgetting this is EXPERIMENTAL, with the concurrent certification effort, paid for by profits & builds of the experimental over many years. It's not the same business model as upfront certification and sale of 3rd party parts to compete with OEM's.

Example: One of his videos he says one particular rotor part has about €300 of actual metal/rubber/glue used to make it (yes yes, plus labour etc.). The certified Big Aviation™ part is €30,000. Each. Times three. So once he solves that R&D and develops a manufacturing process, he can bypass all that ridiculousness and multiplied over dozens/hundreds of parts, make a £500k chopper, (presumably with heathy profit margin).

I think we've heard enough of the "this won't work" posts that it's not value adding any more. Time will prove these right or wrong, otherwise everybody is just going around in circles. I propose this thread focus more on technical aspects of the program, eg points brought up in the latest video update (https://youtu.be/y9m7nrdwQO4?t=269) such as the shift to a single stage compressor turbine due to bearing loads & secondary air system efficiency/complexity and how do other engines solve this issue.
I believe that this design includes some real innovation and contemporary thinking, so I'm pretty impressed with much of the concept. Maybe the problem here is when other commentators share their personal interpretation of the status of the program rather than following the video and website information, at least this appears to be the source of some of the conflict.

Wow this thread justifying $30k parts that cost $400 to make is like Turkeys arguing the merits of Christmas.
  • This appears to be a fundamental part of the discussion but is not a realistic comparison. A programme needs to recover the cost of the investment if it's going to succeed, and no matter how you manage the cost of manufacture you will have to absorb the cost of this in some form or another of contribution for each part. While I know there are definitely well-documented stories of such parts, and I'm sure many more might fall into this category, I don't think you'll be finding too many complex parts falling into this classification as the PMA market demonstrates. The only people that believe and repeat this, are those who have never been exposed to the design, manufacture, test, certification and delivery of an individual part and integration into a larger complete assembly. PMA can short-circuit this, by having none of the original design and development costs to bear.
Jason Hill is saying he's swallowing the difficult R&D upfront, then he can stamp out machines for realistic prices
  • R&D costs money no matter how you package it. As do personnel, facilities, equipment, and all the other costs of development and production. Unless you have a supply of free money, at some point all these costs have to be absorbed and included into the cost of the delivered product. This is simple business, and if I'm missing some part of this equation, I'm completely open to being further educated on this, in fact, I have a couple of projects I'd love to pursue utilizing this formula.
You are all forgetting this is EXPERIMENTAL, with the concurrent certification effort, paid for by profits & builds of the experimental over many years. It's not the same business model as upfront certification and sale of 3rd party parts to compete with OEM's.
  • This appears to conflict with the information on the website;
    Most aviation authorities do not allow night operation in NON certified aircraft; how is this going to be solved ?
    "The limitations that apply to these aircraft are based on the basis for initial airworthiness. In our case the basis for initial airworthiness is EASA, CS Part 27 or FAR Part 27 so if you deliver an aircraft with the same certification basis as a fully certified aircraft and develop it with a design approved organisation, produce it in a production approved organisation, then you can quite easily justify that it should have the operating privileges of an aircraft that’s come out of that environment. That’s how we do it."
  • This product is to be designed, certified and tested in accordance with Part 27 from the outset, so the requirement for design, test, and certification of the product is the same as any other OEM. You are either doing this, or are you claiming something else is occurring? I'm not sure what it is, but all aircraft in the prototyping and pre-certification phase are always experimental. Again, if I'm missing something, I'm completely open to further education.
I propose this thread focus more on technical aspects of the program, eg points brought up in the latest video update (https://youtu.be/y9m7nrdwQO4?t=269) such as the shift to a single-stage compressor turbine due to bearing loads & secondary air system efficiency/complexity and how do other engines solve this issue.
  • I would agree completely. This design incorporates some highly innovative ideas, and as it proceeds into the full aircraft, there will be many unforeseen or unconsidered challenges that will be experienced. Just focussing on the engine world, the history of every engine design includes unanticipated issues and failures throughout the product life cycle, not just at initial test, although I can't really think of a new design engine that didn't require some redesign to remedy issues discovered during the certification test stage. Design, material, manufacturing, operational, and maintenance issues can all be involved, and you can review contemporary issues on virtually every engine out there, no matter the age or stage of service life.
I really hope this product succeeds. Mr. Hill is definitely a talented individual and has some great ideas, and his goal of simplicity is highly attractive and commendable. The engine and the entire helicopter appears a great design, and I will be very interested in following the future development and success of the programme. I must make a point of stopping by sometime and seeing it in real life.
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Old 18th Oct 2022, 22:44
  #583 (permalink)  
 
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In the US experimentals have no restrictions at all except against being used for hire (private flight only, essentially, with exceptions granted for training). Europe may have restrictions against night flight but that's a Europe thing. Also some of you are acting like Hill is inventing the factory assist concept which is absurd; it has been around for decades and is well established, at least for FAA compliance. Yes, two week factory assist is common and is very different from actually building from a kit. It is essentially a loophole but a real one. Some owners might fake it, others take it seriously.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 17:25
  #584 (permalink)  
 
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this is the kind of size factory and kind of operation Hill are going to need

and remember Robinson do not make the engines






Last edited by hargreaves99; 31st Dec 2022 at 11:34.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 17:49
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Robinson's factory expanded over time, and they have three models and very high production for a helicopter manufacturer. They do import engines and instruments/avionics but make basically everything else.

