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Real helicopter flying and trial lessons

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

Real helicopter flying and trial lessons

Postby Hooray » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:22 pm

Split from: Subject: Graphics Issues and Other Things...

jspcrepair wrote:I want to fly (and/or own) a real heli so bad... I was saying to my GF the other day that it would be a shame to go through
all this FLight Sim and the student manuals and all and only be able to get to fly one if it is an absolute emergency --
Like Dec 21, 2012 is just around the corner so if we get hit by "Zombies", at least I know we can be safe in the air if I can
find a Heli :P :lol:



You could take a trial lesson, about 30-45 minutes for 100-150 USD usually. The only problem is, it will definitely get you hooked ;-)
Last edited by Hooray on Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graphics Issues and Other Things...

Postby jspcrepair » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:49 am

You could take a trial lesson, about 30-45 minutes for 100-150 USD usually. The only problem is, it will definitely get you hooked ;-)


I am already Hooked and haven't even had the first lesson :D
I looked into it... around here... the closest place is Lancaster PA and is $300 per hr for Heli lessons.

I honestly believe I can do it "first run"... I have high confidence in my self for a lot of things... and
After FG... I am that much more confident...

I have heard from real life people who have flown heli's that they are much easier to learn than a plane
and I have heard from Heli pilots that they are easy to learn and fly...
I tried in FG and found it is not that simple... but after my first 12 hours on the EC135 and Huey...
They are right!
After well over 120 hours In FG, I still cannot fly a plane as good as I can fly any Heli in it!

Remember "Top Gun" in the scene when the wannabe pilot was in training and they handed him that
"Bearing Board"...
A Common "Puzzle" type game -- Board on a Stick with a ball bearing in it that passed through a maze...?

That is a common training tool used to help train pilots to keep "Bearing" using only a "Stick"...
I can do it! ... even way before FG, I was able to use that toy and keep the bearing from touching the sides.
I am in my late 40's and am not getting any younger... I want to Fly before I die! (or die doing it) :D

Ever since FG... I have been using the Huey, the EC135, the Mosquito XE, and recently, the "Hind"
and am able to control them all to the point of Lift Off in a straight UP lift off... with no waiver to
the left or right. I tried the M-XE tonight and lifted it like a pro!

I have NO Doubt in a Real Life situation that I could lift and fly with No Problem. Well... maybe a little
side waiver or tilt, but I really believe I could fly one now without any serious problems.

I have always been good at "Hand-Eye Co-ord" and can judge distance and level very well with just the
eyes ... I never fly with "Cockpit Dynamics" on because I am too used to doing it by my self.... like riding
a Motor Cycle... you ahve to keep your head at "Road Level" at all times... I have been doing this ever since
I first rode a cycle in 1984 and tried it in "Ace Combat 3" and it was the same so that is what you have to do
to ride and fly --- keep your S-COG (Sight Center of Gravity) "Level" at all times...

today is the first time I ever flew the Hind and I found that I have been able to do Barrel Rolls, Half Gainer Rolls,
Full G-Force Turns, and End over Ends without any issue...

I can stop on a dime and force "Fast Forward" with the nose directly at the ground... pushing over 400 knots
and stop in 8 seconds to a hover/// land, and walk away.

I have a lot of time on my hands... lol

I have already put in over 120 hours time on FG in only the EC135, Mosquito, Huey, Sik-76C, and now the Hind.

The Sik 76 C is very life like... it not only responds fast... it IS fast!
I still have trouble getting off the ground without a waiver to the side but I can do it and once in the air, I am
good to go!

I Love FG!

Now --- will someone sell me a Ultralight very cheap? LOL

And if I die in it... It was meant to be! --- I won't hold it against anyone 8)
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Re: Graphics Issues and Other Things...

Postby Hooray » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:00 am

Honestly, if you really want to improve your heli-skills, you'll also need a good collective and pedals - there's a very cool thing called "HeliChair": http://heli-chair.com/ which some RC enthusiasts came up with, but which can also be connected to simulators:

Image

It's probably the "cheapest" way to learn helicopter flying basics without spending a fortune on real lessons. Check out this video:
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Re: Real helicopter flying and trial lessons

Postby jspcrepair » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:25 pm

WOW! That is Soooo cool! :D

Judging by the design, a person might be able to put that chair in a real heli by building the rest around it.

I would have never thought of that, and I love to fly RC Heli's.

Thanks for those videos. :)
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Re: Graphics Issues and Other Things...

