New blade service letter - big discount?
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R44inCincy
Member Since : 2011
Posts(40)
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New blade service letter - big discount?

09-12-2014 05:25:30

Anyone else get this? I have the "bad blades," so I'm seriously considering it. How long does it take to replace blades?

http://robinsonheli.com/service_library/r44_service_letters/r44_sl49.pdf

Replies

13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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09-12-2014 07:20:38
Anyone else get this? I have the "bad blades," so I'm seriously considering it. How long does it take to replace blades?

http://robinsonheli.com/service_library/r44_service_letters/r44_sl49.pdf

For Astro owners who do not have hydraulics (and there are scores of them out there) this blade change could only be done after adding hydraulic controls.
IMO, this smacks of Robinson trying to soften the blow of yet another (upcoming) main rotor blade AD.
jabr800
Member Since : 2008
Posts(135)
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09-12-2014 08:17:47
MVH-DOM
Member Since : 2013
Posts(63)
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09-13-2014 04:25:21
If you read the Service Letter (which is not mandatory) you will see that it says if you have installed "Aluminum Blades" you no longer have to comply with AD 2011-12-10.  This is the AD you have to before the first flight of the day, every 4 months, 12 months or 100hrs, (the paint erosion on the bond line and tap test). This AD applies to the R22/R44 "Stainless Steel Blades".  They are giving you a choice to purchase the new blades early and give you some credit for the "not so high time" spindles.  Once you do a 12 yr or 2200 O/H you will get the new blades automatically with the overhaul kit.  There is nothing saying you cannot continue to operate your aircraft with the Stainless blades, that's your choice.  We operate a fleet of 10 Robbies (R22's/R44's) and  we only have 3 left with Stainless Blades, we run those to O/H and change them then.  No doubt (as SN said), the guys who are on the short end of the stick are the "spring and bungee" Astro owners without power steering.

The AD I want to see them get rid of is 88-26-01R2 the Spindle Inspection on the R22, in 10 years of doing the AD we have never found a cracked Spindle.

Happy Flying
jabr800
Member Since : 2008
Posts(135)
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09-16-2014 02:41:44
So is anyone thinking this will soon turn into an A.D., and if so, When?

jabr800
Bob D
Member Since : 2009
Posts(21)
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09-16-2014 03:46:50
I wish Robinson could design a blade as good as the deals they make for themselves. They try to make it look like a great deal but 8 yrs and 1800 hrs probably results in a placebo. They discontinued the blades close to 4 years ago so that rules out a good number. If you flew more than 100 hours per year than that rules out the rest. Also, if you do the math and calculate out 400 hours the discount is around $8600 but check my math it might only be as good as their blade designs.
MLH
Member Since : 2007
Posts(99)
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09-16-2014 05:37:34
I've owned two 44's, this issue with blades is the reason I'm off the Robinson merry go round for the foreseeable future. Hat's off to those of you with nerves enough to stay in the game.
13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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09-16-2014 06:43:23
So is anyone thinking this will soon turn into an A.D., and if so, When?

jabr800

Oh, this is absolutely a prelude to an AD that will once again ask many owners to replace their ship's perfectly good blades. I purchased new main rotor blades from Robinson in April of 2012 for over 42K and now they're gonna tell me to take 'em off!???
It wouldn't be a surprise to see ships go experimental and save the gobs of needless money it would have cost to fulfill the result of Robinson's latest failings at making satisfactory blades.  And this is once again CLEARLY a failing on Robinson's manufacturing capability.
The astonishing part is I would have thought a blade manufacturer would come in and fill the void with a composite blade replacement.
Robby is supposedly the best seller in the world so surely there would be enough business for  a company to make a blade that's a viable replacement to the factory blade. Maybe it is because there aren't scores of Robbys under government ownership and usage? So that source of business wouldn't be as available as it is to Bell, for example. And we all know governments typically overpay for everything. Google the US governments fight with Textron over the gross over-billing they have been getting from Bell for parts. And since not a lot of Robbie ships are government owned, maybe this would give pause to a company that is considering making a replacement Robbie blade. Not a lot of governments to sock it to?
Nevertheless, it's a shame that we have no other choices for these main rotor blades.
rotormatic
Member Since : 2010
Posts(42)
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09-18-2014 02:06:22
The R44 is a type certificated (aircraft) product. The blade AD will still apply even if placed in experimental category.
13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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09-18-2014 06:29:28
The R44 is a type certificated (aircraft) product. The blade AD will still apply even if placed in experimental category.

