Why don’t you fly rotor wing?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by BladeSlap, Nov 13, 2021.

  1. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I married one.

    I should probably try standing at a busy intersection while holding a sign and a bucket....
     
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  2. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    What would it cost to rent an R44, if it were available?
     
  3. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    From my perspective, there's nothing inspiring about helicopter flight. I just don't see the beauty in it. Neither do I see the utility for the type of flying I do or want to do.
     
  4. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    44s are 400ish a hr, 22s are about half
     
  5. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    If you're interested in more reading the FAA has a couple free Helicopter Flying Handbooks and if that doesn't put you to sleep then look for books by Shawn Coyle and Phil Croucher. Now if you want to jump down the aerodynamics rabbit hole then Ray Prouty's books are the standard.
    If you want real fun then get a ride in a BO-105.
     
  6. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Honestly I have no personal issues against helos, but with the exception of the Bell 47, the rest are all 60s and later helicopters.

    All the early Sikorsky and Boeing helicopters left are all in museums. And the reason is the same reason that helicopters today aren’t as popular for GA as fixed wing: it costs so bloody much to operate and maintain. So unless you can find a genuine paying use for them, no one is able to afford to keep them in the air.

    I briefly considered a helicopter add-on rating, but the only reason I didn’t pursue it was cost.
     
  7. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Line Up and Wait

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    Hopefully getting one next month while visiting Oregon if their schedule and my schedule align
     
  8. judypilot

    judypilot Line Up and Wait

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    I have. Back when a lesson in an airplane was about $35, I took an hour's instruction in an R-22. It cost $150. 'Nuff said.
     
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  9. judypilot

    judypilot Line Up and Wait

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    Hey!!!
     
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  10. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Also, the R22 has some pretty restrictive pax weight restrictions, both in total weight for both seats, and total weight per seat. I'd be just barely below the per seat restriction, and I'd have to have a really skinny CFI if I wanted train in one.
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    For personal use? Because they’re expensive, slow and ugly. My Velocity can fly 1,000 miles at 160 KTAS burning only 10 gal / hr. A comparable helicopter (R44) will only do 110 KTAS, 300 miles an 15 gal / hr.

    For work? Well, unless you're former military and do PMC or overseas contract (Dubai, Saudi, etc), you won’t come close to what you could make with the airlines. There’s a reason why they have a rotor to airline program for the former military guys. I have friends that make twice as much as me in the majors.
     
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  12. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Charlie was the best and when I knew him he was Hauptmann Zimmerman of the Bundeswehr…had the weekend job as the factory demo pilot and even maintained his factory provided BO-105…my last flight in an AH-1 in Germany about 20 days before the wall fell was to take Charlie an Igloo Cooler from the PX. The cooler fit perfectly once the 20mm Ammo Box was removed…a very humble guy…we took a flight of three guns to make the delivery…
     
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  13. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Also just way to expensive…to fly civilian for fun…
     
  14. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    True but you have to put the helicopter industry into perspective and context of the airplane side... there was no "industry" until 1950. So when comparing the 40s-50s with airplanes that actually equates to the 50s-60s with helicopters. So in that relevant context most of those aircraft I listed are still working and in a few instances I have worked on them. Also there were no privately owned helicopters until around 1948 so it makes for a hard comparison to airplanes from the 40s.
    Depends on viewpoint. You can't compare helicopters to your average Cessna weekend warrior. But if you compare helicopters to the costs and numbers of cabin class twins, some turbine airplanes, and other high performance aircraft in private hands and flown recreationally, you'll find the numbers and costs are more equal. And a private helicopter owner is more apt to come from this group of owners than a Cessna 172 owner with money. Regardless there is no apple to apple comparison of the airplane side to the helicopter side. I've done enough cost/support comparisons to see the differences.
     
  15. MonkeyClaw

    MonkeyClaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I love rotors. Got my SP a couple of years ago for gyroplanes. Hoping to place an order in the next couple of months.
     
  16. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The challenge is "What do you *do* with a helicopter?". With a far less expensive airplane, you can carry 4 people 500 miles to the beach in 3 hours. With an equally expensive airplane, you can do more. I just don't see the sales pitch that lures me into a helicopter.
     
  17. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    True and also puzzling, I never understood sacrificing the enjoyment of flying for money, for how much flight school cost, one could have gone to a state law school, or become a CPA, or something of that sort, if one just wanted to always be home and make the most money possible.

    I think if I ended up around 100k, with a good schedule and rewarding flying, I could do about everything I want to do.
     
  18. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wanted to learn to fly helicopters.

    3 times I was interested enough to start looking for training. Not long after each search for training someone I knew was killed in a helicopter crash.

    I am not superstitious or anything like that, but I understood that I needed to stay away from helicopters.

    I refused to let the hospital fly me out in a helicopter when I had the heart attack. I didn't feel much better going in a Krap Air 90 as well.....
     
  19. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Actually, I’ve lots of experience with the fairer sex. I also posses the good judgement from having my experience turn into ruination.
     
  20. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Getting married these days has little benefit for men and lots of risk
     
  21. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well those that fly for the majors would probably argue they still get enjoyment out of flying. I have a friend who flys for SWA who’s constantly posting on FB pics of cloud formations, sunrise /sunset, mountains, cities, etc. I’m sure he’s got one of those cake schedules where he only works like 10-15 days a month as well. Seems pretty enjoyable to me.

    There are pros and cons to both types of flying for a living. For me personally, it’s about single pilot, utility (fun), time off and no travel. In that regard, rotor wing meets my objectives. However I can also understand the reasons for those that want to pursue flying heavy iron. To each his own.
     
