I have been a flight instructor for almost five years now and have done over 1,500 hours of flight instruction in all types of aircraft. In that time I have had many students who were nervous about flying and I have always told them what I tell everyone: “The best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about how aircraft fly – the more you know about why we are able to fly, the less scary it will be when things don’t go according to plan.”
The problem is that most people think that learning to fly is too difficult or complicated. However, most people actually already know how an airplane works; they just don’t realize it. Think about it: if you’ve ever seen a plane take off, then you should be able to explain how a plane flies based on what you saw. If you’ve ever ridden in a plane, then you probably understand even more about how planes fly.
So let’s get started…
Aircraft control is achieved by changing the speed and direction of airflow over the wings. There are several ways that this can be accomplished: by changing the wing shape (flaps), by changing the angle at which the wing meets the oncoming air (ailerons), and by changing the amount of thrust produced
Forget what you know about flying. Forget that you’ve flown a million times already and on every flight, the plane has managed to take off, fly for a few hours and then land again safely.
Put all of that out of your mind because, as a student helicopter pilot, you are about to learn what it’s really like to fly. You are going to be in control of a machine that can fly at 100mph and hover effortlessly above the ground. You will gain an understanding of how helicopters work and how they differ from airplanes. You will learn how to operate this amazing machine and how to keep it safe.
Most importantly though, you will learn why flying is so much fun!
One of the most frequent questions I am asked is, “What helicopter do you recommend for training?” And it’s one of the hardest to answer. Most people have a specific budget in mind that they are willing to spend on their training, and that can vary anywhere from $3,000 to $50,000. So depending on what’s available in your area for different budgets, the answer can change.
I am going to give my personal experiences with learning to fly in three different helicopters: the Robinson R22, the Schweizer 300C and the Bell 206 JetRanger.
The Robinson R-22 is the most popular helicopter used for flight training. The reason it’s so popular is because it’s cheap. That being said, I personally would not recommend this helicopter for learning how to fly. It’s not an easy machine to learn in. It flies fast, it has a short rotor system, which means you have to be very precise with your movements around the rotor disc or you will start descending quickly.
It uses a collective system instead of cyclic control input (pitch on the cyclic), which makes it hard to recover from poor landings or practice a precision hovering technique. The throttle controls RPM and therefore power, while the collective controls air
I am not a pilot and I can’t teach you how to fly. But I do like flying and I find it fascinating. I wish that more people were engaged by flying. So I’m going to write a series of posts about how to fly, in the hope that people will find them interesting, and maybe this will encourage more people to fly, or at least these posts will give them an idea of what it is like to be a pilot.
Let’s start with the basics.
The first thing you need to know about flying is that it takes place in three dimensions, not two. The earth isn’t flat, so if you want to get somewhere new you have to climb over hills and mountains. This means that airliners travel at high altitudes where there is less weather and less turbulence.
That’s just the beginning though; the earth isn’t just hilly, it’s round. And as you move from place to place, the earth is also rotating underneath you.
These two effects are closely related: if the earth wasn’t round then we wouldn’t have day and night; during one half of each day the sun would shine on one side of the earth and during the other half it would shine on the other side.
The Robinson R22 is a single-engine, light helicopter manufactured by the Robinson Helicopter Company. The two-bladed, single main rotor R22 has been in production since 1979. It is used primarily for private and business flying, flight training, and agricultural applications. As of June 2017, 107 R22s were registered with the FAA, making it the most popular helicopter in the world.
The R22 was designed by Frank Robinson and has been the best selling helicopter in the world for over 30 years. In 2011, over 3,000 R22s had been delivered to customers around the world.
At a typical operating weight of 1,100 pounds (500 kg), a useful load of 500 pounds (230 kg), and a maximum gross weight of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), one of the design criteria for the R22 was to allow it to be transported on a trailer behind a pickup truck or SUV. This objective was achieved through the use of composite material in its rotors blades that allowed them to have a greater surface area than conventional rotors. This allowed for lower disc loading and reduced power requirements at all flight speeds.
When you first fly a helicopter in the real world it can be a very overwhelming experience. You may have been flying in a simulator and feel like you are ready to take on the skies, but nothing compares to the real thing.
In this article I will go over some of the differences between flight simulators and flying in the real world. I will also go over some tips to help you transition from simulator to the real world.
The biggest difference between flying in a simulator and flying in the real world is that you have no visual references. You are not looking at an instrument panel or computer screen. You are looking out at an empty sky and it can be very disorienting at first.
When you are learning to fly a helicopter in the real world, you have to develop your spatial awareness very quickly so that you can control your aircraft properly. This means being able to use your eyes to determine where your aircraft is relative to the ground beneath it and the horizon line above it. Spatial awareness takes time to develop but there are some things that can help speed up this process such as flying with another pilot who has more experience than yourself or using visual references like trees and buildings when they are available.
Another big difference is how sensitive helicopters are compared with airplanes
In the Robinson R22, the controls are connected to the rotor blades by steel cables. As you move the cyclic forward, for example, it pulls on a cable that leads to the rotor head, which causes the blade to tilt forward. As the blade tilts forward, its angle of attack increases and it produces more lift. The change in angle of attack also causes the blade to produce a greater amount of drag (lift is perpendicular to drag). This drag tends to pull the rotor disk forward. The result is that when you push on the cyclic, the rotor disk moves forward.
The R22 has two sets of controls: two for each pilot’s hands and two for each pilot’s feet. Each pilot’s hands have a cyclic control and a collective control. The foot controls are rudder pedals that control yaw and an anti-torque pedal that controls fore-and-aft movement of the tail rotor thrust vector.