I think it is perfect for operations such as air ambulence, search and rescue, and oil rig offshore transports.
Again, it's going to be too expensive to be appealing to these types of operators. An air ambulance operator can buy and operate 3-4 helicoptors for the same as one 609. It won't work for SAR because it it just isn't designed for that mission. Offshore operators aren't very interested because it doesn't have the payload capability to justify the costs.
The only other area I think it would be successful in would be in certain locations such as NY/Boston charters. There is a helicopter company up around the north east that is now doing helicopter airline service. I think this aircraft Could end up being a more cost effective solution than the larger turbine, twin turbine, helicopters they would currently have to operate. It could also increase their range and speed across routes.
Maybe, but probably not. Because the executive configuration of the 609 is only six seats. Costs wise I don't see it. The other problem is in the Post 9/11 world, there have been more and more restrictions placed on heliports and heli ops in Manhattan, Boston, and other major metro areas.
As far as being expensive, they are priced at 8-10 million. When compared to the King Air 200- 350's they are 5 million and a Bell 430 is 6 million. It is not to much more to get performance equal to having two aircraft in one.
A King Air 200-350 carries more payload for alot
less, and a 430 or S-76 can carry 6-8 people for less as well. And the operators of 430/S-76 class helicopters are the operators of Gulfstream, Global Ex, etc., type aircraft...and it is still more cost effective for them to have a 6 mil. 430/S-76, a 5 mil. King Air, and their Big Iron....
I have heard that one of the major reasons helicopters are more maintenance expensive is due to having life limit parts and not time limit parts. (If a part has a life limit of 1 year then it must be replaced even if it has 0 hours on it that year) Can anyone verify this?
All very true. Helicopters are very, very maintenance intensive, with both time due and life limited components i.e. components with time/cycle limits at which upon reaching must be inspected/overhauled, or replaced.
The V-22/609 technology is fantastic...but the 609 is just too expensive to purchase and operate versus existing market offerings. And the Rotorwing market speaks for itself....Look at low number of orders for the 609 compared to the fat order books and demand growth of current Bell, Augusta, Eurocopter, Sikorsky models and future variants.