Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

How can new helicopters be cheaper than new fixed-wings?

Just read an article about the new 2-place R44 in Avweb. They give a price of 339,000 USD for this airframe, which has an O-540 and is surely not less complex than a fixed-wing SEP.

How can it be that a new plane costs twice as much? The usual product liability excuse obviuosly doesn’t apply…

LOAN Wiener Neustadt Ost, Austria

Not sure whether the direct cost of manufacturing a R44 would be more or less than a comparable fixed-wing. Less metal, no landing gear and basic avionics, but add hydraulics for the controls and add a more complex power transmission.
In any event, don’t forget that Robinson can probably afford to sell ‘cheap’ initally, because they get to sell the same machine twice. The obligatory rebuild of the craft at 2400 hrs/12 years starts at $ 215k (and most likely turns out to be more). This particular version, a trainer, will probably accumulate 2400 hrs quickly.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

I’ve always thought that it is even more extreme at the basic turbine level. Enstrom 480b, MD500 and R66 about a million dollars, whats the lowest price fixed wing turbine?

One driver is probably demand and willingness to pay the high price, not cost.

But the basic turbine helicopters have a one big difference from the entry turbine aircraft – power (not much) and pressurisation. The PT6, mostly de-rated versions from an engine delivering close to 1000HP alone costs as much as the helicopter…

Biggin Hill

Piston helicopters are relatively simple. A R44 is basically a steel tube frame, a 540, a few drive shafts, and a couple of simple gearboxes. To give an idea, I’ve just overseen a 12/2400 overhaul of one which cost £180K; the aircraft’s value at commencement of overhaul was £30K. base operating costs are in the region of £200-250/hr.

The new Cabri G2 is a different beast as the maintenance regime is more akin to a fixed-wing with the only significant life part is the engine. Base price is $300K. In theory, one is getting more helicopter for the same price.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

Dave_Phillips wrote:

The new Cabri G2 is a different beast as the maintenance regime is more akin to a fixed-wing with the only significant life part is the engine. Base price is $300K. In theory, one is getting more helicopter for the same price.

Doesn’t Enstrom F-28 have a similar maintenance regime?

LKBU near Prague, Czech Republic

blueline wrote:

How can it be that a new plane costs twice as much?

What do you mean? How much do you think a new plane costs that can carry
- 2 people
- some cargo
- at 110 kts
- over 300 nm

Or do I misunderstand your question?

Archie wrote:

How much do you think a new plane costs that can carry
- 2 people
- some cargo
- at 110 kts
- over 300 nm

-and can land everywhere, only need a 10 by 10 m approximately flat area. You forgot that little detail

What are the relative sales volumes?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

ThArchie wrote:

What do you mean? How much do you think a new plane costs that can carry
- 2 people
- some cargo
- at 110 kts
- over 300 nm

Or do I misunderstand your question?

A new certified Carbon Cub costs $250k. It can almost take off and land in the same space required by a helicopter :-)

Andreas IOM
32 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top