Why do you think Robinson is making this offer?
rotormatic
Member Since : 2010
Posts(42)
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09-19-2014 08:44:21
Marketing due to a poor design... and maybe an attempt to limit their exposure to litigation.
Dennis B.
Member Since : 2007
Posts(26)
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09-20-2014 02:16:20
Marketing due to a poor design I suspect is right on the mark.  Why they don't hire someone that knows how to make blades is beyond me. 
A limit to exposure doesn't make sense though or they would have made the deal available to everyone using a simple formula of 12 years equals 4380 days, based on the SL-49 service letter price of $46,000.00, that equals about $10.50 a day.  If the blades are more than 8 years old, take the $10.50 per day of time in service and subtract the time remaining and everyone gets a deal even if they only have 10 days remaining.  That gives everyone incentive to get the new blades, and the factory would get a much larger portion of the old blades out of service. That way you don't tick off everyone with more than 8 years on their blades either! (much better marketing). Just my opinion, but keep in mind I'm just a helicopter flight instructor that gets into helicopters with people that don't know how to fly, so what would I know!
Bob D
Member Since : 2009
Posts(21)
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09-20-2014 03:53:27
OK I think i interpreted the service letter wrong. Let me try this. If the blades have 4 years and 400 hours left the deal is still good? If so that's a much better deal than what I was thinking. I hate reverse logic.
13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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09-23-2014 09:47:55
I bought brand new main rotor blades two years ago for my Astro, yes, the very blades Robinson is now obviously trying to get me to remove.
If there is a soul here who thinks when Robinson accepted my $43,000 in April of 2012 they didn't also know this replacement effort was coming, please tell Elvis and The Easter Bunny I said hello. THIS is the part that I believe is inherently wrong.
Why take my money if you are gonna turn around and try to get me to now remove them and replace them with another new set???
And if this thing turns into an AD, it's robbery.
MVH-DOM
Member Since : 2013
Posts(63)
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09-24-2014 08:32:42
I think a re-read of the Service Letter is required. 
If you have Aluminum Blades P/N C016-7, ignore the Service Letter. 
If you have C016-2 or -5 blades, they (RHC) are offering you a discount to upgrade to the C016-7 blades right away, if you wish too.  If you do not want to change your blades, then don't.  There is nothing in the Service Letter that says "you must do this by a certain date or else".  I have still have two R44's and one R22 with the Stainless Blades, we have no plans to change them out until the 2200 O/H.
rich
Member Since : 2008
Posts(32)
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09-25-2014 04:50:35
I agree w Greg, nothing mandatory that I read in the letter...however for those of us w -2 or -5 blades that are less than 8 yrs old or less than 1800 hrs will be taking a gamble that if we slide past these age/hr limits and then there is a subsequent blade replacement AD on the horizon, we will miss the chance for a 50% discount and will end up paying full retail for a new set of blades and spindles.

If you are over both limits, you are likely correct to just keep flying the blades to OH or 12 yr and hope no AD is planned any day soon...

That appears to be the gamble here...
rich
Member Since : 2008
Posts(32)
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09-25-2014 05:33:29
sn-- 

I agree, I guess if there is any goodwill it is in the fact that they are at least offering a discount.  They could have just stood by until an AD is published and then we all pay the full retail price. 

Would have been even more goodwill to have scaled the discount down for blades older than 8 years old, i.e 40% discount of retail at 9 years, 30% at 10 etc.
13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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09-26-2014 12:20:24
I think a re-read of the Service Letter is required. 
If you have Aluminum Blades P/N C016-7, ignore the Service Letter. 
If you have C016-2 or -5 blades, they (RHC) are offering you a discount to upgrade to the C016-7 blades right away, if you wish too.  If you do not want to change your blades, then don't.  There is nothing in the Service Letter that says "you must do this by a certain date or else".  I have still have two R44's and one R22 with the Stainless Blades, we have no plans to change them out until the 2200 O/H.

I don't think it was intimated here that anything in the service letter mandated main rotor blades be replaced.
But in my opinion, this SB and offer to reduce prices is certainly not a good will gesture by Robinson. No, I think this is a precursor to an AD that will mandate another round of blade replacement. Don't forget about the proposal last year for comments on the potential AD that would mandate main rotor blade replacement. !!!!
Why else would they offer the blades at such a discount? Goodwill?? Yeah, sure.
No, I think Robbie wants to get those blades off their ships and this is step one in their plan.

I hope I'm wrong, but past is usually prologue. 
13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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09-26-2014 07:04:04
sn-- 

I agree, I guess if there is any goodwill it is in the fact that they are at least offering a discount.  They could have just stood by until an AD is published and then we all pay the full retail price. 

Would have been even more goodwill to have scaled the discount down for blades older than 8 years old, i.e 40% discount of retail at 9 years, 30% at 10 etc.

Yes. Couldn't agree more. Why not a true pro rata offer?
e.montefusco
Member Since : 2010
Posts(64)
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10-01-2014 11:22:31
Rotormatic's opinion is the worst case scenario... but unfortunately I personally find it the most likely.
rotormatic
Member Since : 2010
Posts(42)
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10-02-2014 03:55:17