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Hill Helicopters HX50

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Hill Helicopters HX50

Old 29th Aug 2020, 11:23
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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If it is another expensive machine, it's not a game-changer is it?
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 11:39
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
If it is another expensive machine, it's not a game-changer is it?
Exactly.
There aren't many options when it comes to 500SHP turbine engines, none of them are low-cost.

If you look at a Robbie, it is an aircraft which screams that it was designed to meet a price point.
This pretty thing just shouts $$$, and there's more than enough choice in that area for a privateer, used and new.
We will have to wait until more detail is released, which presumably will be when their pre-order book opens.


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Old 29th Aug 2020, 12:25
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Hughes500 - if details aren't available and shrouded in secrecy, how are they going to get any orders?

Buying a helicopter 'off-plan' sounds a very risky investment.
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 13:10
  #144 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Hughes500 - if details aren't available and shrouded in secrecy, how are they going to get any orders?

Buying a helicopter 'off-plan' sounds a very risky investment.
Indeed, my previous reference to the "Elio" car was one recent example of such a venture. Paul Elio, undoubtedly an engineer with a vision, persuaded thousands of Americans that his low cost, highly economical, three wheeled car would revolutionise private transport. It was advertised to cost just $6800 and do 84 miles per US gallon. It obviously appealed to retired folk and others on lower incomes. Many put money up front as non-refundable deposits ($1000 dollars in many cases). The company was subsequently floated and many other hopefuls bought shares. All that they saw were prototypes that were constantly being radically changed in design while the price kept going up and the production date rolled further away into the future. I believe the original, panelled space frame would be too costly to mass produce and probably not comply with vehicle regulations. No vehicles ever went into production (they didn't even have a factory in the end) and all those paying for a deposit received was a T shirt, a bumper sticker and empty promises.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elio_Motors

As a petrol head I became quite enthusiastic about the concept to begin with (must be over ten years ago now) but my engineering background made me quickly realise that advertising claims being made were unrealistic. Major investors obviously felt the same way. The designer seems to have quietly disappeared.

I sincerely hope that Hill Helicopters will fare better than this.

Last edited by ShyTorque; 29th Aug 2020 at 13:23.
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 15:48
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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OK, so let's just say it'll be in the $3M price range (I believe it'll be higher). Who here is familiar enough with the development and production costs of a new type to know how many units they need to sell to amortize the start-up and development costs and become profitable? Don't forget they are starting from scratch, i.e. there is no developmental or manufacturing infrastructure already bought and paid for like there is at Bell or Airbus. And then does anyone believe they'll actually sell that many? I.e. does the business plan make sense?

Mind you I'm not knocking the design approach or the vision. I have no doubt it'll be a great machine. I'd love to see them go for a SPIFR certification for it in the US with it (probably the only place in the world where that would be possible), especially since they can follow in the footsteps (rotor vortices?) of the relatively recent 407 and 119 certifications.

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Old 30th Aug 2020, 07:07
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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SPIFR certification for it in the US with it (probably the only place in the world where that would be possible),
In Oz there are plenty of certified SPIFR B206.
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 07:16
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Guys why are you assuming the engine is going to come from the likes of RR or Safran ? A gas turbine isn't difficult to make cheaply. I should know as my next door neighbour used to make the compressor wheels for RR if you knew what they cost to make and the mark up Rolls put on them ( way over a factor of 10 ) you would understand the complete laugh the manufacturers are having. Please don't go down the R and R costs t the manufacturer,the Allison 250 was paid for by the US mil in the 1960's the current RR350 and 500 are basically the same engine !
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 07:56
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Well it looks pretty, but I don't see anything game changing. Unless they're going to manufacture and certify their own engine and major components and sell them at cost (2k for a gearbox instead of 40k) - then all I see is another expensive gas turbine helicopter. To be "game-changing" they'd have to reduce maintenance costs by half, but why would they do that when all they need to do is charge slightly less than the other guys? Starbucks could cut their coffee prices in half and still make money (it's just coffee and water) but they don't.
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 08:18
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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It’s RR300 and the 500 was killed as a project years ago, lack of interest, or something like that.
So they’re also going to knock together an engine and certify it, as well as a new aircraft?
Someone is smoking something..
This aircraft and engine building malarkey must be easy, who could believe all the big guys have got it so wrong for so long

I am looking forward to ordering mine for $200k
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 12:25
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

The only way I can interpret it being a "personal" or "private use" helicopter is that it *won't* be certified. That would practrically make it an "experimental" (or "kit") helicopter. Which puts it at par with the Gazelle, i.e., same weight/performance class with nil or very limited commercial utility.

