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Mountain Performance Of The 350b3


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T-rex:

Good question. I have run into this a few times in Colorado. After 30 min above 12.5 you got to go on the juice ( flight crew only). Things get interesting when your sitting at 13K and the they are working on getting the hurt guy into the A/C and the clocks ticking. Continous juice above 15K (i think this is off the top of ye ol head) Dont have to worry about that down here. Having O2 in the a/c is a pain in the ***.

 

My former employer had a bunch of NPS contracts, and this was an issue. Sequioa Kings Canyon uses a B2. It is pretty much a resuce contract with the highest peak in the L48, Mt Whitney 14,500+-. They do a couple of landings a year on the peak for evac. EVERYTHING comes out. Doors, front pax seat, cargo pod etc. And they usualy end up sending the 120-130 pound pretty Ranger Paramedic. Min fuel.

 

When we were operating over 10K I would typically go in with one pax first trip and adjust secong trip( B2 EGW). I found anything over 10K it got mushy Slow, shallow and shallow some more become the rules.

 

I have always wondered how a 407 feels up that high. 407D? Those blades look awful small. I like the big blades in the Astar. Lots of inertia.

 

The contract was re-bid this year and Sequoia chose a b2 again over the B3. Cost. Whats interesting is Teton NP was also rebid in the past they had 2 L4's and now have 2 B3's. Grumblings sugest they would like to have the l4's back. Maint issues, availablitiy of parts from AEC ( which seems to be a nightmare). They had problems with guys passing the Short Haul Class D check ride this spring. ( they even had the big windows in the floor)

 

The FX2 looks like the business, but I dont think it will be STC'ed here anytime soon. The guys from Canookastan flying bags down here rave about the thing. Too bad they will only pay a guy in beaver pelts. I would love to fly one.

 

The Soloy Conversion is similar. I believe Eagle out of Wa has one STC'ed and flying with the Dual Chelton Efis displays. Its like a B2 plus. I talked to one of the pilots who did some of the testing for the stc and it sounds like a **** of a machine. http://www.eaglehelicopters.com/main.htm.

 

And yes, I cant spell.

 

JFK

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I have always wondered how a 407 feels up that high. 407D? Those blades look awful small.

 

Yes, the 407 has 4 small blades and a temperature limited engine. With those two limiting features, It suffers at altitude. You are correct that the larger Astar paddles do help in thin air.

If you load the 407 according to the charts in the RFM, it will do it. You may only be getting 85 to 90%Q, probably similar to a B2 at altitude, which would be NG limited!

What the 407 does do well is climb, I've never seen an aircraft that can climb like a 407 ( well, other than a 214), shame it's climb limited to only 2,000 fpm :D

 

I can't wait to try out a 417 in a few years, fixing the C47 engine shortfalls will certainly add a lot of performance to the old gal. Imagine the lift, If you had 10-15% more Q available at altitude.

 

 

PS We don't work much above 11,000', because we run out of mountains here.

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One suggestion is know your market. The markets you speak of are very tough and fairly sewed up. Places you would think could sustain a helicopter, havent over the years. I can only think of a few company's that have been around for the long haul. New ones seem to come and go.

 

jfk, thanks again for your help (and to everyone else that replied too!)

 

I am working with a few business partners that are doing their so-called "business plans" to check into the sustainability issue. I totally agree with you about that. When you look up in the sky and you see no helos, there may be a reason. A friend of mine claims he saw an Astar running tours at the Royal Gorge. I haven't been there in a long time, so I am not sure. Speaking of sustainability, i guess it is a side job for them.

 

Well, I will make this my last question for this performance-posting (being the New-B, I don't want to wear out my welcome). From my observation, many of you are spending time in the mountains. What are your experiences in the summer afternoons? Does density alt impact your operations as much as I think it might? I have flown Leadville (9+k altitude) several times and depending on the a/c, we ground ourselves all the time on a hot summer afternoon.

 

T-Rex, thanks for the input on the FX2 option and the manuf training. It certainly has looked like a great option.

 

Thanks again everyone. Cheers! -mtn flyer

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If you fellas are talking FX2 as in twin C20(Rs) it is a complete dog, B2 easily outdoes it, that is why Mustang is selling/sold theirs from what I gather. If you are talking 350FX with Lycoming in B2 then I don't know nuthin, other than they will not guarentee more horse power than 1D1,,,so time will tell I guess.

 

sc

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure if this got touched on with all these interesting posts - it seems to me the B3 has the same internal gross as a B2, (correct me if I'm wrong). Your original question asked about moving freight - not longlining. That might affect what your doing with the a/c. If it's people your moving, it's worth noting the extra seat mod for the A-Star if pretty much unusable in any legal sense i.e. wt and bal.

 

As far as Eurocopter US's transition course ???, I do know Canadian in Penticton runs about the best Mountain Course if your looking at operating at these altitudes.

 

sb

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Not sure if this got touched on with all these interesting posts - it seems to me the B3 has the same internal gross as a B2, (correct me if I'm wrong). Your original question asked about moving freight - not longlining. That might affect what your doing with the a/c. If it's people your moving, it's worth noting the extra seat mod for the A-Star if pretty much unusable in any legal sense i.e. wt and bal.

 

As far as Eurocopter US's transition course ???, I do know Canadian in Penticton runs about the best Mountain Course if your looking at operating at these altitudes.

 

sb

 

Hey there squirlybird. Thanks for the response. a majority of our freight will be people and probably light shipments for courier services (to mountainous areas of course). Thanks for the info on the Penticton course. I will look it up.

 

Take care and thanks again!

mountainflier

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