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  • New Safari - Safari 500

    Iíím happy (and somewhat surprised) to see that the new Safari 500 is in production. What do you think about it?

    My understanding is that the new 500 is a 400 with a new shell. I think itís great looking.

    The engine is a Titan 370-series. Form what Iííve read (mostly on Vanís Air Force community) this engine seems to be solid.

    Looking at the Safari 400 safety record it seems that the recent years accidents are related to the tail rotor area. Has this problem been throughly looked into and taken care of?

  • #2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A1P0TbVlA0

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    • #3
      I hate to say it but I don't think any of the helicopter guys frequent this site anymore. Wish I knew where they went.

      Personally I prefer the looks of the 400 over the 500. I suppose I'm Ol' fashioned that way. Doesn't really matter tho, they're both well above my price range.

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      • #4
        Barney,
        I've wondered the same thing, guess there just were not that many by comparison, used to watch Brian's progress with great interest but he has stopped posting on his build. There have been a number of accidents as well but more then anything I suspect mean spirited and/or nonconstructive criticism has played the larger role as the real deterrent, people get gun shy. Hopefully not so but that's my guess.

        EDIT: I like the old school look as well , that is the style I am working on now.

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        • #5
          Do you know if there is a owners group or builders forum for the Safari? Safari seems to be a popular kit, must be a lot of builders out there.

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          • #6
            I don't know of any current, even the Safari builders forum is silent, there are still a few older build logs that are interesting to look at.
            http://www.mykitlog.com/Rick

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            • #7
              Say what you will about Rotorway, at least there is an active owners forum. There may only be a handful of the group that's familiar with the Scorpion but when I have questions I can get answers. May not always like the answer but their honest and experience based, rather than the old "I heard somewhere" answers. Mine may not be hovering without the help of and what I learned thru reading ROG.

              It is a shame the Safari (Helicom, Baby Ball) crowd can't do the same. I would love to know more about them than "I hear the tail rotors like to fall off."

              Oh, and by the way, last time I talked to Brian he was having some trouble with his main gearbox. Been a while now and I don't know that he's been motivated enough to address the issue.

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              • #8
                I like the Rotorway, but like the openness of the Helicom (in my case)/Safari style, nice for preflight inspections and general nosing around looking for any issues.

                The nay-sayers I'm familiar with, for legitimate reason or not seem to have a personal grudge going on.

                They all have and/or had their problems including certified, none seem to step up and admit fault, who in the world could blame them for that when you think about it. I just don't believe any of them deliberately sell kits with known to be unsafe parts.

                Hate to hear that about Brians ship, goodness knows how hard he has worked to make it as perfect as possible.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Barney Bahle View Post
                  I hate to say it but I don't think any of the helicopter guys frequent this site anymore. Wish I knew where they went.
                  Some of us are still helicopter guys. I fly a Bell 47G-3B-1, but it's the real Bell, not the Baby Belle, and I don't know the Safari products except by reputation. I, too, had heard cautionary tales about tail rotor problems but have no direct experience, so I can't contribute much here.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ken_Shea View Post
                    Hate to hear that about Bryans ship, goodness knows how hard he has worked to make it as perfect as possible.
                    Hi Ken...and Others,
                    I got mad last year when I kept getting MRGB chip-lights and it scared the hell out of me when I neglected to get gas as the airport because I
                    got distracted. I flew 10 miles home on less than 2 gallons. Literally 20 seconds more at cruise on the way home and my engine would have died due
                    to fuel exhaustion. I kissed the ground and pushed it in the shop and parked it until I could get my mental "A-game" back. I did put a Be-Lite fuel gauge
                    n with LED and audible warnings.

                    Last week I got motivated and disassembled my NEW/Never Flown MRGB for a buildup and install. I will be using 2 identical Timken Tapered Rollers
                    on the Pinion. I'll be using the OEM mast that does not have knurling. Timken is making me two main mast bearings with 0.0005" undersize bore so
                    inner race can be heat-set onto the stock mast. This tightness will eliminate the inner race spinning problem that occurred.

                    As bitter a pill as it is, I will be buying another set of those $1700 Arrow Gears from Rick Hawkinberry.

                    Stay tuned.
                    Bryan Cobb, Helicopter Enthusiast
                    Mfg.Engineer., Composites, Meggitt Aerospace, Rockmart, GA

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                    • #11
                      Glad to hear you're back at it Bryan. Hope you get it all sorted out.
                      If all goes well my Scorpion will get it AW cert within the next month.
                      Fingers crossed.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ken_Shea View Post
                        I like the Rotorway, but like the openness of the Helicom (in my case)/Safari style, nice for preflight inspections and general nosing around looking for any issues.

                        The nay-sayers I'm familiar with, for legitimate reason or not seem to have a personal grudge going on.

                        They all have and/or had their problems including certified, none seem to step up and admit fault, who in the world could blame them for that when you think about it. I just don't believe any of them deliberately sell kits with known to be unsafe parts.

                        Hate to hear that about Brians ship, goodness knows how hard he has worked to make it as perfect as possible.
                        As a past owner of a Safari and present owner of an Allison powered Rotorway, I can agree with the openness of the Safari for maintenance and inspections. To date I've had to make several tools to work on my modified Rotorway. I'm still bleeding from scratches incurred from reaching in behind panels to correct wiring issues. All that said, my Safari had the tail rotor being driven at the same speed as the engine. Balancing the tail rotor in situ was difficult since the vibration frequency could be coming from engine, tail rotor drive shaft or tail rotor. Most designers try to avoid situations like that. There was a time when the tail rotor spindles were being machined per drawing without the proper stress relieving radius applied where the shaft changed diameters. I have a photo taken from an optical comparator of a factory supplied tail rotor spindle that shows a near perfect zero radius right angle transition. Further I have seen the drawing provided to the machinist who was machining the titanium spindles. There was no radius called out. Subsequent drawings corrected that after a tail rotor failure occurred. I'm not aware of all the mods that were made to the 400. I hope they corrected some rather serious engineering issues that were on the older birds. I firmly believe that with some good engineering, the old Safari could be made into one of the very best two seaters out there. (Speed addicts go elsewhere)

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                        • #13
                          I built a Helicom Commuter II in the early 70's, T/R drive shaft was a center-less ground shaft then, today they simply use a standard section of 4130 tubing, I have wondered if that may cause high frequency vibration.
                          I have seen the pics with the lack of radius issue, should never had been an issue but at least it is now a corrected issue. They enlarged the radius on the main spindle as well. Yeah, the speed is not impressive at all. Your Rotorway does an easy 100mph doesn't it?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Barney Bahle View Post
                            Glad to hear you're back at it Bryan. Hope you get it all sorted out.
                            If all goes well my Scorpion will get it AW cert within the next month.
                            Fingers crossed.
                            Good job my friend!
                            Bryan Cobb, Helicopter Enthusiast
                            Mfg.Engineer., Composites, Meggitt Aerospace, Rockmart, GA

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                            • #15
                              I don't want to hijack the thread but thanks Bryan.

                              So did the spindle issue go all the way back to the original Helicom or did it appear later? If it started with the titanium spindles when did they come into play?

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