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Hi Don:

There was a 1100 that crashad near Langley, B.C. in the late 60's. I saw it happen. Rotor system separated, not a good result!! I have always thought that the machine belonged to Okie and was flown by "Par" Fletcher. Maybe I have name and company mixed up, could it have been your Buddy Fitzgerald?? I always thought Okie operated them for a very short time out of Vancouver.

 

Anyway, the 1100 didn't last long. It was labeled "The Widowmaker" very quickly.

 

Regards

John

 

 

I think the actual handle was "The Killer Hiller"

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I have more than a 1100 hrs on them, nice aircraft, a little bit hard to fly. They were as fast as a 206B When SEBJ did the comparaison test in the late 70's I was on the 1100 that did the test.

Yes Air Alma operated them maybe 9 or 10 of them

 

They have been converted to C20B now but they came out with C18 turbine, they could outlift a 206B (just about everything could anyway especialy the A model)

 

Okanagan had some of them at the beginning when they came.

 

I have some good pics of me and the FH lifting 3 drums of jet fuel.

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As far as being a "widow maker" and called "the hiller the killer" well if ever you talk to some AME that were working for Okanagan at the time they operated the FH they will probably tell you why this nickname came about and why Okanagan (maintenance) is actually the culprit in the creation of the bad name.

 

The name of the engineer that told me this just doesn't come up to my mind right now but it will come.

 

The problem was mast bumping, mind you the 206 was losing blades once in a while at the beginning.

 

There were some particularities about this aircraft:

1) hard to hover ( it was equiped with a SAS (stability augmentation system)

2) landing gear (torsion bars like an old wolkswagen beettle)

3) no hydraulic unless you pressed the cyclic button. like a 500 but different system

4) The one that is connected with the mast bumping, the aircraft would fly with the nose low.

faster you wanted to go and lower the nose was. after an 8/10 hour day you would end up with back problem.

According to this AME, after to many complaints from pilots they decided to do some

adjustment to rear stabs which brought the tail down in cruise flight. Pilots being pilots and being used to fly the aircraft with a nose down attitude they just kept on doing that with the effect of having the rotor disk at a bigger angle (lower to the front) and head stoppers closer to the mast. In a situation of heavy turbulence like in the Rockies you would end up hitting the maximum travel of the rotor disk and hit the mast with a catastrophic result.

 

That is the story I was told. As far as I know only Okanagan's aircraft had this mast bumping or this catastrophic failure.

 

If you can hover a FH1100 properly (without the SAS) you can fly anything afterward with no problem.

 

Jacques

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Fh1100? Never heard of it. Never seen it.

Pretty cool to hear about it from all who've shared. Thanks.

I look at that helicopter and I see the body of a Gazelle/BO-105, tail boom of a 205, M/R blades and mast of a 206 and skids from a 500 chopped off at the knee. All of this is shape only, not proportional.

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According to this AME, after to many complaints from pilots they decided to do some

adjustment to rear stabs which brought the tail down in cruise flight. Pilots being pilots and being used to fly the aircraft with a nose down attitude they just kept on doing that with the effect of having the rotor disk at a bigger angle (lower to the front) and head stoppers closer to the mast. In a situation of heavy turbulence like in the Rockies you would end up hitting the maximum travel of the rotor disk and hit the mast with a catastrophic result.

 

That is the story I was told. As far as I know only Okanagan's aircraft had this mast bumping or this catastrophic failure.

If you can hover a FH1100 properly (without the SAS) you can fly anything afterward with no problem.

 

Jacques

 

That's exactly what happened to Par. I saw the whole rotor system fly off like big disk. We found the rotor system fairly intact some distance from the wreck.

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kenting had six of them I do believe...rebuilt one with jerry fletcher the winter of 74...never flew one thank god...they seemed to crash a lot...customers seemed to like them..probably cause they went for real cheap..... :lol:

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1) hard to hover ( it was equiped with a SAS (stability augmentation system)

3) no hydraulic unless you pressed the cyclic button. like a 500 but different system

 

 

1. Yes laterally, very unstable. I have been told also about being able to hover one, then you could hover anything else. :P

 

3. Hydraulics (twin system) on full time. Button on cyclic is for trim, move cyclic to desired position and push button then trim centralised. Not a directional control button like the 500.

