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-alex-
04-04-2012, 08:19 PM
Hey all,

I’m looking to do some research into Helicopters and small private planes, but I have no idea where to start, so I’m asking for a starting point, really.

What I need is a helicopter or small private plane, which seats about five people. Money isn’t an object, but it must be a plane that anyone (with a permit) can obtain and fly legally.

What I also need (for certain part of my story) is a helicopter or small plane that can travel pretty fast.

For example, is there a helicopter or small plane out there (don’t laugh, because I know nothing this subject—that’s why I’m here) which can fly 600-800 miles in about two hours? Or less? By miles, I mean road miles—I know nothing about how air miles work. But from A to B on google via car it says about 700 miles.

I hear some kinds of small army planes can do that distance? But can a civilian obtain and fly those legally? If so, I guess fuel too is a factor too? Is there a helicopter or small plane which could carry enough fuel to fly that distance, without any stopovers? (Fuelling from in the air would be no problem—wait is that even possible?)

Also, is there small plane out there which would be able to land in a small-ish space (like in an inner-city) (for an emergency pick up, at one point in my story), or am I thinking too much along the lines of a helicopter? (not sure if a helicopter would fit for what I need)

See, I know nothing about planes, lol.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

alleycat
04-04-2012, 08:37 PM
I used to be a private pilot, but it's been a few years so I don't have all facts at hand.

One of the larger Cessna single engine models (such as the 206) would work for your scenario except for the speed.

For a plane that can carry five passengers and has that kind of speed you're probably need to look at a multi-engine aircraft, such as one of the Cessna 400 series (or possibly one in the 300 series).

I assume you're talking about flying in the US. You need a private pilot's license with a multi-engine rating if you're flying a multi-engine plane (and generally those with a ME rating also have an instrument rating). It's not called a permit.

Of course, if money is no object, there are also jets that can be legally flown with one pilot.

Kitti
04-04-2012, 09:00 PM
Also, is there small plane out there which would be able to land in a small-ish space (like in an inner-city) (for an emergency pick up, at one point in my story), or am I thinking too much along the lines of a helicopter? (not sure if a helicopter would fit for what I need)

You'd need a helicopter for that. Helicopters can land in cul-de-sacs too small for a full-sized school bus to turn around in - they don't need very much space. Planes need runways and inner-city roads would be too built up with signs and stoplights and overhead junk for you to land safely.

If you're going the small plane route (and I agree with alleycat - check out the Cessnas or small jets), you need to make sure that the airport that your plane is taking off from and landing from allow general aviation aircraft to use their facilities. A lot of big airports don't allow it, and smaller airports would be better anyway (less time spent waiting for take-off/landing) since your characters are in a time crunch.

Al Stevens
04-04-2012, 09:04 PM
Aviation uses knots instead of mph and nautical miles instead of miles. Figure roughly 1 knot = 1.15 mph.

For the distance, speed, and passenger load, you need a small business jet. A Cessna Citation Mustang will fill the bill.

http://www.cessna.com/citation/mustang.html

It would not, however, be able to land on a city street or rooftop. It needs a runway of just over 3000 feet. Helicopters don't go as fast as you need. Most urban areas have nearby airports with sufficient runways for a bizjet.

Al Stevens
04-04-2012, 09:15 PM
P.S. A Gulfstream G150 is a good choice, too.

http://www.gulfstream.com/products/g150/

When you've finished writing your story, please have it beta-read by a pilot. It's easy to get technical details wrong and it's egg on your face. I threw Tom Wolfe's "A man in Full" across the room when he put the engines of a Gulfstream on the wrong part of the airframe.

Drachen Jager
04-04-2012, 09:18 PM
If an aeroplane is designated STOL (short takeoff or landing) it can probably handle the take-off/landing you need. Any of them should be able to land/take off from a decent sized park, or school grounds.

The Zenith CH 801 is close to what you need. It's a four seater, but I suppose you could fit five in a pinch.

A de Havilland might work better, they're a bit larger. There's a fairly wide range of them that could fit the bill, since the company specialises in bush planes.

Go to this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civil_aircraft) and search the page for 'STOL' (ignoring returns like Bristol)

Al Stevens
04-04-2012, 09:33 PM
The trouble with STOL is, the more passengers, the more runway it needs, so check the specs with a full passenger load, enough fuel to make the round trip, and whatever else you have on board.

