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Hill Helicopters HX50

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Hill Helicopters HX50

Old 21st Sep 2023, 12:25
  #1061 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by admikar
Out of curiosity, what is so staggering about HX50 development? Both technology wise and pace wise?
Clean sheet design. New in house turbine engine. First carbon monocoque helicopter. All for under US600k
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 13:04
  #1062 (permalink)  
 
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Then took another 4 years before entering production…
And Hill is already 2 years behind Robinson so how will that affect the waiting list? Don't forget Frank produced a fully certified helicopter and not an experimental one in that time.

Clean sheet design. New in house turbine engine. First carbon monocoque helicopter. All for under US600k
So he keeps claiming but until it is flying and has its permit to fly, they are still just claims.

I wonder if you have thought that a heavy landing in a carbon monocoque aircraft will likely write it off - carbon fibre and other composites are light and strong but not great at impact resistance.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 13:11
  #1063 (permalink)  

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I'd be happy to see any new and innovative helicopter, or any good engineering project/product that fulfilled all hopes and promises.

However, despite my initial enthusiasm, old age and guile coupled with a basic understanding of engineering made me hold back on placing a deposit for another, far less ambitious crowdfunded project, about ten years ago. I can't help but see the many similarities to this project. They never ended up with a factory and the only salaries paid were to the immediate production team.

https://www.eliomotors.com/

I'm glad I didn't part with any cash. I received a lot of unwarranted criticism for saying that I couldn't believe the company hype on the sadly mis-named "Owners" forum. Many folk on low incomes who thought they were buying into something really good ended up with a $1,000 T shirt and a bumper sticker, but no car. The projected retail price was going to be $6800 for a new vehicle that was going to do 84 mpg (US). They wasted loads of money on a brand new engine of their own design, when there were suitable, tried and tested engines already on the market. They should really have made it an EV from the start, but that's a different topic.

https://www.elioowners.com/threads/w...ion-date.7865/
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 13:15
  #1064 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder if you have thought that a heavy landing in a carbon monocoque aircraft will likely write it off - carbon fibre and other composites are light and strong but not great at impact resistance.
​​​​​​​Better let the Formula 1 teams knowÖÖ
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 13:17
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An interesting comparison ShyTorque, lots of 'believers' on that forum despite the clear problems in funding and production.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 13:21
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Better let the Formula 1 teams know……
how much of the frame do they use after a smash?

Look at the amount of carbon fibre debris shed after a simple wheel to wing contact.

You can't bend composites back into shape.

​​​​​​​You can make them survivable in a crash - as we see most weeks in F1 - but you don't re-use much afterwards.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 15:27
  #1067 (permalink)  
 
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Shagpile, you have no idea about the longevity of Hills design so complaining about Robinsons 12-year rebuild is very premature.
So a helicopter well hangared & looked after, doing 40hrs/year private ownership, will do 480hrs in 12 years. What exactly in this situation requires it to be rebuilt in 12 years? Simply put, Robinson are taking the piss with their blanket one-size-fits-all manufacturer's recommendation, which essentially must be followed. I bet they really hate all those forced kit sales from existing owners.

Hill is aiming for 5,000 hrs on all major components (on inspection). For example to certify Diesel (which is commonly requested, but he hasn't committed to) he said will take an extra £1m pounds (5000hrs * 130L/hr * £1.50). He's stated publicly some modern parts well maintained can be made to last up to 20,000 hrs so the 5,000 service interval should for the most part be good to go. The idea is that to eventually certify everything for 5,000 hrs (required for HC50). He needs to flog his engines & prototypes so they stay the fleet leaders, and needs to be absolutely certain they last much longer than 5,000 hrs, because if they fail at 4999, it's start again. So these parts are designed to last much longer.

Yeah of course there will be teething issues. Name any aircraft with none. And I'm sure after the first AD comes out, the Fabulous Five will predictably wave their fists at the sky in righteousness, whilst happily filling in the paperwork for their second Robby rebuild kit.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 15:35
  #1068 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, the Robinson rebuild issue is an expensive pain in the ar*e (that kiboshes private owners who don't fly much), as is the stupid crappy t-bar cyclic, and the leaky doors, and the two-bladed "wobble" factor.

