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So what's the opinion of all out there as to the best helicopter for training?


I have a young nephew looking to train and want some opinions. Seems he wants an opinion other than mine :stupid::rolleyes:


We have been looking at various websites and it seems to me that there is a choice of three: R22, 300, Bell 47.


My thoughts are the 47 is too old. One companies website states it is still in use commercially. Is that TRUE?? I remember one that did a job in the arctic but that was a long time ago.


The R22 to me is an unsafe a/c. I've read the NTSB reports and understand that they even wanted to pull the type certificate at one time.


Then there's the 300. I've read the US military trained over 15 MILLION hours with just one fatality! Seems to be the best choice.



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206B is best in my opinion, is more widely used, I also think that since the 206 is an easier aircarft to autorotate and that the student will then have many more hours available to learn confined areas or such. Have polled many people that have recieved their course in r22 and many say that they spent around 25 hour just in autos, this is valuable time if in fact they are going to fly the robbie but if preceeding onto turbines right away then could be better spent in other areas.


If the student has a direction or potential job with a specific company then obviously should learn with a similar type.


The 206 is much more money though but worth it.


If not the 206 the 300 is my next favorite.


Awaiting much flak.



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Theres an artical about this in the latest issue of Vertical, except they didn't look at the 47. They dont really come to any conclusions as to which one of the two is better, basically it depends on what your looking for I guess. The R22 is generally accepted as being harder to fly, so I guess in theory you would learn to be a better pilot on it, but if it takes you twice as long to learn every excercise because the machine is a bit trickier then are you really gaining anything?



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Not to disagree with SkullCap but I prefer the following, get at least a private fixed`wing licence. This will give you a better sence of aerodynamics, ie. lift, drag, a respect for airspeed and stall. From there my preference would be a Bell 47 (semi rigid rotor system), a litttle harder to handle than the three bladed 300 (fully articulated).


The 47 is easier in autorotation and more forgiving, whereas the 300 comes down real fast and teaches you respect for autorotations.


The best machine for auto's is the 204B, flutters down like a leaf when near empty.


I would go for the cost and school on Bell 47 or Hughes 300.




Cheers Don


PS. If you take the course on a Bell 47, the endorsement on the turbine is a piece of cake, as long as you understand the difference between a piston and a turbine engine.

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For whatever its worth I would choose the 300 over the R22.


I received my heli thing on a Hughes 269A and then went to the 300.


Also I owned and operated a R22 in a flight school, it was a good machine but I prefeer the 300.


If a 47 was available that would be my choice...period.


Chas W. Dr. of Divinity....with some exposure to flying...

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All very valid points. What about a 47T would that not be the best of both worlds perhaps? The turbine training, the power for working at altitude for mountain flying and the hydraulics, and the ease of autorotation. If not then I believe that it would be nice to at least have a turbo'd version. I say this as I have flown with many newer pilots who have had piston training in the mountains and are utterly frightened by just flying at 7-8000 feet little own landing. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome in mountain flying is fear, if you could learn to overcome this early then the candidate would have a much better chance of picking up wind finding techniques and recce procedures. Not sure if anyone uses them, probably not, but might be fun for the instructor too.

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"The 47 is easier in autorotation and more forgiving, whereas the 300 comes down real fast"


they all come down fast. i find the 300 has a auto similar to the 47 and way nicer than the 22. that 22 is just scary. actually the best for auto's is the K-Max, comes down at 750fpm.... :up: :up:


sure, 206 would be great if you have twice the cash, not realistic.........


"but if it takes you twice as long to learn every exercise because the machine is a bit trickier then are you really gaining anything?"


i think we all can figure that one out..............


"my preference would be a Bell 47 (semi rigid rotor system), a litttle harder to handle than the three bladed 300 (fully articulated)."


what? hard to handle?? with those big stabilizer bars hanging off them?? come on :rolleyes:


then it comes down to age! you want to fly something that they QUIT building in the early 1960's or do you want to fly new aircraft?? i flew the LAST commercially operated (not including schools) 47G2 about 17 years ago.


what about cruise speed? a 47 trundles along at 50 knots (approx) whereas the 300 is at 70 knots. which will get you to the training area quicker and not waste you cash??


your money..........

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Like age matters in Canada, ha that's a good one. We all think a machine is practically new if it has under 10,000 hours on it. But you have a point.


Is there a reason why people aren't using the 44 for abinitio training, I mean other than cost? You talk of speed and ability to autorotate, it can do it all. Now if they would just put a tur,,,,,,,,



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The bottom line for 99% of all students is the price, which rules out most machines, leaving the 22, 47 and 300


I fully agree with Don when he says to get your fixed wing license first, as it helps with so many areas...comfort level, basic understanding of flight, navigation and diversions. That being said, what is the school offering you in return for your training dollar. Are you in a realistic training environment, are you landing regularily on unprepared surfaces and log pads, are you slinging? If the fixed wing license gets you ahead in training, what will you be doing with the extra time?


I know there are quite a few here who are emotionally attached to the 47, and i won't be part of the "which machine is better" debate, but the reality is that there are very few if any 47's operated commercially in Canada.


There is no question the 22 had a poor safety record when it first was introduced to the market. Robinson has addressed many of these problems (carb heat, awareness training, governor, and is a very reliable a/c today.


As for the twice the training time comment, that has not been my experience, the 25 hours on autos seems like either a greedy instructor or a poor student, or maybe both?? That being said you can never do enough auto's i suppose


I have also heard a few comment that the 22 flies quite close to the 500, but not enough experience in 500 to verify...anyone commenting on this one?


I do know that students are able to quickly transition the either the 206 or the 44 from the 22, and given that these are the likely first rides for most working lowtimers, the 22 does not seem like such a poor choice. To me it is as much about school and training environment as it is a/c, but i dont think the school that operates the 22 should be judged on a/c alone


hope that helps Huey

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