The other problem with going in and out of urban parks, etc., is wires. Most cities are a maze of power lines, phone lines, guy wires, and other kinds of cables. And they usually don't have sufficient vertical clearance at either end. That would be most unbelievable to a pilot.

Now, if they had a Saturn V...

ETA: No responsible fixed-wing pilot would plan a trip that involves a park/schoolyard landing and takeoff. It would be extremely unsafe and would invite a visit from the FAA. Don't do it.

Drachen Jager
04-04-2012, 09:58 PM
I'm guessing it's an Earth shattering-type emergency Al.

If they're saving the world, the FAA might overlook it.

STOL is defined as being able to take-off/land over a 50 ft obsticle from/to a complete stop over 1,500 feet.

Most decent-sized parks have 1,500 feet of clear space, and most trees/power lines are under 50 feet, so any STOL aircraft should be able to handle the trip.

Al Stevens
04-04-2012, 10:11 PM
I don't buy it. Parks and schoolyards have people, playground equipment, benches, buildings, trees, lakes, beachers, and all kinds of obstacles to a safe rollout. And, of course, they don't restrict the wires to crossing only at the ends. Sorry, but that's just a completely unbelievable scenario. A real book-thrower.

And, btw, it's not "short takeoff or landing." It's "short takeoff and landing." Not for your edification, but for the OP's in case he really wants to use your suggestion.

And the 1500-foot criterion assumes something less than gross weight. Five passengers, a pilot, and sufficent fuel just won't make it.

-alex-
04-04-2012, 10:22 PM
Thanks for the replies guys! Lots of info there! So, thank you!

Just a little bit more explanation for the scenes with planes in my story,

Firstly, I don’t need to worry regarding the specs of the plane as such—as my protag is only the passenger, not the pilot, and would only mention what’s happening to her in the scene, so to speak.

Scenario one: She’s put on a private plane to be taken home--a couple of (USA) states away.
- I just needed the time it would take to get from A to B in a small plane over a certain distance.

Scenario two (at later point in the story): A main character (with the protag) has a GSW, and so needs medical attention (loooong story short, they can’t take him to just any medical facility)
- I need a quick as possible option—with landing in an urban area to pick them up.
(I also need to look up time frame which he’d survive with his injuries and tie the two together—but, one thing at a time)

For scenario two I may have to go with pick up via helicopter to small plane to final destination, yes? By the sounds of it, there’s not an existing helicopter that can fly the distance I require.

Thanks again.

Al Stevens
04-04-2012, 10:34 PM
Scenario two: Bizjet or commercial flight, origin to nearby destination airport. Medivac helicopter from airport to hospital heliport or the roof heliport of a nearby office building.

-alex-
04-05-2012, 12:52 AM
Thanks again, Al.

So, going with the Cessna Citation Mustang (or something similar), how do I work out how long the flight would take from A to B?

Also, looking at scenario two, I’m thinking a Cessna Citation Mustang wouldn’t be able to “go-urban”? Right? Meaning, if they were in a large space, say... park, docks, lorry port, or a roof of a large building, it would need more space to take off again. Am I correct?

Drachen Jager
04-05-2012, 12:57 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_Citation_Mustang



Takeoff distance: 3,110 ft (948 m)
Landing distance: 2,380 ft (729 m)

Unless you have a clear space a kilometre (bit over half a mile) long, no chance. That is an airport-only plane.

Al Stevens
04-05-2012, 01:53 AM
Thanks again, Al.

So, going with the Cessna Citation Mustang (or something similar), how do I work out how long the flight would take from A to B?
390 mph / distance in miles = hours in flight.

Also, looking at scenario two, I’m thinking a Cessna Citation Mustang wouldn’t be able to “go-urban”? Right?
Right.


Meaning, if they were in a large space, say... park, docks, lorry port, or a roof of a large building, it would need more space to take off again. Am I correct?
You are correct. Airport only.

Mark G
04-05-2012, 03:51 AM
I've never heard of a "medevac airplane" in an urban area. Probably due to the reasons listed about runway erquirements, etc.

It should be easy to find out for the city in question what resources they have for medevac. I Googled "Kansas City Medevac" and came up with their local resources just as a test. I know my local resource would be a County Sheriff Bell UH-1 "Huey".

