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Helicopter flying is completely different from flying a fixed-wing aircraft and thus requires different skills.

Helicopter controls?

Postby VicMar » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:35 pm

Hi,
Is there a helicopter controls manual anywhere?

I know they are not easy to fly, but it is extremely difficult if you don't know which keys to press as well.

Any help would be welcomed, like how do you stop the helicopter spinning when you finally manage to lift it off the ground? What is the knack to hovering? etc.

Best regards,
Vic

:?:
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Re: Helicopter controls?

Postby Jester » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:48 pm

VicMar wrote:Is there a helicopter controls manual anywhere?

Any help would be welcomed, like how do you stop the helicopter spinning when you finally manage to lift it off the ground? What is the knack to hovering? etc. :?:
See Flying the helicopter on the wiki.

You stop it from spinning by using rudder.
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Postby VicMar » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:25 pm

That's why I need the Manual - where is the rudder?
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Re: Helicopter controls?

Postby cycloneengine » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:05 am

Thanks, but the "training link" was useless.

Grab the "collect?" Great!! What is the key commands for the collect!! Rudder petals? Throttle??
There is NO list ANYWHERE for corresponding keys for flying a helicopter.
Joystick? Fly a helicopter.wiki?? Useless:
“The (joy)stick controls two of them, “cyclic blade control”and the “collective blade control”,
Tell me how a joystick controls the collective if it’s the cyclic?
Are there any key commands at all for a helicopter????
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Re: Helicopter controls?

Postby Omega » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:45 am

Don't get upset, first of all if you realized, the LAST post on this thread was on April 2008, 3 years ago -
and also the links in the Flightgear wiki have been changed since then, here's a new link: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Flying_the_helicopter .

Helicopter Flight Dynamics in FG are much more realistic and closer to real life compared to other flight simulators for instance the throttle/collective in
FG is reversed like in real life while in other simulators it's just normal.
Be patient, learning to fly a helicopter in FG takes time, and try to practice as much as you can.
The engine is the heart of an aeroplane, but the pilot is its soul.
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Re: Helicopter controls?

Postby someguy » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:50 am

Trying to fly a heli with the keyboard is guaranteed frustration. It's not impossible, but it just barely works and isn't much fun. You're unlikely to get over the initial learning hump without giving up. Please, do yourself a big favor and buy a joystick with a throttle lever and twist rudder, or you'll just make yourself angry.

Even with a decent stick, it's still hard to learn to fly helis. Some of them are much, much harder to fly than others, so try them all. The R44 Raven is probably a good place to start, since its automatic stabilization works pretty well. The EC135 is much more capable and nimble, but only with the auto controls disabled. The Huey is not a good one for beginners, unless you enjoy losing control and crashing without understanding why. The Bo105 is very twitchy and sensitive, also not a good training heli.

In addition to the wiki, read some of the links to general helicopter theory of operation. Tips for flying real helis work in FG, too.
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Re: Helicopter controls?

Postby Thorsten » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:05 am

Grab the "collect?" Great!! What is the key commands for the collect!! Rudder petals? Throttle??
There is NO list ANYWHERE for corresponding keys for flying a helicopter.


Strange... How on earth did I learn it from the Wiki then? Must have been divine intervention.

Joystick? Fly a helicopter.wiki?? Useless:
“The (joy)stick controls two of them, “cyclic blade control”and the “collective blade control”,
Tell me how a joystick controls the collective if it’s the cyclic?


Reading is apparently an art, not a given.

What the wiki says is The (joy)stick controls two of them, the inclination of the rotor disc (and thus the inclination of the helicopter) to the right/left and forwards/back. Together these functions are called “cyclic blade control”. Next there is the “collective blade control”, which is controlled by the thrust controller.

It's easy to tell you how a joystick controls the collective - it doesn't, it says quite explicitly that the thrust controller does that.


Are there any key commands at all for a helicopter????


The usual ones. PgUp and PgDown control the collective (with the action reversed from engine control - PgDn gives you *more* upward thrust). I'd use mouse for cyclic blade control, but if you really mean it, the cursor arrows should do the trick. As for tail rotor control, I usually do this with mouse as well, but the default rudder keys should do that (forgot what they are - I altered that in my system - but the key binding help should be useful here).

In any case, remember not to use auto-coordination, that quickly leads to desaster.
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Re: Helicopter controls?

Postby VicMar » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:23 am

Hi cycloneengine ,

As you probably saw, I started this thread when I was trying to learn helicopter skills. Like you I don't have a joystick, so mouse and keyboard control was needed.

First of all, read all the helicopter stuff mentioned in the above messages, then when you are ready to try, here are a few tips:
1. After you have started the engine and let it run up to speed, hit the 'h' to give you the HUD, then alter the view downwards until you can see the long/lat at the top. This helps when you try flying somewhere.

2. Then change to the outside rear heli/chase view (use 'v').

3. Your collective is the throttle, but in helis it operates upside down, so page down = angle blades to increase lift, and page up = angle blades to reduce lift. You can see how much it moves towards the left on the HUD.

4. For rudder, left-click and hold down your mouse to go left or right. Keyboard rudder is '0' (zero) =left on your keypad, and right = enter key on keypad. The amount of rudder is shown near the bottom of the HUD. On some helis you need quite a lot of rudder to prevent the heli turning whilst still on the ground. Remember to let the mouse up to use the other controls. Also remember to centre the rudder once you are under way.

5. For take-off, apply collective in very small steps. If you wack collective up the heli is likely to start a suicidal spin. Don't be in a hurry to fly away. Try to hover whilst gradually gaining a little height.

6. For landing: Your heli needs to be as close to stationary as possible. Most helis will allow a little forward travel when landing, but definitely no sideways movement or you will tip over.

7. As you approach for a landing, you need to pull back on your mouse at the same time as reducing the lift (page up). This takes a fair bit of practice to master as you will find your heli either wants to climb, or piles into the ground (depending on which control you overused).

8. Get used to take-offs and landings before you go for a trip around the airport. Try to land exactly where you chose rather than anywhere you can put it down.

9. I am currently mastering landing on the top of Lighthouses (with helipads). There are also some Oil Rig Platforms in the North Sea with helipads.

10. Be patient. Learning to fly helis in FG is quite challenging. Don't give up and let us know if/when you have success.

I hope the above helps.

Cheers,
Vic
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