New R-44 Engine Break In Problems High Cyl temps- Cylinder Glazing?
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Member Since : 2014

New R-44 Engine Break In Problems High Cyl temps- Cylinder Glazing?

12-12-2014 10:33:49

I purchased a brand new 2013 R-44 Raven 1 last December. I picked it up at factory with 4 hrs on Hobbs. I was not  1hour out and noticed a higher than normal cylinder temp for the conditions- 425 at MCP. I  have seen with other R44  temps of around 350 for OAT temps between 50-85 degrees. I immediately contacted the factory and was told" if it is in the green to keep flying engine is breaking in". The temp was still around 425 when I completed my 35 hour ferry flight at MCP (I was careful not to do do any high to low power settings). At around 50hrs when oil consumption seemed to stabilize. I  switched from Mineral Oil to Aeroshell15W50. This is when I started noticing Excessive Oil coming from the oil breather tube .Oil consumption went from 1 quart every 6hours to 1 quart every 3hrs. The oil from the breather was making a total mess off my landing pad , belly and rear cowling of helicopter. I was told by Lycoming that the engine is run in a test cell for about 1 hr. I was told by Robinson that they do not run engines on a test cell except to randomly  check performance figures when they receive engine from Lycoming. So the question is did Robinson glaze  cylinders during flight testing? I believe they did. In flight testing you need to set engine idle, autorotation RPM, low and high speed Track and Balance. Everything that is contrary to Lycoming break in procedures. The first few hours on a new engine are critical for proper break in. Robinson has been reluctant to do much of anything. I had asked for a tech to come look at aircraft but to no avail. Has anyone else experienced any of these issues with their new helicopter. Also, I noticed the engine has a manufacture date  1 year earlier than the date of manufacture of the aircraft...hmmm.


Member Since : 2010
12-12-2014 04:48:48
Hi Cliff,
I don't know how much experience you have on Robbies.
I have been flying a Raven II for a number of years and have noticed that every time I filled the oil to the maximum of 9 quarts I would experience a loss of 2-3 quarts a flight.
And the underside of the machine was getting sprayed.

With time I noticed that keeping the level half a quart above the minimum was ideal. Very low oil consumption and no big stains of oil on the belly/landing gear.

Probably this has nothing to do with your problem but since I fell for this myself (the more I put in, the more I would get spit out, and the more I would try to put in the next flight, and so on), I just wanted to warn you.
Member Since : 2014
12-12-2014 05:30:11
Hi Enrico,

Thank you for the reply. I have about 4800 hrs flying R-44's. I know what you mean with adding to even 8 quarts, what you are saying is true. I actually run around 6.5- 7quarts. With this machine at idle on ground I  can count every 4  secs a drip of oil comes out the breather tube. I have a 2 foot diameter oil stain on my cement landing pad....not normal. I have actually boroscoped the cylinders and can see many very shiny sections of cylinder walls indicating cylinder glazing.
Member Since : 2007
12-17-2014 03:37:28
Member Since : 2015
01-01-2015 04:28:11
Hey Cliff

I'm having the exact same issue.  I picked a new Raven II up in April of 2013.  I've always ran it at 7 quarts and like you said the belly of the aircraft is covered in oil, my tail rotor is covered as is my landing pad.  I was told to run the oil level lower but it hasn't helped.  I have 1400 hrs in many different R44's and haven't seen an oil leak like this.  The next step is to put a breather on it but that voids the warranty.  I don't want to be stuck in a few months with a breather, an oil leak and no warranty.  Do you have any further information that has helped?
Member Since : 2011
01-04-2015 03:02:34
I had the same exact experience and results with my 2011 R44.  Not only oil dripping from the breather tube it was dripping from the muffler tail boom and tail skid.  Once we pick them up and there paid for it's our problem.  I agree with you, it mush be Robinson glazing the cylinders during flight testing.