But the R44 is safe proven, safe, certified technology that can be used for private, training and commercial work, with the backup of a large manufacturer that's been in business for 40+ years, with a bulletproof proven engine with millions of hours on it. And an R44 is easy to sell if you don't want it anymore.

Hill have some fancy CGI videos, some machined parts, a couple of carbon fibre shells and £50 million in deposits. But no working engine or prototype.

You pays your money and you takes your choice....
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 16:21
  #1069 (permalink)  
 
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PowerPedal: can you share with us what your affiliation with Hill Helicopters is?
I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I am getting a feeling of 'promoter' as I read your inputs to this discussion.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 18:11
  #1070 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
PowerPedal: can you share with us what your affiliation with Hill Helicopters is?
I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I am getting a feeling of 'promoter' as I read your inputs to this discussion.
haha no affiliation. Just a private helicopter pilot from Sydney that owns an EC120 and has a deposit down on a HX50, Iím not Jason Hill if that what youíre getting at!! 🤣

Iím realise the HX50 program has a lot of risks- In- house engine development for one is a very risky undertaking, a path that no other heli manufacturer has taken, and for good reason! And Iím pretty much ignoring Hills timeframe estimates because as we all agree they are completely unrealistic.

However Iíve been reading this forum now for many months and just dismayed by the constant negativity coming through and feeling compelled to say something. Itís hard for me to understand how a bunch of helicopter pilots (Iím presuming everyone here actually does fly helis??) can be so ready to knock a new heli offering. Thereís so much to like about this design and the philosophy behind it, esp for the private owner.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 18:20
  #1071 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Shagpile
Yeah there's information asymmetry here. People who do their research know a lot more about this machine and where it's at than the average punter on here yelling at clouds. It no longer matters what the peanut gallery think; there's about 1000 orders and the only thing stopping it now is JH getting hit by a bus (which I think would only delay it at this point). The timeframe is the only question, but every 2-4 weeks there's a video update given to existing orders through the app, summarised every 1-2 months on a YouTube AMA, where general public get a compressed version due to time constraints.

The last couple of updates had progress in starter generator power electronics development, Digital cockpit, composites & windows, turbine blades, engine casings & plan for combustor tests coming up, lighting. All of the "misc" components like landing gear struts, brackets, metal inserts and the hundred random parts seemed to materialise the last month into almost a full set; that really isn't an issue. I think he said the mast packaging design is frozen and going to production. Seating being re-done with lessons learned from the rest of production to get thinner profile seating. Starting to work on trim. About a dozen other things I've missed, but basically big progress across all fronts, of which there are many.

And reminder, the HX50 is not certified; it's UK CAA permit to fly (read: experimental amateur built in FAA terminology, that has equivalence). But the machine is designed to eventually pass the latest certification standards, and once certified (years from now), will sell as HC50 (in parallel), so (JH's public opinion) the restrictions on your HX50 CoA should be similar to a well built RV (i.e. minimal or no restrictions). The parallel business model is clever; HX50 is much better for private ownership, and those who want to pay £200k extra for the piece of paper to hire/work it, can do so eventually with HC50. He's said about 100 times in his video's where explaining things, x,y,z is designed to the latest certification standards (example: you are not allowed to do a single Jesus bolt any more & HX will have many). Experimental aircraft are allowed to use non-certified high quality parts. So all the hoo ha about "this $100 third party replacement part costs $20,000 with the certificate, and Hill has you by the balls", simply do not apply. Hill's business model is affordable ownership and he's going to underwrite the hull (for cheap) so partner insurance companies can offer affordable insurance. Plus there's a 5 year (5,000hr) nose to tail warranty. I just cannot see a short/medium term situation where the business model is gouging customers like Robison do. In fact Robinson are now dependent on the 12 year rebuild kits to the point where they cannot remove this, and it has created the huge demand void that Hill is filling. See: 1,000 orders.