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  22. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That
     
  23. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    It depends on a number of variables that are very subjective to the individual. But if I had to point to one item that was repeated by some of my customers/friends it was the flexibility or convenience of a helicopter. In your example above, can you land on the beach? Even with a more expensive helicopter, you can still land on the beach. You may laugh but that is why a person will buy a helicopter.

    Same reason in urban areas—point to point capability. Had one doctor who bought a Hughes 300 to simply visit his 3 offices in one day vs 3 days. Once he determined this would work he opened 2 more offices. So, in general, helicopter ops tend to be more destination orientated than simply travel orientated.

    And just as it works well as a commuter, a helicopter provides flexibility when someone owns multiple properties which were the bulk of my side work customers. Park in the backyard at the main house, fly direct to the duck camp, or land on the beach in front of the beach house. But keep in mind these aren’t your average 172 owners looking for a change. Most own a larger twin and, in some cases, keep both aircraft or lease the helicopter when the weather is good. Definitely no one size fits all.
     
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  24. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I am having problems finding an LSA helicopter.
     
  25. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Exactly. It is a tiny, tiny, subset of private users who can put a helicopter's utility to beneficial use. I'm not one of 'em.
     
  26. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Same here. Started working on the helicopter add on in ‘99. Soloed and quit: $$$

    Had an opportunity to actually work a helicopter job in ‘14 so I finally finished the commercial add on and got me some turbine helicopter time. The add on cost me about 15k. Wasn’t worth it just for fun.
    When it comes to owning a helicopter it pretty much needs to be for a commercial operation unless you’re just ready to set money on fire. Small GA airplanes cost about the same as a boat habit. Helicopters are quite a bit more expensive. Especially if you get a turbine. The bell I had for a couple years cost about 2.5k an hour. It did not get flown for joy rides.
     
  27. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    I think for the casual aircraft owner who doesn't own the property that he/she is planning to land at, helicopters have many limitations compared to their utility. It takes a fair amount of effort to work out landing at places that are not airports. For a specific use case, it's great, but for the typical GA mission, it's slower, magnitudes more expensive, with only limited benefits.

    From a career perspective, I like the blue collar, low and slow aspect of rotorcraft work. Even the upper escutcheons of the industry you're low and slow, and for the exception of 135 passenger charter work, not too much shirt & tie non-sense. That said, salaries do seems to top out much sooner than fixed wing jobs, with less job security.

    The other problem is Uncle Sam produces more helicopter pilots than the civilian rotorcraft industry will ever need. At the FAA it seems we have tons of former military helicopter pilots in all sorts of varying jobs.I guess a nice government job with credit for prior military service is pretty enticing over flying rig workers in the Gulf.
     
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  28. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    It's not so much the numbers pilots (which are actually lower than 10 years ago) but the fact these pilots leave the service with not enough flight time to meet the minimum flight time requirements for a number of civilian flying jobs. That's more likely the reason you see them in other job fields. And while the offshore market has taken a hard hit in the past 5 years, prior to that there weren't enough qualified pilots to fill the seats.
    That $2500 must have been your rental rate. The current TVCs which include fuel, oils, mx OH reserve, mx labor, and mx inspection for the Bell family and most single turbine helicopters is $500-$800 per flight hour. This is the same cost range most single turbine airplanes also operate at.
     
  29. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I like to go fast, that's the primary reason. But choppers are cool, especially SeaKing and the Soviet Mi series

    The steampunk brutalist side of me has always loved the Kamov helicopters. They are relatively common in Hungary for skydiving and agricultural reasons

    Some good flying shots from inside the cockpit if you skipped around on this one



    PS @BladeSlap is your handle some kind of helicopter reference that us fixed wing plebes are too poor to understand?
     
  30. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The military retired pilots create a lot of downward pressure on salaries. I really enjoyed my helicopter time. Don’t plan on retirement from that income stream…
     
  31. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I will say this: some of the best pilots in the world are Coast Guard helo pilots.

    Fixed wing Naval Aviators got nothing on the Coast Guard rotary wing.
     
  32. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Blade Slap can occur for a few reasons.
    FD53457A-7C17-4832-A7D6-6C60C5508EA7.jpeg
     
  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    But what are they slapping?
     
  34. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The air. Slap probably isn’t the best word to describe it but it’s simply the rapid changes in pressure that can occur in the 3 examples above.

    The older Hueys are probably the most common or well known example. The popping you hear at a hover is the blades cutting the preceding vortex called blade vortex interaction (example 1). In some flight regimes the descending blade on the retreating side stalls during what’s called retreating blade stall (example 2). The loud crack you hear from approaching Hueys from a distance is from the shockwave that forms on the advancing blade during transonic speeds. (example 3).

    Some of your more modern helicopters have minimized (swept tips) the blade slap noise problems. You can still get a pretty good slap in say a Black Hawk but you’d have to be maneuvering pretty aggressive to do so…or descending rapidly and blow through Vne. ;)
     
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  35. Maxnr

    Maxnr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well the Marine VH-3's that fly the President were procured in the 60's.
     
  36. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Cool! Thanks, never knew what that sound was called; learn something knew at PoA every day
     
  37. Maxnr

    Maxnr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The old Bell H-1's have a main rotor that has a washout of 13 degrees from root out to the tip. That's a lot to ask of air to follow that airfoil. The slap seems to focus ahead. You can sure hear a Huey coming.
     
  38. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Because you can’t have a great looking babe wing walk in a helicopter.
     
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  39. Piperonca

    Piperonca Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    No, but you can take her places a fixed wing can't go...
     
  40. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    There's more to rotary wing flight than helis

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