Helicycle maintenance program

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,980
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Experimental helicopters with turbine engines have had maintenance requirements added. Each FSDO treats these differently and mine was no exception.

I was fortunate to have an FAA guy by the name of Vic Liberatore oversee the maintenance program for my Helicycle and it set a benchmark for other FSDO's to follow.

Maintenance is important on all aircraft and especially on a helicopter. I worked with Tom Militon, Vic Liberatore and Blake Estes at Eagle R & D to come up with this what I feel is a very thorough maintenance program.

Note- I have received some criticism for having a very tough program with 2000 time life items in it and very thorough maintenance requirements. I have been told that I should have fought it and demanded less stringent requirements. I dont care as this is not a certified helicopter....so why should there be no time limits on essential parts? If I am blessed with 2000 hours, then changing out the turbine is not an issue with me. I would be in my 70's anyway!

I uploaded some photos of a few pages of my maintenance program, and my Repairmans certificate which is public accessible anyway.

Vic Liberatores signature at the beginning of my maintenance program gives the FAA stamp of approval.

I have posted a picture of my 25 hour maintenance program entry that I did last year in November. THere are REQUIRED entries in my maintenance program for one hour, 5 hour, 10 hour 15 hour and this 25 hour entry.

Phase 2 shows entries at 50 hours....then the minor greasing at 5, 10 an 25 hour intervals. Plus a nice thorough list of things that I have checked off and made comments and then initialed ARTS......aircraft returned to service.

These dont take much time at all...but its nice having a complete maintenance manual with recorded and initialed entries verifying and recording what I have done and what comments I have made.

Most other Helicycles do not have these stringent requirements. Actually I do more in between stuff that isnt even in this maintenance manual.

So far, even with this focused maintenance program, this has been the easiest machine that I have owned to maintain physically. The paper work in this maintenance program is of course more intense than any other aircraft I have flown....but its just a good regimented way to show that this machine is trying to be kept up closer to certified levels than it would have been otherwise.

One nice and comfy requirement is that I send in the turbine every 500 hours for an internal inspection.....dye check the compressor and turbine assembly, inspect the main bearing.....and just give it a good overall clean bill of health for another 500 hours. This is not a major task as the engine comes out quickly and tears down quicly. More than likely nothing will be found but piece of mind.


Stan
 

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Gyro_Kai

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
3,243
Location
near Frankfurt, Germany
Aircraft
MT-03, Calidus (rent)
Total Flight Time
about 150
Wow, you put yourself into a strict regimen. But good on you, your life depends on it.

I saw a torn down Calidus where a control bolt was to be replaced. It was wrongly spec'ed and had to be exchanged at the 100h check. This one had 700h and was only discovered now, as the owner changed to another workshop for maintenance. If you do it yourself, at least you know it's done.

What would be a typical 1 hour activity? More inspection or actually doing things?

Kai.
 

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,980
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Kai- My presentation of the maintenance program may be misleading . The "first" hour was stuff like retensioning the drive belts...checking everything for leaks,,,,etc. This is in the first 25 hour phase 1 part. Just more typical and thorough checking over the machine as it breaks in. After the initial 15 hours...there isnt really much to do on this machine. Every 5 hours you hit a few grease zerks.....every ten hours you just look at things which I am looking at anyway.....its just I go check if off and document it in my maintenance program.

In phase 2 its just repetition with a few more things like changing the transmission oil at the FIRST 25 hours,,,then not until 100 hours....same with the turbine oil.

I actually have spent more time on my RAF and SparrowHawk pre-rotators than I have on all my preventive maintenance on this Helicycle. It is the easiest thing so far I have had to work on.

Basically shoot some grease in it and look it over. Its been very tractor like.....ready to go to work on a whim. The two flame outs were related and solved.....

One other attribute is that this frame is a welded 4130 configuration of longerons that go clear back to the tailboom. I will put the strength of that tailboom against most helicopters. Go back and shake the tails of different helicopters...study how much they flex....then go grab on to a Helicycle tail with that strong truss assembly of longerons. You can hang on it if you had the skids bolted down! I feel this keeps the TR driveshaft with 0 problems. It just doesnt flex back there. The turbine has beautifully designed engine mounts where it is free to pivot and float a little and the more I study this and other areas of this machine...no wonder guys are racking up in the high hundreds on these now! She is a tractor.. and with a good maintenance program, it should give a lot of service.
 

hillberg

Super Member
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
5,405
Location
Low Earth Orbit
In 1995 Turbine powerplants were rare.(No added inspections like today) Now with the numbers growing the FAA wants to clamp down on the Experimental group. Why? No complexity points for general aviation (No $$$$$$ for the FSDOs) They don't want to bother with the small potatos. They want us to go away. simple, (Right from the inspectors mouth)
 
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