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Old 05-01-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Internal fire or combustion?

OK, My wife and I were flying home from a cross-country in my Enstrom 480B ... lumbering along at 80-knots (burning 140 lbs per hour). Just for the heck of it, I turned up the fire-maker and lowered my nose.

"Just how fast can I go?"

I was burning a lot of fuel (160 lbs an hour) and had a tough time keeping it a hair over 90 knots.

I love my Enstrom ... the room, the safety, the turbine, the stability, the simplicity ... etc. etc. etc.

But, I used to own an R-44 ... and there is nothing I can do in the 480 that I couldn't do with the Robbie.

I know the Robbie gets criticism for being life-limited ... and the 480B has an indefinite lifespan (if you keep up with progressive maintenance).

But ... I can tell you from personal experience that even with all of the R44 maintenance and lifespan issues ... you could do a complete overhaul on the R44 after 2000 hours and still be in it for less money than keeping the Enstrom alive and well for the same period of time.

The Robbie is pretty much a low-maintenance machine with plenty of power and speed. The Entrom has power (but no speed) ... and don't let anyone tell you it lifts more than the Robbie. Not my experience. You can easily torque out or temp out with three adults and fuel on hot days.

In the Robbie, I never reached my operating limit with four adults on the hottest of summer days at my elevation. Once is a while, I needed to limit fuel or plan my route ... but not a problem.

So, I guess I am wondering ... is it worth having a used turbine for twice the money as a brand spankin new R44 -- similarly equipped?

Yes, I know about the "desire for fire" and the sound of the turbine. But really ... all macho crap aside ... I can go much faster and carry just as much in a Robbie.

The advantages of the Enstrom is the turbine reliability, high-inertia rotors (which makes for comfortable autos), stout airframe and landing gear and extra room.

The Robbie is faster and way more economical to own and operate ... but what about reliability ... aren't the fuel-injected Lycomings pretty much bullet-proof these days?

When it comes to personal ownership ... what am I missing?

Tom
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:08 PM
choppergabor choppergabor is offline
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All the Enstrom owners we sold the machines to were asking the same question Tom after having their machines for a while. Yeah I think it does have to do with the Robbie image being somehow less flashy. Dollar for dollar you can't beat the Robbie. But Enstroms are fully articulated and in my book that is well worth the extra money. Yep they are heavy and slow and the power is marginal......but you do know all that upfront. Soooo it is a question everyone has to decide for themselves. I for one would choose yours over the Robbie (if I could afford it!)
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:30 AM
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Tom- I can see your point, but iif I had the money to spare, your Enstrom would be my choice. In my case, I have more power available than the rotor could ever use. That's why its detuned from 150 horse down to 100. Doug Schwochert is experimenting with a Yamaha in his Helicycle, and I hope it works out for him. Stan
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:43 AM
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I think the Enstrom is a stouter built ship, but if you think about it the Robbie is a better built ship from an efficiency standpoint. It will lift the same amount of weight on 3/5 the fuel and have the same or more range. I only have time in the 28F and I could tell it was a very well built machine; however, my Brantly was faster, easier to maintain, easier to fly, and cost 1/3.

The only problem I have with the Robbie is the calendar expiration of parts. I only will fly a helicopter about 50 hours per year, so I would time it out on the calendar well before the Hobbs making it a very expensive helicopter to operate.

Back to the Enstrom. 80 knots and 20 GPH would be too much for me. You use a machine like a 480 to go places. At that kind of speed and fuel burn I would drive a car instead as it would most likely be faster considering you have to usually fly from airport to airport if you are going somewhere where you do not own the land, etc.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:43 AM
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The second happiest day of my life is when I sold my Enstrom. I will never forget that day, watching it putter away as a tear of joy ran down my face...... and a sigh of relief from my wallet.

It was like when I was a kid playing “You’re It!”, and I was “It”, and I finally tagged someone else to be “It”, and I ran like hell to never be “It” again!!.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:46 AM
baronpilot baronpilot is offline
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Also,

What about a turbine Robbie? I think you would then have the best of both worlds.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisFetters View Post
The second happiest day of my life is when I sold my Enstrom. I will never forget that day, watching it putter away as a tear of joy ran down my face...... and a sigh of relief from my wallet.

It was like when I was a kid playing “You’re It!”, and I was “It”, and I finally tagged someone else to be “It”, and I ran like hell to never be “It” again!!.
What was your first happiest day?
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baronpilot View Post
What was your first happiest day?
That was 30 days later...... after I found out the guy that purchased it crashed into some power-lines and totaled it, and walked away........ so it was then I knew for sure that he was not going to come wanting his money back!!!

For 30 days it was like hitting myself in the head with a hammer.... you know; it fills good to stop!
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Experience is learning from your mistakes, so it would
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baronpilot View Post
What was your first happiest day?
Hi Todd, would that be the day he bought her... same with a yacht!

Hi Tom
Not being a helicopter pilot I cannot not speak to the flying differences other than you describe and I know you have that figured out.

I look at each aircraft I fly as a specific tool for a specific mission. In general for FW I used them to travel, unless an ultra-light, then it is for sight seeing.

As all helicopters can hover they all fly equally as slow as you wish for sight seeing so my next mission would be using it for travel = the FASTEST aircraft with enough payload, range, at the LOWEST operating cost.

As to the injected Lyc's = My experience as a Piper Dealer with hundreds aircraft and thousands of hours operating them and my brothers repair station experiences for over 30+ years they are bullet proof with GOOD MAINTENANCE and all but a few turbo-charged Continental have been problem free also.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:18 AM
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Default Reality Of It.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RotorTom View Post
...
So, I guess I am wondering ... is it worth having a used turbine for twice the money as a brand spankin new R44 -- similarly equipped?...
THAT...my friend...is why Robinson sold their 10,000th helicopter in NOV 2011.

This safety graph is right off Enstrom's own webpage. Look at the R44.
It's phenomenal!


I know the agony you went through canceling your contract on the 44, and getting your beautiful ship over here and assembled, but as Foghorn-Leghorn says..." I know, I say... I know boy...figuz don't lie!"
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:55 AM
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OK, so who wants to buy my Enstrom?
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:02 AM
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Gee's buddy after your elegant critique we NOW all want Robbies too?
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2012, 12:42 PM
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I'm having fun training in the r22. I like the way it sounds when it starts up. Piston power will always have a place with me!!
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  #14  
Old 05-03-2012, 03:29 AM
choppergabor choppergabor is offline
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I would love to buy it Tom....but I just spent all my dough on a wedding LOL I just love the interior and the comfort of the Enstrom....sorry ..... it is one helluva nice machine!
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