Something Completely Different
Here's something you don't see every day. We, at Screaming Circuits, have had folks jump on a commercial airplane and fly here from another state to pick up boards we've assembled for them, but we've never had a personal helicopter land in our back yard to to pick up an order. But then, our back yard has buildings in it and behind that, trees, so it's not as if there's a lot of room for a helicopter to set down.
Our board fab partner, Sunstone Circuits, had just that happen the other day with customer Robert Ford. You can find more details on their Facebook page, but here's the video they posted of the happening. Sometimes even overnight shipping is not fast enough. Now that is an eager customer!
If I'm not mistaken, that's a Robinson R44 he's flying. There are two variants of the R44 with the difference being fuel injection verses a carburetor. The fuel injected version has just a slightly higher payload and quite a bit higher hover ceiling. The important stats; range and cruising speed are nearly identical at 135/130 mph (117/113 kts) and 350 miles range (no reserve) for both. I believe the FAA requires minimum reserve is 30 minutes for VFR (visual flight rules) operation. That would leave a range of about 285 miles. When I was flying, I preferred an hour, as did most pilots I knew. That would leave a range of 220 miles.
The point of origin was Chehalis-Centralia Airport (CLS), Washington. Sunstone is just about close enough to be in the landing pattern for Mulino State Airport (4S9), Oregon. The two airports are 89 nautical miles apart, which will take about an hour and a half for both legs. That leaves 42 miles (or about 20 minutes) fuel for a sightseeing trip. I'd take that.
Carburators man. That's what life is all about.