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EC120 Op Costs

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EC120 Op Costs

Old 15th Oct 2020, 17:54
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EC120 Op Costs

Anyone have experience with op costs on the EC120? Seems you can get them cheap on the capital side but difficult to find info on maintenance/op costs. Interested for private flying ~100hrs/yr. Do these machines have any calendar items like the robbies?
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Old 16th Oct 2020, 02:38
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have you tried:
https://www.aircraftcostcalculator.c...copter+EC+120B
$988 per hours is what they say, thought the number was going to come more in the $600 to $700 range

in the same calculator if you try the AS350, you get $1088 per hours, that is so much more helicopter for $100 more
not sure how they work it out it, seem to me that the Arriel engine of the AS350 is much more expensive to maintain than the Arrius

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Old 16th Oct 2020, 14:47
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Thanks, although I don't know how accurate it is. the fixed costs seem outrageous to me. I expect you'd be able to pick one up for $600 to $700k, so hull insurance around $30k, hangarage around $10k, annual at $10k. These are conservative, not sure where they get the additional $140k. Makes me questions the variable costs when the fixed are so far off.
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Old 16th Oct 2020, 18:36
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I owned one for 3 years, after 8 years on R44
operating cost is minimally different than a 44 for 100 hours a year
I would say below 10,000$, one annual, usually without smags, but every 24 months a 70 hours inspection
oil change, pretty simple , extremely reliable, much more satisfying to fly
smooth, no shaking, no blades AD or surprise
of course hull insurance will hit you in the face at about 2% of value , or more if you are green
I bought this EC 2004, did the full 12 year inspection, turbine overhaul....thats the expensive part
and seems to gain in value ever since, TBO on all components is way above any other machine in its class
and after 12 year was still worth a bundle, excuse my english...
ask your mechanic for a list of TBO item, but all in the thousands hour
jp

my EC120b 2004
it keeps its value were as my 44 dropped to a low 100k us when the 12 year came around.
excellent machine for private, and 3,5 hours of flying at 100 kts while burning 200 pounds of jet fuel which is cheaper than 100ll
if you push it to 120 kts, you will burn about 240 pounds.

Last edited by heliturbo; 17th Oct 2020 at 10:50.
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Old 16th Oct 2020, 18:39
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That's a worthless site; they're factoring in payments for a loan on the purchase price into that calculation, and assumptions of 450 hours/year.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 02:04
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I expect you'd be able to pick one up for $600 to $700k
all the ones in that price range have something holding the price back, located in Brazil or high engine time.
Interestingly Airbus Helicopter discontinuing manufacturing of the model has not decreased the market value significantly.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 03:26
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Don’t they have a 12 year engine/gearbox raping, err “inspection”?
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 05:04
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Originally Posted by heliturbo View Post
I owned one for 3 years, after 8 years on R44
operating cost is minimally different than a 44 for 100 hours a year
I would say below 10,000$, one annual, usually without smags, but every 24 months a 70 hours inspection
oil change, pretty simple , extremely reliable, much more satisfying to fly
smooth, no shaking, no blades AD or surprise
of course hull insurance will hit you in the face at about 2% of value , or more if you are green
I bought this EC 2004, did the full 12 year inspection, turbine overhaul....thats the expensive part
and seems to gain in value ever since, TBO on all components is way above any other machine in its class
and after 12 year was still worth a bundle, excuse my english...
ask your mechanic for a list of TBO item, but all in the thousands hour
jp

my EC120b 2004
it keeps its value were as my 44 dropped to a low 100k us when the 12 year came around.
excellent machine for private, and 3,5 hours of flying at 100 kts while burning 200 pounds of jet fuel which is cheaper than 100ll
if you push it to 120 kts, you will burn about 240 pounds.
Definitely a beauty she is. I can imagine how much you are enjoying flying her!

So how much in your case was the 12-year inspection incl turbine overhaul?
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 15:42
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Exclamation

Actually, you posted your overhaul costs from 2016 here on PPRuNe. So something like USD 100k for the 12-yr inspection, luckily no biggies, no gearbox problems for example. Plus USD 250k for the turbine overhaul. Total therefore around USD 350k, but fairly unpredictable. For the next person it could be a hundred grand more, or even worse.

Compare this to fairly predictable USD 100k to USD 200k for a R44 overhaul (depending whether it is a 12-yr inspection only, or it coincides with the 2,200 HR overhaul). Plus some USD 10k higher insurance premium per year (makes USD 120k over 12 years).

We take your word for it that your operating cost in between the scheduled major services may not be that different between between a R44 and a EC120. You specified those to be around USD 10k per year. However, if you add the difference in 12-yr inspection cost (still USD 25k *per year* when spread out evenbly over the period), it would be misguided to believe that the cost of ownership would be the same. It remains hugely more expensive to operate a turbine (any turbine, for that matter). And that without counting the cost of capital, as you would bind some addtional USD 600k or so in that asset.