As for airplanes, since it didn't seem like runway length was an issue... I was shopping (in case I won the Mega Millions $650M jackpot, which I didn't), and I like the Gulfstream G650 (http://www.gulfstream.com/products/g650/). For when "Price Is No Object." I'd be willing to go for a timeshare on one, if anyone is interested. :)

If your people are exotic-minded and environmentally friendly, the Piaggio Aero Avanti (http://www.piaggioaero.com/) is a thing of beauty...

Sure wish I'd won the lotto. :(

-alex-
04-05-2012, 05:44 PM
Thanks everyone! :0)

Noah Body
04-05-2012, 09:10 PM
The Beechcraft King Air 200GT and the newer 250 can make the 600 mile bop in around two hours.

There's not a helicopter in the world that can cover that much territory in the amount of time you want...unless you consider the V-22 a helicopter, and even then, there's a 50% chance it would bury its nose in the dirt somewhere along the way. ;)

RE: using a STOL -- remember, in order to clear a 50 foot obstacle (which is likely in an urban situation), the requirements under load will almost always ensure a STOL like a Maule won't work!

Hallen
04-10-2012, 04:02 AM
Scenario two: Bizjet or commercial flight, origin to nearby destination airport. Medivac helicopter from airport to hospital heliport or the roof heliport of a nearby office building.

I know I'm a bit late to the party, but just to throw in my opinion, I agree with Al for this part of the scenario.

Landing a helicopter at a random, unimproved location in a city is very dicey. You have no idea just how hard it is to see power lines from the air. We military types who fly low-level a lot have a healthy terror of power lines. Look for the poles/towers, not the wires. Even local medivac will have people on the ground at the landing site that will give them details on the conditions and the most likely place to land with a description of obstacles, especially power lines. Although you can land a helicopter in a very small space, you still want a healthy margin for safety. Again, you wouldn't believe how small a spot looks from the air when you are lining up to land. Small trees, poles, wires, etc, all can ruin your day in a split second. TV and movies always do it wrong and leave people with the wrong impression on what you can really do safely.

Anyway, airplane and transfer to a waiting helicopter at the airport for the flight to the medical facility with an established helipad is the way it's done in the real world and probably how you should do it in your story.

Prophetsnake
04-16-2012, 04:20 AM
I don't buy it. Parks and schoolyards have people, playground equipment, benches, buildings, trees, lakes, beachers, and all kinds of obstacles to a safe rollout. And, of course, they don't restrict the wires to crossing only at the ends. Sorry, but that's just a completely unbelievable scenario. A real book-thrower.

And, btw, it's not "short takeoff or landing." It's "short takeoff and landing." Not for your edification, but for the OP's in case he really wants to use your suggestion.

And the 1500-foot criterion assumes something less than gross weight. Five passengers, a pilot, and sufficent fuel just won't make it.

Yeah, it will. I regularly fly a non-STOL 206 out of a 1350 foot strip at or near max TOW, over obstacles, and that's six pax. We also have a Robertson 172 that is regularly flown out of the same strip at and often above (not by me) MTOW.

Lots of airplanes will do one or the other, but I can't think of many things that'll do 250 kts and do it. A turbine converted Cessna 210 with a STOL kit could come close, though.

There was an operation proposed during the Carter administration to rescue the hostages in Teheran by landing three C-130s inside of a football stadium in the middle of the city. They were to use JATO (jet assisted takeoff) for the takeoff and the landing ( using them as retro-rocket devices) it was scrubbed because the Iranians spread out the hostages, making a Guerilla raid to collect all of them at once impossible.

Prophetsnake
04-16-2012, 04:25 AM
Here you go: This would do the job.

BTW, the takeoff and landing distances are ground roll only. It'd need almost twice those figures to clear decent sized trees and the like.

http://www.onaircraft.com/The-Planes/The-Silver-Eagle.aspx

Al Stevens
04-16-2012, 06:52 PM
Here you go: This would do the job.

BTW, the takeoff and landing distances are ground roll only. It'd need almost twice those figures to clear decent sized trees and the like.

http://www.onaircraft.com/The-Planes/The-Silver-Eagle.aspx

And, being a manufacturers spec, they assume minimum gross weight and ideal density altitude.

I still don't buy it. If you would land that bird in a city park, I'll wait on the ground. :)

Prophetsnake
04-16-2012, 07:42 PM
And, being a manufacturers spec, they assume minimum gross weight and ideal density altitude.

