Breaking in a new machine
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Member Since : 2010

Breaking in a new machine

04-23-2010 11:20:18

Hello Folks,

I will be the first pilot of a brand new R44II, I'd like to know if there is any do's and don't's when breaking in a new machine, from anyone's experience or knowledge, since it will be my first time doing this

Any toughts, comments and stories are welcome!!


Member Since : 2010
04-23-2010 04:32:30
First, congrats! Nothing like a brand new ship.

I put the first 20 hours on an R44 a few years ago. It was a blast. Check the fluids often, and try not to be the first one to scratch the paint. Other than that, just go fly!
Member Since : 2007
04-23-2010 04:43:16
Hi Danilo:

I picked up a new RI at the factory with 4 hours total time. The factory changes the oil and filter just before delivery and checks if there is metal.

Then, the next oil change as per the factory, is at 29 hrs. total time, this is 25 hours more. Then at every 50 hours.

Well, as I was crossing the States to Florida prior to  go through the Bahamas, Antilles, Trinidad Tobago, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, these 20 hours flying time to Florida were key to check everything.

So I decided to change the oil at 20 hrs. total time and then at the 30 hrs. total time just before leaving Florida.

I have an engine analyzer so I can have all CHTs and EGTs in  real time. During the first 10 hours, the engine runs quite hot. The CHTs are all over 400?F at say 22" and full rich mix. The idea is to run the engine hard, at around 75% rated power so to have high cylinder/ring pressures that help mate the rings to the cylinder surface.

So even though the oil temp gauge read at about 180?F, it is clear that the oil in contact with the cylinder walls/heads is subject to a much higher temperature and degrades faster.

Therefore, careful cooldowns is a must to avoid "coking" the oil. Again the engine analyzer shows the cool down rate and I just waited as long as required till the rate was 0?F, this is the cylinders could not cool down  anymore.

At about 20 hrs. total time, the CHTs started to go down and stabilized at about 30 hours as the rings seated and the friction reduced.

During this time the oil really has to withstand tough conditions and the engine makes some metal due to the normal cylinder/rings mating wear.

Then at 50 hrs. total time I switched to ashless dispersant oil  plus antiwear additive (like aeroshell 100 plus).

The engine uses 1 qt. every 6-7 hours. Compressions are all over 75psi and usually at 78psi most of the cylinders.

Finally as a corrosion protection I also use CamGuard additive with the so called vapor phase anti corrosion.

This prevents any corrosion inside the engine and also keeps the valve guides clean. It is not uncommon having to ream the exhaust valve guides due to reduced clearances because of deposits coming mainly from oil contamination/degradation and poor cool downs.

I change the oil every 25 hours and the filter every 50 hours.

Hope this helps.


Member Since : 2015
04-23-2010 04:58:34

Take time for a proper cool down period before every shutdown.
Fly often & enjoy.

Member Since : 2007
04-24-2010 04:15:01
Depending on how far you're going, ask the factory to give you extra oil. It isn't always available at enroute airports, and you'll need it.
Otherwise, for once, it's ok to bring lots of luggage-you'll want to be at 22-23" as much as possible. ;D
Member Since : 2008
04-26-2010 02:52:15
i would bring some hydraulic fluid along. we sprung a leak on the trip xc.
Member Since : 2010
04-26-2010 03:58:43

Thanks guys! It was very helpful, I'll keep the cooling down timing in mind.
Member Since : 2007
04-27-2010 03:01:10
On the note to things to carry. I always fly with the following stuff underneath one of the back seats.Whether i am ferrying a ship from the factory or just flying around.

Flares/Flare gun
First aid kit
3 quarts of extra oil
bottle of hydraulic fluid.