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Mosquito and Helicopter Newbie
#1
Hi all, 

I just registered to the forum, but been reading for quite a while. 

I have a PPL (fixed wing) but haven't done any meaningful flying for probably 10 years now. Complicating in addition is that my PPL is not from the US and probably doesn't mean anything here. 
I have been in helicopters quite often because of my profession, I like it a lot but never really considered getting a PPL H myself because of the significant investment.
However things have changed a little bit and now I am really considering to obtain a PPL H for sole recreational purposes.

In order to have enough hours to feel comfortable and safe flying a helicopter I would need my own one. Charter is certainly an option but I need something that is readily available when I have time to fly since my schedule is still relatively tight. 

The Mosquito seem to be affordable and safe and since it's a real helicopter it should be OK to build hours, skills and confidence... at least I hope.

The idea would be to use the Mosquito for the above mentioned purpose and charter an R22 or R44 if the the additional seats are needed or in order to stay current on these machines. Something like a 90/10 ratio given 100 hours a year. 90 hours on the Mosquito and 10 on R22/44.

If I would do so, I would probably choose the Mosquito XEL285 or XTE (I need the gross weight) whereby the biggest downside of the latter seem to be price, fuel consumption (reduced flight time) and maintenance cost.  Conversely turbine engines are more reliable than piston engines.

I would probably choose a factory build one. I just don't have the time to finish a kit in an reasonable amount of time. I mean I did RC helicopter flying for a while and I build as well as rebuild a lot of those, even bigger ones with serious gasoline engines. I have a CNC router that is capable of cutting thick aluminum plate as well as a lathe and a big enough clean and nice garage. What I unfortunately not have is time, hence buying is the only reasonable choice if I would like to fly. 

I will certainly have a lot of questions if I really decide to go that route.  For now I appreciate every comment to the above whether that sounds reasonable to people who have some experience in the world of helicopter flying.


Thanks 
Chris
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#2
Hey Chris,
Sounds like a very resonable idea to me! I was in a similar position to you. I ended up going with the XET and completing my PPL H in an R22. Maintenance is very easy I have found. I have hopped back in the R22 a few times after long breaks (18 months) and definitely think the regular mosquito flying has kept the skill level up. Just watch the manifold pressure on the 22 after flying the mozzie! I found with instructor in with you have a lot less power available the than by yourself in the XET.
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#3
Thanks for your input!

I just visited one of the Helicopter flight schools in our area, they use Schweizer 300CBI for training. I checked in for a discovery flight end of this month and if it doesn't turn out horrible, I will likely start the training as soon as I got all the other ducks in a row... TSA and Medical....

Thanks
Chris
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#4
Only the ultralight versions can be 100% built for you by the factory.

The Others you speak of (285 and Turbine) are registered in the Experimental Category and hence requires the builder/owner to build at least 51% of it, which of course requires an investment of your time.

The "factory assist build" will of course speed things up considerably for your 51% and give you the confidence to know everything is done correctly the first time.

A big advantage of doing the build yourself is that you can apply for the repairman certificate for your Heli, since you built 51% or more and that will qualify you to sign off the Annual Condition inspection.

Another option is to buy a completed Experimental used from another builder, or you could hire someone to build and register it and then you buy it from them after its been registered. Not sure if the Experimental Test Flight hours have to be completed by the original builder, I don't think so, but in that case you will have flight restrictions until those ~40 test flight hours are flown off.

Just a few things to consider and sounds like a good plan overall.
Ray
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#5
Hi Ray,

thanks for your input and sorry for my delayed answer.

I think you made a good point about the 285 and the turbine version. In addition to that they are the ones that cannot be flown without a license, right? The UL versions can be flown without a license.
I think (at least I hope...)  I roughly understand the rules in terms of experimental homebuilt and 51% but I never really thought about it while looking at the Mosquito webpage. 
I think they are offering a completed version, factory build and ready to fly. 

"Mosquito XET - RTF (Factory paint and "Ready to fly") - USD 65.200"

I assume that under the rules of experimental aircraft this will be like every other experimental aircraft that you can buy from a private builder - just build by the factory. It remains experimental since there is no certified version?!?
I am wondering if it has the 40 test flight hours already?  Huh 

Thanks
Chris
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#6
Chris,

The price for the XET sounds a little low. I don't believe that will include a 40 hr. fly-off. If you really want to know call Dwight at Composite FX. 

Also the license that you are speaking of is a "fixed-wing" license. One still needs to get enough training to be proficient with helicopters.

Michael
XE 285  1205 (Myrtle)
Start: 8/1/2013
Finish: 5/24/2014
Arrived home: 10/11/2014

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#7
(06-29-2017, 12:42 PM)FlyGuy Wrote: ... If you really want to know call Dwight at Composite FX.

Also the license that you are speaking of is a "fixed-wing" license. One still needs to get enough training to be proficient with helicopters...

Michael, 

you are right, contact them directly will get the best information. 

In regard to the license I may have caused some confusion with one of my earlier posts. Actually my plan is to get a "normal" helicopter license -PPLH. 

Thanks
Chris
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#8
Chris,

Excellent! A heli sign-off will give you the best preparation and give you the most confidence. I wish I had gotten a solo sign-off. I am still planning on more heli instruction, but my biggest problem is the distraction of the engine noise and how lite the craft is, mind you it isn't as lite as a 75 pound hang glider but you feel every breath of wind. That being said it is still too much fun!

Contact Dwight. He is a "straight shooter"! He will give you good information and always has time to help if you have a question.  The mosi Nation has a lot of resources. Use them and become one!

Michael
XE 285  1205 (Myrtle)
Start: 8/1/2013
Finish: 5/24/2014
Arrived home: 10/11/2014

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#9
Chris,

How did the discovery flight go?

Michael
XE 285  1205 (Myrtle)
Start: 8/1/2013
Finish: 5/24/2014
Arrived home: 10/11/2014

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#10
Michael,

The discovery flight went pretty well, due to weight limitations we had to use the R44 which actually means that I have to do my entire training in an R44. Not such a big problem since this will give me some good confidence in the R44 which is good for charter situations in case I would like to fly with more people. On the other hand it actually adds a good amount of money to the bill.
The actual flight portion went very well, holding a helicopter in forward level flight just with the cyclic while the instructor takes care of the tailrotor, gas and collective is not a very big of a problem, trying to hover is a whole different ball game, there is a lot to learn.
I will go and check another helicopter flight school, luckily there are two of them in relatively close proximity to my place. The other one is using Schweizer CBI 300 which has not the weight issues like the R22 and the training will be somewhat cheaper but I really think about R44 despite the additional money.

Thanks,
Chris
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