Not certifying it would also go a long way towards

- achieving early market launch
- reducing purchase price
- bring down annual maintenance cost (GBP 15k per annum was mentioned here)

Mostly I have stayed away from "kit" helicopters as they don't seem to have the reliability and safety of their certified brothers. In that sense, the "ultra-rich" private Leonardo clients may indeed not be Hill's target market as they definitely want to rely on their certified aircraft and their IF-rated multi-crew to take them anywhere, anytime they want to (OK, let's not do there ...)
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 15:08
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Now granted, I know nothing about building or certifying helicopters, but surely in this day and age the obvious solution is a couple of Tesla-style motors driving the rotor? Redundancy in lieu of certification. Powered by a cheap and efficient motor/generator through a small battery to provide 5 minutes of extra T/O power and to negate the need to autorotate.. or have the option to strap on an extra motor/generator and turn it into a twin..
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 15:12
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.pilotweb.aero/news/hill-...aled-1-6811714
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 15:23
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Bell ringer, you obviously dont pay the bills on a machine. Here are a few examples of how the big boys rip you off

Compressor wheels cost to make under £ 200 sold at over £ 2000
MD bearings, cost to make under $ 50 sold for $ 1400. Mesh filter infront of compressor $ 12500 ( for a fibreglass frame with some garden mesh over it !)
S300 strut, cost to make $ 55 sold for $ 1600
AW pressure switch made for Euros 2k sold for Euros 32K
Sa 341 clutch o/h cost for YU reg £ 7500 for an EASA ac £ £ 32k
That is why your maintenance bills are so frigging high
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 15:53
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi
The only way I can interpret it being a "personal" or "private use" helicopter is that it *won't* be certified.
As their press statement goes:
The aircraft is being developed to fully comply with the latest EASA CS-27 in the UK and Europe, FAR-27 in the US and AWM527 in Canada.
So there will be a certification (CS-27 is for small rotorcraft).
Unfortunately, we don't know yet if it would be certified for IFR (appendix B of CS-27), and CS-27 alone doesn't tell anything about commercial or private ops.

I'd love to see that machine flying. And if it sells below the R66 - well, I know which design I'd prefer...

Thracian
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 16:13
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Hughes, well aware of the costs. Had my C47 in for overhaul a couple of years back with too many components not making their hours.
Unfortunately your argument is like someone giving a restaurant a bad review because they’ve worked out what they could buy the veges for but ignore the rest of the equation.
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 17:05
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hughes500
Sa 341 clutch o/h cost for YU reg £ 7500 for an EASA ac £ £ 32k
That is why your maintenance bills are so frigging high
Just to add. I have read the accident reports for some of those UK-flown gazelles on the YU register and the quality parts and maintenance that some of them received.
You don't spend $2M+ on an aircraft and then moan about an extra $100k every 2000 hours or so.

I seriously doubt the aircraft pictured above is vaguely in the price range of an ageing 341 or indeed the budget of someone who would rather fly on a YU reg, but I will be happy if it is, and once it's logged enough hours to buff out the quirks.

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Old 30th Aug 2020, 23:31
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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The writing on the tin said:
'our consortium will develop a next-generation private helicopter that delivers reduced environmental impact, lower noise levels and unprecedented levels of safety, comfort and performance at a game-changing price point'
The illustration of the prototype do not give much indication of the first four parameters, so the price point becomes critical. I'll stay tuned for the suggested launch price, but am doubtful.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 05:07
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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unprecedented levels of safety
Options list:
5-point harness
energy-absorbing-stroke seats (Recaro, for the unprecedented comfort)
airbags all around
steerable ballistic parachute, with optional gas-fired blower to stay up there a bit longer like a balloon
and if all else fails, 5 x Martin-Baker Mk 10 departure lounges.

Now THAT is unprecedented safety. Wonder what these dudes will have?
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 23:28
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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The idea that this will undercut the R66 in price is simply absurd. The R66 is the cheapest 5-seat turbine there is, even cheaper than the 40-year-old Enstrom 480B. The Bell 505 is a bit more but not by much, as far as I know. There is no way this ultra-luxury high-performance helicopter from a start-up, with retractable and allegedly *powered* wheels, will be cheaper. If it actually gets built, certified, and sold for $2 million, I'd call that impressive. But I suspect it'll be more (if they ever finish it at all), or start at a lower price then increase dramatically after the first year.

But I hope they succeed. There is far too little innovation in helicopters.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 02:14
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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Guimbal was saying it best, helicopters production is a business of trust. On a purchase of 1 million dollar plus you need garanty of continuity of service, spare parts and other procedural support.
that is why Kopter would never make it by themselves
that is why Guimbal is not doing a G4
that is why Hills helicopters is a non starter no matter how good and innovative the new machine is.

its easy to get excited about innovations but this type of thinking leads you to overshoot the demand and miss delivering on the key factor of importance which in this industry are still fairly basic.

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