New Safari - Safari 500

Sandstream

Newbie
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Messages
70
Location
Stockholm
I’’m 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 it’s great looking.

The engine is a Titan 370-series. Form what I’’ve read (mostly on Van’s 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?
 

Barney Bahle

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
456
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
Aircraft
Scorpion 145
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2.5 hours
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.
 

Ken_Shea

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
16
Location
Lexington Ohio
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 :smile:, that is the style I am working on now.
 

Sandstream

Newbie
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Mar 16, 2014
Messages
70
Location
Stockholm
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.
 

Barney Bahle

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
456
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
Aircraft
Scorpion 145
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2.5 hours
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.
 

Ken_Shea

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
16
Location
Lexington Ohio
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.
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
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Oct 21, 2006
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4,301
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Colorado front range
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Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
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stopped caring at 1000
Barney Bahle;n1136775 said:
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.
 

bryancobb

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Aug 2, 2010
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4,976
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Cartersville, GA
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Owned Brantly B-2b/Fly Kitfox III/Mini-500b
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Ken_Shea;n1137315 said:
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.
 

Barney Bahle

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
456
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
Aircraft
Scorpion 145
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2.5 hours
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.
 

klyde

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
81
Location
Inyokern ca
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Baby Belle
Total Flight Time
500
Ken_Shea;n1137315 said:
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)
 

Ken_Shea

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Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
16
Location
Lexington Ohio
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?
 

bryancobb

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Barney Bahle;n1138541 said:
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!
 

Barney Bahle

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
456
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
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Scorpion 145
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2.5 hours
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?
 

klyde

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
81
Location
Inyokern ca
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Baby Belle
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500
Ken_Shea;n1138569 said:
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?
I found a critical speed on the tail rotor drive somewhere between 1600 and 2700 engine rpm. The balancing mantra I used changed 180 degrees from "Add Opposite" to "Add Same". This 180 degree phase shift is typical of passing thru a critical speed. After learning that and balancing the tail rotor the best that I could (< 0.07ips) I really didn't have any problem with high frequency vibration. Of course the balancer that I was using at the time did not have the vibration spectrum display. My highly modified Rotorway is turning the tail rotor shaft @ 6,000 rpm ala Jet Ranger. The reduction in torque needed to provide the needed tail rotor hp is 1/2 of that required @ 3,000 rpm. Shaft can be lighter. Haven't really had the Rotorway to speed yet but I did do a translation test and found it doing 70 before I could get it slowed. It obviously has more power than needed. Note fuel consumption for just hovering at density alt of 3500' has been less than 12gph. Still working some mods that I felt a good idea.
 
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