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Does anyone have any opinions of the Mosquito XE, XEL or XET kit
built helicopter. It seems to be catching on and people seem to be
saying that it is safer and more reliable than a Rotorway, though it
is only one seat. The fact that it is quite inexpensive, can be
factory built, and can be converted to an ultralight to avoid
licensing issues seems pretty appealing to me. Any thoughts?
Helicopter info posted here:
-- A. Green, May 3, 2010
I'm not sure why kit helicopters are appealing from a pilot's point of view. They very seldom are flown more than 200 hours or so. A Robinson R22 with 200 hours remaining until overhaul may be purchased for about $60,000 and sold, when run out to 2200 hours, for $45,000. You'll be flying a few days later rather than after months or years in the garage tinkering. A certified helicopter has a lot of redundancy that kits won't have. The R22 is considered light and twitchy, but a helicopter that weighs half as much is going to be that much more challenging to fly (and will be grounded when it is windy).
-- Philip Greenspun, May 4, 2010
My interest in this helicopter is threefold: 1) It is undeniably cheaper than even a used R22, in both purchase and operating costs. I am in my late 20s, meaning I do not have the disposable income to jump right into an R22, so I am looking for a cheaper option that is still safe. While it is always true that you get what you pay for, that does not necessarily mean this helicopter is unsafe.
2) While it is a kit chopper, it has a factory built option, which alleviates some of my concerns regarding the quality of kit-builts.
3) Because the float equipped version of the helicopter is less than 314 lbs, it qualifies as an ultralight, which gives me the option to avoid FAA licensing/medical issues (not that I am planning on flying recklessly and without training, but a full private pilot rotor license, medical screening, monthly minimum time, etc can become prohibitively expensive).
No doubt I am not going to fly cross country, or even across the state with this helicopter. However, it seems affordable, and I am interested to hear if anyone has heard any specific safety or usability issues with this helicopter that would indicate that it may not be safe.
-- A. Green, May 4, 2010
There is a beautiful full-down autorotaion with pilot narration performed in a Mosquito on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQrrNR-3aYc (Please excuse the mess above. I have no idea how to post a working link on this forum) But please think long and hard before you climb into one of these kit crafts. It's your life, you know!
-- Mark Dalton, May 5, 2010
It all depends on what you want to do. If flying for fun, then one of these homebuilts may work (although there are increased safety risks and potential downtime due to parts availability. Every homebuilt is as good as his builder is. If your goal is to become a professional helicopter pilot the traditional way (PPL-H --> CPL --> CFI), then Robinsons are the way to go. Simply because they are everywhere, and your chances to get hired are higher. Remember, to instruct in R22 you must have certain number of hours in type, not just hours in "some" helicopter. Even if flying for fun, R22 is a better choice, simply because it's a factory-built product made in thousands of copies.
-- Arik Semagin, November 14, 2021