 

Nutmix

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Seems to be a lot of confusion about the old girl! I've been "involved" with the FH1100 since 2001 and while I've come to admire and like the ship greatly, I don't know that I'd categorize it as the best thing since sliced bread. It does some things very, very well. But like all helicopters...like all aircraft...it has good and bad points.

 

As with any teetering, underslung rotor system, the FH1100 can get into mast-bumping. That's just the nature of the beast. Compared to a 206, the 1100's mast is truly massive. You'd have to see one to believe it. And it goes deep into the tall transmission. Now, whenever I look at the relatively shallow 206 transmission (as I do every day on preflight) I say to myself, "There's just not a lot of mast inside of there." Makes you think.

 

Mast-bumping is a pilot-induced phenomenon. Masts do not just "break off" unless they are severely corroded. Remember, *ALL* of these masts were made back in the early 1970's. I saw one at the factory that had come out of a ship that had just come in for maintenance. The logbooks showed a recent entry for "mast inspection." Yet the cork that sealed the top of the mast was undisturbed - not even an inspection hole drilled for a borescope. So we wondered... When *we* pulled the cork, the corrosion was so bad the mast was scrapped. Scary. And this is how 1100's are typically maintained out in the field. Even operators with the best intentions can be deceived by mechanics who don't do their jobs properly.

 

Properly-refurbed 1100's are inexpensive to operate but not to buy. (Priced an overhauled C-20B lately?) They are tough and dependable. I flew one in Honduras for nearly 200 hours. It never broke. Punch the button and go fly. It is not "hard to hover" although a pilot of mediocre skill might say so. Mine didn't have SAS, but it hovered just fine although yes, it is sensitive laterally like a 47 with a no-bar kit. You get used to it. It does have dual hydraulics and two additional spring-servos to act as cyclic trim which "center" every time you punch the button. Stan Hiller out on the west coast of the U.S. had very different ideas about control response and stability than his counterparts at the Bell store in Ft. Worth, Texas.

 

The different philosphies continue. Take the landing gear, for instance. On the 1100, the gear legs are not connected by crosstubes beneath the helicopter. Rather, they are only connected fore-and-aft by torsion bars. Thus, a hard landing would be more survivable in an 1100 than a 206 in which the rear crosstube often pierces the fuel tank. So the torsion bars provide a little more cushioning in regular ops as well as a little extra safety. Clever, I think.

 

One "bad point" of the 1100 is the straight-up mast. Remember though, this was Hiller's first turbine design after the slooooow model 12. The Army contract it was designed for only required a 100 knot cruise (and a 110 kt VNE). At 100 knots, the 1100 is just fine. Hiller did not redesign the 1100 for the civilian market as Bell did when the OH-4 morphed into the 206. Bell wisely tilted their mast forward five degrees and the cabin bulkheads backward nine degrees, giving the riders a comfortable high-speed (120 mph) cruise. Comparatively, the 1100 cruises at nearly 10 degrees nose-down in flight, exactly like the BO-105. Obviously, this can be uncomfortable. Having said that, if you can endure it, the 1100 will cruise at its 127 mph VNE all day long at 80% torque (C-20B)

 

If you have inflated ("standard") floats installed, they require a wider horizontal stabilizer to counter the pitch-down due to the extra drag so low vs the vertical c.g. Some people would remove the floats but leave the wide stab. This gave them a more level cabin attitude in cruise, but severely reduced the hub-to-mast clearance in cruise flight. With the cyclic that far forward and the flapping angle so critical, it would be quite easy to get into mast-bumping if you were not extremely careful.

 

Suffice to say, the 1100 is no 206 and will never be a direct substitute for every task. For that matter, neither is the Enstrom 480 nor will be the nascent R-66. Each machine may excel in a specific role. The "problem" with the 206 is that it's just so darn all-around good.

 

Although I don't fly one for a living anymore, I still like and respect the 1100 very much. It's a wonderful helicopter for something that was designed in 1963 and basically orphaned in 1973. If the FAA would approve some of the product-improvements the current factory has in the works, the 1100 would even be more competitive in today's market.

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