I still don't buy it. If you would land that bird in a city park, I'll wait on the ground. :)

No, that's at MTOW
A stock 210N will do it at Max TOW in 2100' over a 50 foot obstacle at sea level, zero wind, and that is with 310 HP. That conversion ups it to 450 HP and, of course, it's a turbine, so there is no loss of HP up to reasonable altitudes, and since it's de-rated, there is no loss for temp either. It also has reverse.
That is the MTOW performance figure.
In any case, the 206 has more or less the same wing and considerably less HP at roughly the same TOW I fly one out of here ( or did til I wold it and got a 182 which I also fly out of that strip at MTOW as well as an old 172 and a fairly wheezy 150)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athboy_Aerodrome

Here's a vid a visitor took flying in:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqHiPDS7HQI

He's light, but he's from a much larger airfiled which is why he thinks this is a big deal.

These are normal operations and many of the guys are low time PPs, not astronauts. Mind you, they are well trained in short field operations.

Al Stevens
04-16-2012, 09:44 PM
Whatever you say. I've flown in and out of some tight places. Often flying junk. Think Gibson and Downey in Air America (Not a realistic depiction, though). I wouldn't do what's being suggested here.

Prophetsnake
04-16-2012, 10:33 PM
Whatever you say. I've flown in and out of some tight places. Often flying junk. Think Gibson and Downey in Air America (Not a realistic depiction, though). I wouldn't do what's being suggested here.


I don't think either Downey or Gibson actually did that, in fact. I have.

Anyhow.
Alex, for your story, these are the things that you would have to consider:

The guy flying this particular airplane would have to be reasonably experienced. Not professional, neccesarily, but someone who has had a few flying lessons wouldn't be able to start it, for one thing. It's a turbine engine and it takes a little instruction to learn to operate them. Someone who has operated similar sorts of airplanes and has some experience would be able to do it, but a plucky 16 year old who plays microsoft flight sim would not.
This airplane needs reasonable altitude to get the kind of speed and range you are talking about. So if you are thinking about the airplane doing the 700 miles at treetop height for whatever reason, it's not going to do it. It also won't make the return journey on one fillup of fuel. The fuel load out of the short strip would have to be restricted, depending on the payload (passengers plus cargo) and that would restrict its range as well. the good news is, a turbine will run on just about anything. It is recommended they be run on Jet fuel, but that's basically just Kerosene. Pratt and Whitney publish info on running the PT6 on gasoline/petrol, but that brings about a restriction on the engines life, but if it's life or death, it would work. It could run just as well on diesel or home heating oil. Neither is recommended, but the engine would run fine on either one for a very long time. So you could organize a refuel simply by syphoning some out of some diesel cars or such. If it arrived empty, and you needed to make a three hour flight (at about 240 MPH) back to where you came from, the fuel required would be about 60 or 70 US gallons.
Anything else you want to know you can PM me.

Hallen
04-18-2012, 03:08 AM
No, that's at MTOW
A stock 210N will do it at Max TOW in 2100' over a 50 foot obstacle at sea level, zero wind, and that is with 310 HP. That conversion ups it to 450 HP and, of course, it's a turbine, so there is no loss of HP up to reasonable altitudes, and since it's de-rated, there is no loss for temp either. It also has reverse.
That is the MTOW performance figure.
In any case, the 206 has more or less the same wing and considerably less HP at roughly the same TOW I fly one out of here ( or did til I wold it and got a 182 which I also fly out of that strip at MTOW as well as an old 172 and a fairly wheezy 150)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athboy_Aerodrome

Here's a vid a visitor took flying in:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqHiPDS7HQI

He's light, but he's from a much larger airfiled which is why he thinks this is a big deal.

These are normal operations and many of the guys are low time PPs, not astronauts. Mind you, they are well trained in short field operations.

The point isn't if it is possible. There's a number of specialized airplanes that will do the job on short strips and places much more difficult than that grass strip in the video. Note, however, the question isn't if it's physically possible. It is. The question is if it's reasonable, which it isn't. The odds of pulling a landing off in an urban environment, with no pre-planning, with unknown obstacles, is pretty remote. And it isn't a question of pilot skill and willpower. It's a question of luck.

That's all fine for the story. The writer can setup any conditions they want and make it work for the story. Most people will probably accept it.



