Compare the fixed costs, variable cost, and performance of Enstrom 280C to over 500 jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston aircraft, with accurate data from Conklin & de Decker.
In 1959, the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation was founded to design and sell small, reasonably priced helicopters. The first helicopter produced by Enstrom was the F-28A. The prototype of this helicopter first flew in 1962 and certification was obtained in 1968. Numerous improvements were made to this helicopter in subsequent years, including various increases in gross weight, engines with greater horsepower and the addition of an additional model, the F-280 series. The primary difference between the F-28 and the F-280 is that the F-280 has a more streamlined fuselage that yields a higher cruise speed. The F-280FX is the current production version of the F-280.
The F-280FX is a light single-engine piston helicopter. One Lycoming HIO-360-C1A powers it and the engine drives a three-bladed, fully articulated rotor. A two-bladed tail rotor provides directional control. A unique feature of the dynamic system is that the rods that control main rotor blade pitch run inside the main rotor shaft. The swash plate that controls the blade pitch is mounted inside the aft fuselage. Power is transferred from the engine to the main transmission by a set of pulleys and V-belts. This arrangement also provides a clutch between the engine and the rotor. The main and tail rotor blades are made of aluminum, as is the fuselage. The cabin seats three, with one pilot and two passengers. The fuselage rests on a fixed skid gear.
Design of the F-280FX was launched in the early 1980s and it was certificated in 1985. Deliveries started the same year.
The 280C was introduced in 1975 and is powered by a Lycoming HIO-360-E1AD engine with a Rajay 301-E-10-2 turbocharger. The tail rotor was moved to the port side of the fuselage and the direction of rotation reversed. The 280C went out of production in 1982.
Lycoming Ly HIO-360-E1AD 1