And my political take is the UK CAA will be under pressure (from post-brexit governments) to support new industry, and not to bog it down in EASA style red tape, so he's swimming with the river current, not against it.
possibly the longest uneducated post in this entire thread. You win!
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 18:26
  #1072 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PowerPedal
Iím realise the HX50 program has a lot of risks- In- house engine development for one is a very risky undertaking, a path that no other heli manufacturer has taken, and for good reason!
I thought Rotorway produced their own engines in house. Not turbines though.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 19:50
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Originally Posted by EXDAC
I thought Rotorway produced their own engines in house. Not turbines though.
How dare you! To compare Rotorway to our Hill-god of all things flying?
Power pedal, you are one of the rare few buyers that actually admits that Hill overpromised. So far, he fell short on timeline (some of it admitedly not his fault) and price (with new pricing model increasingly looking like snake oil sales pitch). We still have to see if performance promises will materialize. Last time I checked, all of us were taking shots at any other manufacturer that was talking bull to the public. Just because some people have invested their money into this is no good reason for the rest of us to shut up about the bull coming from Hill's mouth.
Anyway, while he is taking new path, nothing we have seen so far is actually new technology. And while we do have 2 or 3 somewhat finished shells, all the important bits are still missing (yes, I know parts are being made as we speak). Without even taking into the account that those important bits have to work as a whole by themselves and with other important bits, there is a long way ahead.

And somehow supporters of Dr. Hill seem to overlook that all of GOM club members actually said multiple times that we would love to see this helicopter get off the ground.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 22:46
  #1074 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PowerPedal
haha no affiliation. Just a private helicopter pilot from Sydney that owns an EC120 and has a deposit down on a HX50
Ok, thanks. Hope it works out.

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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 02:16
  #1075 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by admikar
How dare you! To compare Rotorway to our Hill-god of all things flying?
Power pedal, you are one of the rare few buyers that actually admits that Hill overpromised. So far, he fell short on timeline (some of it admitedly not his fault) and price (with new pricing model increasingly looking like snake oil sales pitch). We still have to see if performance promises will materialize. Last time I checked, all of us were taking shots at any other manufacturer that was talking bull to the public. Just because some people have invested their money into this is no good reason for the rest of us to shut up about the bull coming from Hill's mouth.
Anyway, while he is taking new path, nothing we have seen so far is actually new technology. And while we do have 2 or 3 somewhat finished shells, all the important bits are still missing (yes, I know parts are being made as we speak). Without even taking into the account that those important bits have to work as a whole by themselves and with other important bits, there is a long way ahead.

And somehow supporters of Dr. Hill seem to overlook that all of GOM club members actually said multiple times that we would love to see this helicopter get off the ground.
Sounds like we are reaching common ground Admikar.
Iím probably going to head over to England in early Dec to see the 2 prototypes at the launch.
i would be very surprised however if mine (serial # 174) gets delivered before the end of 2026.
in the meantime ill be enjoying my EC120- but not enjoying Airbus support or my servicing costs!
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 02:22
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Speaking of support, PP, how the Hill are you going to get maintenance support for an engine for which engineers in Oz are not certified, and there is no established parts supply chain?
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 02:35
  #1077 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie
Speaking of support, PP, how the Hill are you going to get maintenance support for an engine for which engineers in Oz are not certified, and there is no established parts supply chain?
hill will train and certifies your local engineer of choice as part of your purchase order. They will supply parts etc. Thatís no big deal.

theres already 40 HX50 orders from Australia, and this will grow. Iíve already spoken with my maintenance people who are happy to get involved with maintenance training and support.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 07:13
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Powerpedal - are CASA on side with this grand plan?

Do you have a similar 'permit to fly' system for experimental aircraft there?

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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 07:57
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Powerpedal - are CASA on side with this grand plan?

Do you have a similar 'permit to fly' system for experimental aircraft there?
Dont know. But I would imagine that if FAA approves then CASA will likely follow.

However If for any reason CASA wonít allow HX50 a permit to fly, then our contract of sale stipulates we will be fully refunded including deposit monies.

Last edited by PowerPedal; 23rd Sep 2023 at 05:36.
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 08:19
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Originally Posted by PowerPedal
Dont know. But I would imagine that if FAA approves then CASA will likely follow.

However If for any reason CASA wonít allow HX50 a permit to fly, then our contract of sale stipulates we will be fully refunded including deposit monies.
There are other experimental aircraft here (rotorway, hummingbird etc) so yes they will likely get approval... granted most of those sit in hangars with the owners too scared to fly them.

I've trained two pilots now that have dropped HX50 deposits, both are really smart people with little mechanical knowledge completely convinced by the marketing.

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