I do think Hill is moving prematurely with their hyper-ambitious factory plans when they don't even have a prototype yet. If they had a flying prototype, they'd be able to get much more investment I am sure.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 18:11
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Don't forget that the Robinson factory produces around 1,000 parts kits per year for the fleet as well as aircraft production. Hill doesn't need to do that yet.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 22:30
  #587 (permalink)  
 
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Keep on defending them Cran - you sound like Jason more and more each day........
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 10:46
  #588 (permalink)  
 
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Don't forget, regarding the HX50, the owner needs to build 51% by himself. I built several other brand kits in the past and I know what I'm talking about. There is NO WAY you can build 51% in 2 weeks. Also most helicopter pilots I know know absolutely 0 in mechanical assemblies or any other fabrication in general, they are just 'pilots'.
A permit to fly issued by the UK CAA allows you to leave the country for 30 days, no more or you need a special permit. As the HX50 is not (and will never be) EASA approved, every EU country will need its own approval and that will take some time (or never happen).
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 11:03
  #589 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by xbdt View Post
Don't forget, regarding the HX50, the owner needs to build 51% by himself. I built several other brand kits in the past and I know what I'm talking about. There is NO WAY you can build 51% in 2 weeks. Also most helicopter pilots I know know absolutely 0 in mechanical assemblies or any other fabrication in general, they are just 'pilots'.
A permit to fly issued by the UK CAA allows you to leave the country for 30 days, no more or you need a special permit. As the HX50 is not (and will never be) EASA approved, every EU country will need its own approval and that will take some time (or never happen).
Just out of interest how many of those kits that you built are still being flown?
I've only seen a few kit helicopters over the years but all of them in a hangar covered in dust, the owners either too scared to fly them or passed and no one else is game to take them on.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 11:32
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Originally Posted by Aluminium Mallard View Post
Just out of interest how many of those kits that you built are still being flown?
I've only seen a few kit helicopters over the years but all of them in a hangar covered in dust, the owners either too scared to fly them or passed and no one else is game to take them on.
You are absolutely correct, you need some balls to (test)fly something you build yourself, let alone built by someone else.
In my case, I built 3 kits (between 2004 and 2008) and they are all 3 still airworthy and flying as we speak. One has 400h on the hobbs, the other about 500h and the third one I don't know as I am not involved in these anymore. All privately owned, 2 in France and 1 in Belgium.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:08
  #591 (permalink)  
 
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I suspect the "51% built by owner" is just a 'tick-box exercise' to satisfy the CAA Permit-to-fly regulations.

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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:49
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Some CAA will study the project closely and will not grant it because they know it is not built 51% by the owner.
Look at the AK1-3 'kit'copter. Completely built in Ukraine and you just had to install the tail boom and some minor other things. Was rejected by many CAA because it was not built 51% by the owner.
I cannot see 500 guys together at Hill helicopters walking in all directions assembling their aircraft and asking a zillion questions...
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:50
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Originally Posted by hargreaves99 View Post
I suspect the "51% built by owner" is just a 'tick-box exercise' to satisfy the CAA Permit-to-fly regulations.
Yes I agree - box ticking
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:52
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Apparently the CAA are "fully behind the project"

I don't think the HX50 is a "kit helicopter". I imagine the two week "51% owner build" course will be some groundschool and the owner will 'shadow' an engineer in the factory while the engineer bolts things together.

Again, who knows. It's all speculation at this point.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 17:45
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The CAA might well, at some level be "fully behind" the project. How high that level is, and how long that will last is entirely debatable. Possibly even longer than the first accident, but no longer than when the sensationalist press are having a quiet week and notice that the 51% requirement is being overcome by creative rule bending. Having some (most?) certification data on the CAA/EASA desks might help at that point.

N

N
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 21:15
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The HX50 is *not* a kit helicopter. Admittedly I only have experience with the FAA and not the UK CAA, but to give a real (in the US) example, five years ago I bought a gyroplane from a US manufacturer, and at the time all two-seat gyros in the US had to be registered as 'experimental' and officially 51% owner-built, but factory assist was allowed at least in practice, so the manufacturer just had all US-based owners go to the factory for a couple of weeks to help assemble it and that was that. I know Magni (Italian manufacturer) offered a similar program; you flew to Italy, helped build your gyro in two weeks, then flew back home and they ship your completed gyro to you.

Building an aircraft from a kit takes years, even 10 years if you have a job, but the factory-assist thing is a loophole allowing you to do zero manufacturing and basically just help assemble it. And, in the US, you only need to show you did 51% of the work if you want to do your own annuals, which only a fool would do IMO.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 21:21
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This appeared as I read the free "Sun" online today. As it's a screenshot the link won't work, but it took me to the site. Target market? I've no rotary wing experience.
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Old 31st Oct 2022, 11:15
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Originally Posted by Maoraigh1 View Post

This appeared as I read the free "Sun" online today. As it's a screenshot the link won't work, but it took me to the site. Target market? I've no rotary wing experience.
These adds come from an ad integrator, that does not so much care about tthe publication readership base, they care about what you read, what you have read, your email adress, stuff in your cookies cache and so on.
I know little bit how it works as we do online ad spending to that level. it counts on their advertizing agency to be able to target you with the right parameters,
setting up those parameters take time at first on a new campaign especially if the ad agency has no experience in fishing prospects for helicopters in that new context.

As you might know the key parameter of interest for this ad is the "cost per lead" . how much money is spent on the whole ad campaign divided by nb of people who click through.
after that comes the "conversion rate" how many people actually make a deposit for a new machine. I would be interested to see their numbers.



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Old 31st Oct 2022, 11:44
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I'm interested in this project and my social media is plastered with Hill adverts.
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 11:45
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recently seeing some of the junk coming from OEM's I think I would prefer to build one myself.
EG bungee springs for collective ,one part number 3 different length springs ????????
Main rotor blades weighing at the tip 250 grams different from each other, when you can only put a max of just under that on the head to balance it
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