Turbine Helicopter Project
Well it flies, and it does it beautifully. Yes, the turbine burns more fuel, about 58 litres an hour but I feel it takes this aircraft to another level, so to speak. It's nice to hover around and see all the temperatures sitting nicely in the green and the engine doesn't mind at all. When the cooling fan comes on after 10 mins of hovering at 185°, the temps actually drop, as they should. It stays off in normal cruise flight.
The project had lots of little hold-ups, finding and/or making the small hardware was very time consuming - unless of course you are an engineer with a large workshop and a good stock of all materials. The instructions do list a lathe as being a preferable item to have so that gives you some idea of what's required. You have to create your own fuel and oil systems and wiring. Some people have said that the wiring is the biggest job but it just depends on your own set up and experience. One of the biggest jobs I found was making the engine cover. There are one or two designs available for purchase if you want to save yourself a lot of work.
Basically my project progressed along with no major problems, all be it at a slow but steady pace. Apart from a few small teething problems, it really does all work very well. I am happy with the final results.
There have been a several improvements brought out over the years, for example a stronger gear for the Reduction Gearbox. I must say that the support has been excellent from K.I.S.S. Aviation. When a problem or weakness is identified, Dave Domanske is immediately finding and manufacturing a solution. They haven't needed to modify anything for a few years now and the aircraft seem to be operating reliably. I sold my ship in late 2009 and the new owner flies it regularly.
In March 2006, I completed a Bell 206 endorsement. Having gained a little experience with a certified turbine machine I can say that I was still very happy with my JetExec. Considering the build and operating costs, it's a true little turbine helicopter that performs very well.
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