Postby Groucho » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:06 am

jspcrepair wrote in Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:49 am:I honestly believe I can do it "first run"... I have high confidence in my self for a lot of things... and
After FG... I am that much more confident...
I have heard from real life people who have flown heli's that they are much easier to learn than a plane
and I have heard from Heli pilots that they are easy to learn and fly...
I tried in FG and found it is not that simple... but after my first 12 hours on the EC135 and Huey...
They are right!
After well over 120 hours In FG, I still cannot fly a plane as good as I can fly any Heli in it!


Frankly spoken- forget about this assumption. You might be able to manage a stable hover in the sim but it is not the real thing. The multiple axis coordination in a helicopter mixes here with view and stomach aspects delivering a completely different feeling. Mistakes are not forgiven in the real one which adds to the overall situation.
The sim gives you an idea about it, it trains your reactions in the right direction. But in can not replace the big picture you are confronted with.
What I am trying to say- the overall experience is much more intensive and leads to a limited focus on the current problem only instead of synchronously focusing on all problems at once. If in the sim the helicopter rolls you compensate this with the cyclic and immediately compensate the loss of lift with the pitch (and pedals for the vertical axis) while doing the opposite after being stable again. In real helicopter you notice the roll, work against it but then notice you have to apply pitch (which you do) and then notice the tail turning away pushing the pedals which then...
It leads to a sequence of actions instead of a synchronised approach which you will have to learn again (plus the fact that the control input is much more sensitive as with your joystick or mouse).

This is what I realised right after doing my first flights at the controls of a R22- Sim and reality are different things and it needs training again. Don´t expect to sit in and get it at first attempt.

Chopper instructors always tell people that flying a helicopter is much simpler than an airplane. Yes, once you get in the air at speed and altitude.
Now sit in a plane and try to bring it in the air at an airport- start the engine, taxi to the runway, apply throttle, pull the stick, there you go.
Helicopter: Start the engine. Bring it into the air in a stable hover (challenge 1). Taxi to the runway in ground effect (challenge 2). Turn the nose to the runway. Apply pitch, rudder and cyclic to bring it forward (challenge 3). Gain speed, get up and try not to loose control unless you have reached an appropriate forward speed which makes it more stable. Etc. From this point on the handling is similar (provided no emergency is happening).
Whatever you do in a helicopter- if you´d like to move it you will have to bring it into the air and hover it (at least for the majority of skid based choppers).
In a plane there is not much to care about when it flies- just watch your airspeed. A helicopter has more factors to consider- eg. not to exceed rotor head speed, blade stalls, etc.

The fact is that helicopter flying is more complicated which is somehow compensated by the intensive training- which is the most common argument of instructors. "It is easier because we train you to handle it easily"

So primarily forget about the "I can fly the sim so I can fly real thing too". Believe me. I know what I am talking about :wink:

As for the S76 and the Hind- forget about the realism factor here. The FDM in FG is incomplete. If you want more realism the UH-1 and Bo-105 are most realistic followed by the EC-135 and EC-130. I also consider the R22 as pretty close to the real thing though a few things are missing. Most other helicopters are more on the lower end of the realism side.
_____________________________________
Callsign: D-HARP
Flight locations: TNCM, TKPK, EDNY, LOWI
Aircrafts
Helis: EC130, Bo105, UH-1, R22
Twins/Jets: Aerostar, CRJ-200
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Re: Real helicopter flying and trial lessons

Postby jspcrepair » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:12 am

If you want more realism the UH-1 and Bo-105 are most realistic followed by the EC-135 and EC-130.


I love those the most of all of them... the UH 1 Huey and EC 135 are the first ones I tried and found I could handle best.
I still have trouble sometimes with Blade Stall in the Huey but have been doing much better at it.
The Mosquito XE though is quite realistic from what I have seen in real life of them.
That crazy little Hornet though... there is NO Way I would try to fly a real one... lol
That thing looks dangerous... and the Open Frame "Mosquito Air" - No Way!
I want something around me, even if it is only for a psychological effect of safety.
I prefer the idea of something a little more enclosed as opposed to wide open with me "hanging out there on the ledge"

Oh, I don't doubt that it is difficult... I crashed the UH-1 at least a dozen times just trying to take off.
And I can understand about the "Physical Effects" as well... after a couple hours on the Sim the first few times, when
I got up and walked away... I felt like I was still in front of the thing... a bit shaky and "Sea Legged".
But I don't have too much problems with those sorts of things... I have been in small planes (as a passenger), have
been on quite a few boats, small and large... have been diving and up very high on buildings and near the edge of
cliffs in the mountains I live near, and I get a little dizzying feeling from that but nothing major.

