Effective Translational Lift

When students first learn to fly helicopters, one of the first things they often notice is a slight shudder that occurs when the helicopter is flying at about 15 knots. This vibration is followed by a change in flight characteristics. The nose rises and the aircraft rolls slightly right as the efficiency of the air… Continue reading Effective Translational Lift

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Is Weight and Balance Important in Helicopters?

The reality of helicopter flying is that most missions are local, VFR, and low altitude leading many pilots to shortcut through the pre-flight planning stage. Unlike most fixed wing flights, helicopters pilots rarely do a proper weight and balance unless they work for an operation that requires it, but does the weight and balance really… Continue reading Is Weight and Balance Important in Helicopters?

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What is Autoroation?

Autoraotion occurs when the relative wind is used to turn the rotor blades. Under normal flight conditions, the rotor system is powered by the engine. If the engine fails, a special clutch will disconnect the rotor system from the engine in order to allow the rotors to continue spinning. The helicopter blades will use the… Continue reading What is Autoroation?

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Helicopter Tail Rotors

First time students often wonder why helicopters have tail rotors. The tail rotor system seems an unusual feature especially for fixed-wing pilots, but it serves a critically important function. The tail rotor creates a thrust to counter the torque which is created by the main rotor system, or blades, of the craft. This helps to… Continue reading Helicopter Tail Rotors

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New Aftermarket Autopilot for R44

Cool City Avionics has released a new aftermarket autopilot for R44 and R66 helicopters. The nits start at $40,000 and run upwards of $80,000 based on options. One popular option is “Orbit Mode” which allows the helicopter to follow a 360-degree path. This is exciting news for recreational pilots. Previous to the announcement, only multimillion… Continue reading New Aftermarket Autopilot for R44