But of course, nobody has said the two machines are the same. For what the EC120 offers it's probably totally worth it. So you must enjoy!
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 17:01
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Thank you Hot and Hi. I was incredulous that anyone could possibly think costs for an EC120 were anywhere at all comparable to an R44 but did not have the round numbers for the EC120 to go on.

I suppose if you are not in it for the long haul you can own a mid-life machine for a few hundred hours and then sell it and maybe come out ahead. But if you are in it for the long haul...

Looking at 100 hours/year x 12 years, or 1200 hours total per major overhaul cycle and,

Looking at $12K USD/year for the R44 vs. $24K USD/year for the EC120 (non-commercial policy, and they really like you at those prices) and,

$200K USD for an R44 overhaul including engine vs. $350K for the EC120 and,

Fuel at 16 x $5.75 = $92/hour for the R44 and 32 x $4.85 = $155/hour for the EC120 (full serve, current prices at a local, mid-size GA airport).

Doing the math gets you to $420/hour for the R44 vs. $686/hour for the EC120 and that's WITHOUT oil and scheduled maintenance, which will all be more expensive on the EC120.

I can tell you that at 100 hour/year, with a very good rate on insurance, I'm doing right around $410/hour, but I've been lucky on maintenance. I've got to believe the EC120 will come in, all told, at closer to $750/hour.

Also, I can and have put my R44 to work with a local school. That has significantly reduced my cost of personal flying, but it's still a money losing proposition because the ship does not move 500 hours a year, which is the practical minimum for actually having a positive balance sheet. It's really hard to do that with any turbine ship.

And don't forget that even hangarage will cost more as that three bladed rotor head will take up quite a bit more space.

Is the experience and utility of the EC120 worth 1.7x more (conservatively, it could be worse than that ) than an R44? For those who can afford it, certainly The rest of us have to struggle along the best we can
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 17:26
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
Plus USD 250k for the turbine overhaul.
250k for a standard rebuild seems steep but then the Frenchies know how to charge.
A 250-C47 overhaul was just shy of $170k and included the remaining wheels and repairs for corrosion.
Throw in another $60k for an exchange engine gearbox and HMU and you are still below the Safran cost after a massive overhaul.
Sounds like a bargain to me, no wonder the 120 was such a success.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 20:47
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I should have said ''yearly maintennace costs'' rather than ''operating costs''
but I did mentionned that fuel consumption is very different, oil comsumption is minimal

and I agree that I was lucky to get away with 250k US for the 12-year turbine overhaul, as per the original quote.
that must be done by Safran in USA....and it took 3 full month at least

but once up to date with the 12-yar inspection and the turbine overhauled, its worth north of 1 million, which is a relief

yes at 700k US the machine will be in need of some high expense in the near future
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 21:55
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It's either expensive to purchase, hopefully with less upcoming maintenance, or less expensive to purchase but with guaranteed expensive maintenance coming up.

There's just no free lunch with helicopters. Best to hire someone else's machine, more often than not, even if it seems expensive at the time.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 23:12
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Exactly John's point.... even for new aircraft. A Bell 505 doesn't really have any calendar limits (other than TT straps), but it's more expensive than a used 120 or R44/66.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 00:25
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Originally Posted by PhlyingGuy View Post
Exactly John's point.... even for new aircraft. A Bell 505 doesn't really have any calendar limits (other than TT straps), but it's more expensive than a used 120 or R44/66.
Does anyone know roughly what the SBH rate is for the 505?
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 01:29
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What is the definition of "SBH"?
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 02:41
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Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post
What is the definition of "SBH"?
Service by the Hour - fixed cost maintenance:

https://investor.textron.com/news/ne...-/default.aspx
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 10:47
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EC120 engine at 15 yr is now an inspection if below 3000 hrs and - if all is well - release to continue to use to 3000 hr. Inspection is 85k for the hot section at Turbomeca if nothing untoward is found. Prices as quoted to me as mine is going in next week.

In addition, you could take advantage of the certified extension (18 months) before sending the engine in. Given the slower market due to CV-19, I decided to send her in now.

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Old 19th Oct 2020, 23:35
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Originally Posted by krypton_john View Post
Does anyone know roughly what the SBH rate is for the 505?
Heard it's about $100/hr for unscheduled coverage.
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Old 23rd Oct 2020, 17:13
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Thanks for the info everyone. I spoke to a local EC120 operator and was informed the costs I could expect:
- $5k/yr for 100hr inspection
- $25k every 2 yrs
- $60k every 7 yrs
- $250k every 12 yrs
- $250k turbine overhaul
- very limited unscheduled maintenance in their experience (basically no AoG time for their machine) but if you do get something, parts can be weeks or even a couple months

I do wonder if the 12 yr would be slightly less for me as a low usage private guy (100hrs/yr). The machine this operator has flies north of 600/yr. Expect they might discover more on a 12yr inspection compared with a private machine.

Have done some research and perhaps revised price expectations to ~$850k for a good machine (<1000hrs, recent 12 yr complete). I find the list prices on internet to be much higher than what they might sell for. Broker recently indicated to be that a machine is pending sold at $250k less than what the ask was.
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