I understand that a Sim can teach basics and give general idea but aren't the real thing... but please don't doubt me
either... I have always been the type of person that has a very keen sense of touch and sight and very good reflexes...
Remember in the movie Top Gun when they handed him that board on a stick with a ball and used it as an Agility
test?... I tried it and found it to be very easy.

I have a very good eye and fast reflexes when it comes to things like that and I have found that I am able to see
even the slightest movement to the left or right while fixing my eyes straight ahead or fixing them on something
like a point on a Windshield brace...

Don't get me wrong... If I were to ever be able to get in the seat of a real Heli... I would not just try to take off...
the very first thing I would do is attempt a very close to the ground hover so I could set it down fast if necessary.

I truly have no doubt that it wouldn't take me long to learn one... My biggest fears are dealing with emergency
scenarios... that is why I am also studying everything I can on "Auto-rotation" and "Settling with Power"...
I can do a fair Auto-rotation but I still cannot get the hang of gaining control in a Vortex situation if low to the ground.

And as for them saying it is easier to learn to fly a heli... I could believe that because from what I know... most plane
accidents by students are in landing.
And hopefully, I wouldn't have to "Taxi" to a runway considering a Helicopter can lift off and land anywhere as long
as there is enough Blade Clearance.

One thing I did find out though - the prices have raised Drastically - just about a month or 2 ago, the site that
sells the Mosquito XE was selling them complete for $23,000 to $26,000... Now they are $32,000!!!
That is Outrageous!

I think I would just attempt building my own if I could get a decent set of plans... I am pretty good at handling tubing
(cutting, bending, welding, etc.) and could probably find the materials for the airframe easily... the Motor, rotors, and
other such materials would be a bit more difficult to get without paying a small fortune for.

Anyhow... thanks for the Input and advise - as long as I know what I am in for, I can be better prepared :)
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Re: Real helicopter flying and trial lessons

Postby Groucho » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:10 am

jspcrepair wrote in Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:12 am:I think I would just attempt building my own if I could get a decent set of plans... I am pretty good at handling tubing
(cutting, bending, welding, etc.) and could probably find the materials for the airframe easily... the Motor, rotors, and
other such materials would be a bit more difficult to get without paying a small fortune for.


Expect an average effort of around 500 hours and more depending on the type of model plus registration and certification. I believe the Mosquito comes as a kit anyway.
There are in fact a few kits out there like the Rotorway Exec/Talon and others.

Anyhow... thanks for the Input and advise - as long as I know what I am in for, I can be better prepared :)


While we are at it talking about costs- Add operational costs to the bill. A R22 might cost around further 5.000 to 10.000$ per year for maintenance plus fuel depending on the hours flown. Judging that the Mosquito is not that complex, a few thousand bucks are realistic. Plus fuel (still not that of an issue in the US I believe).

Educational costs are lower in the US than in Europe. The private helicopter license here is around 25.000-30.000 € which is about 20.000-25.000 $ plus frequent renewal flights, medical, etc. From what I have heard the Mosquito does not need a full helicopter license to be flown in the US. Additionally we are forced to use official landing sites and airports around here, but this is a german specialty and not applicable to the US (and other parts of Europe). So we will have to add more costs for parking and landing fees.

Some flight schools offer what they call Pinch Hitter sessions in which you are instructed and taught to fly without caring about licenses for an hourly fee (usually around 300-400 €/250-350$ for the R22). You can choose how much you want to do and are not being forced to a time schedule.

Another option is to start with fixed wings and then upgrade which is a bit more expensive in the end but you can do it in steps relieving you from financial constraints a bit. In the end you have both for a slight amount of higher costs.

Another seriously meant proposal- if you can live with something in between helicopter and aircraft aft first, take a look at gyrocopters/autogyros. I know it is not the real thing but not that far away and much cheaper in the short and long run. Only 1/4th of the whole costs. Just think about it and take it as an advice. Helicopter pilots usually do not take this seriously but I do as it in fact has some advantages besides costs.
_____________________________________
Callsign: D-HARP
Flight locations: TNCM, TKPK, EDNY, LOWI
Aircrafts
Helis: EC130, Bo105, UH-1, R22
Twins/Jets: Aerostar, CRJ-200
User avatar
Groucho
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:28 am
Location: Airborne Lake Constance/Germany
Callsign: D-HARP
Version: GIT
OS: Kubuntu


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