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Kramer

Twinstars

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Besides trying to balance everything between the 2 engines constantly, they're great. They really aren't as bad as people claim. At least they had the spline drive pump and dual hydraulics first, making them one of the safest AS products out there.

 

Remember to always close or remove the engine cowlings before you start the engine ;)

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I would have to say that all of the bad press is substansiated. The older 355F, F1, F2`s are a poorly designed afterthought from Eurocopter (Aerospatiale) to meet a requirement for a light twin back in the late 70's. The allison engine for all of it's might in the 206 and 369, which in those single installations was a good fit, at the time of the modification from the 350 to the 355 it was all that was readily available and it shows when you open up the access cowls to work on it. Furthermore, those engines were never designed to be mounted via a single rubber mount and gimbal unit, they move around so much that when you are downwind you can actually feel the engines swaying. The horizontal stabilizer loses it`s lift due to the surface area of the fuselage, that is corrected in the 355N, NP by the addition of 10 inches in length on each end of the fin. They are a challenge to keep matched and require constant effort to allow for the changes in the bicycle cable system used for engine control (they are actually made by shimano!) The heli lynx cable mod is better, however, you still have to balance those engines and it isn`t easy. Dont expect long periods of snag free flying. Between the oil leaks, electrical snags and phantom defects that can never be reproduced with an engineer around they are at least double the maintanance more accurately triple of a 350. Lots of guys have said they are as much work as a 212 and I concurr. Now, the 355N has the Arrius engine which is by far leaps and bounds better than the allison, they match via fadec and stay matched. They start with the flip of a switch like the B3. Just like the B3 they have electrical issues. Parts are rare and when you have an AOG, expect that you will be grounded for many days or weeks. There just isn`t enough of them around. That`s the honest truth about the twinstar. Cheers.

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I've only flown the F1 and F2 and can confirm that they are very unpredictable. Mostly gauges, horn coming on during flight etc. The connectors behind the instrument panel are really not made for vibrations so you can imagine...

Only heard goot things about the N, NP.

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