As long as we're sharing, here's a popular destination out this way. It's a tough one. The runway is longer because of the elevation and the big, hard things we call hills, at the end of the runway. Note the dogleg on entry to miss the tall, pointy things, we call trees. ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNmAc3dl1vY
Random video I found.

http://www.airnav.com/airport/6OR9

Prophetsnake
04-18-2012, 11:14 AM
Of course it's reasonable. The only real consideration is the law, and the point is actually can verisimilitude be maintained, not whether it's a good idea or not.

Prophetsnake
04-19-2012, 07:11 AM
As long as we're sharing, here's a popular destination out this way. It's a tough one. The runway is longer because of the elevation and the big, hard things we call hills, at the end of the runway. Note the dogleg on entry to miss the tall, pointy things, we call trees. ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNmAc3dl1vY
Random video I found.

http://www.airnav.com/airport/6OR9

That's a good example. what's the length?

It depends on his landing site, the capability of the airplane and the pilot. It's not too hard to find somewhere in a city to land that T210, depending on the city ( Frisco could be a problem, as could Manhattan) but most cities would have a length of something say 1500. Even with reasonable trees or buildings at the edge, it's do-able.
just picked Pittsburgh at random and found four sites with one mile of the city center that migh tbe usable ( couldn't get the google maps guy on the ground at them to have a look at the surface, though)
a friend of mine landed an AA4 at a shopping center early in the morning in order to display it in the center for their flying school. That was in Schenectady, IIRC. He was light, but the airplane is not noted for its stellar short field capability. It was done with the approval of the Mall, so no prob there either. A decent parking lot would serve very well if they could keep it clear of cars, as could a stretch of road if it had decent approaches. A friend of mine did a forced landing n the new Jersey Turnkpike a looong time ago. Took off from it as well.

I've seen airplanes do much dumber things than these examples in books and film.

Prophetsnake
04-20-2012, 12:14 AM
here's another fun place to fly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDmF_-Q4S_o
In both fields you need full power just after touchdown to climb the hill. If you're n skis and you get that wrong, you slide back and fall off the cliff. In Meribel, they have a n alarm that sounds if this happens so the occupants of the clubhouse can all run out and grab your airplane before it take a tumble.

Hallen
04-21-2012, 03:41 AM
That's a good example. what's the length?


I've seen airplanes do much dumber things than these examples in books and film.

It's 2800ft, but that's a bit deceptive because of how the approach is made. You have to carry quite a bit of altitude and more speed because of the obstructions and the generally high density altitude. I've landed there -- but in a helicopter which makes it a lot easier.

Yeah, I've seen dumber things too, like in the episode of "How I Met Your Mother" the other night when Robin lands a Jet Ranger with both hands on the cyclic. In real life, she'd be very dead.

My main point wasn't that it wasn't physically possible to do. It is very possible. But, unless you know what's there ahead of time, it's impossible to make corrections at the last second for obstructions, etc. Trust me, I've got a lot of experience with landing in obscure places. In a helicopter, we can go very slow and check things out, and it's still dangerous. No rational pilot would choose to land in a city park for any reasons beyond a fire or total engine failure. If they scouted it ahead of time and had a plan, then maybe. But there's so many elements out of your control, that it would still be dicey. So, physically possible, yes. Realistic -- maybe. Something that would be done by choice in the real world? Probably not.

Prophetsnake
04-21-2012, 04:10 AM
My main point wasn't that it wasn't physically possible to do. It is very possible. But, unless you know what's there ahead of time, it's impossible to make corrections at the last second for obstructions, etc. Trust me, I've got a lot of experience with landing in obscure places. In a helicopter, we can go very slow and check things out, and it's still dangerous. No rational pilot would choose to land in a city park for any reasons beyond a fire or total engine failure. If they scouted it ahead of time and had a plan, then maybe. But there's so many elements out of your control, that it would still be dicey. So, physically possible, yes. Realistic -- maybe. Something that would be done by choice in the real world? Probably not.

What can't be done?

Finding a 1500 foot area in a city and landing in it? Depends on the city.
The airplane will certainly do it ( the 210 silver Eagle) and it will do it at MTOW. Lots of other machines will get in and out, Pilatus Porters, Helio Stallion, etc, but they're not fast enough for this guy's mission. No Heli I am aware of can cruise at 200 kts plus and they certainly can't do it in 3.5 hours.
A reasonable pilot proficient in that airplane could do it, and that is the only point.
The OP seems to have lost interest in any case.