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Old 07-11-2019, 06:36 AM   #1
sirrah
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Default Question about flying modern helicopters

Lately I've been flying the Huey a lot (in VR), but handling this bird got me wondering the following:

How do modern helicopters compare to the UH-1 when it comes to handling the controls? In the Huey you are constantly making control inputs to keep the thing steady, especially at low speeds or hover. Sometimes it feels like I'm stirring in a big pot of soup

Do modern helicopters still need this much of controls input, just to keep it steady?

I'd expect nowadays that these actions are taken over by flight control computers just like in fly by wire aircraft, but as far as I know, fly by wire still hasn't been implemented in modern helicopters.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:51 PM   #2
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I'd expect nowadays that these actions are taken over by flight control computers just like in fly by wire aircraft, but as far as I know, fly by wire still hasn't been implemented in modern helicopters.
One is the italian NH90, the first european helicopter full Fly-by-Wire.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:06 PM   #3
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One is the italian NH90, the first european helicopter full Fly-by-Wire.
Ah ok. So if it uses fly by wire it must have something lile a flightcontrol computer, does this mean it also has autopilot (auto-hover) functionality?
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:48 PM   #4
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Modern Helicopter looks like NH-90, Super Puma, EC-145,CH-53GS have an Fully 4 Axis Autopilot incl. Auto Hover funktion
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirrah View Post
Lately I've been flying the Huey a lot (in VR), but handling this bird got me wondering the following:

How do modern helicopters compare to the UH-1 when it comes to handling the controls? In the Huey you are constantly making control inputs to keep the thing steady, especially at low speeds or hover. Sometimes it feels like I'm stirring in a big pot of soup
I think what you are describing is pilot induced oscillations, have a look at this video


While helicopters are dynamically unstable in the hover, you shouldn't be moving the controls constantly. Try establishing a stable hover - then if you keep the controls steady, it shouldn't go anywhere, but this will only last for a few seconds before correction is needed. Things get easier the less you move them.

I'm almost done with my helicopter PPL, the first thing my instructor always mentions after lifting is "stop moving the cyclic!!" I don't even realise I'm doing it..
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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One is the italian NH90, the first european helicopter full Fly-by-Wire.
Do other european NH90s not have a Fly-By-Wire? I would have thought such fundamental systems would be the same across all users?
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:25 PM   #7
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It never went into production, but the RAH-66 Comanche had fly by wire.

I think there is a modern version of the specops "Littlebird" advanced prototype that features both fly by wire and even the ability to operate as a drone flying some by autopilot commands and by an operator handflying from satellite comms. I have no idea if this is in service, I think it's likely still in R+D or testing phase. Boeing is/was testing this. The idea was they could do all the normal missions, but if the situation was extreme, they could run it unmanned to fly supplies into a hot LZ, if the expectation of being shot down was unacceptably high but felt the flight too important not to do. Think there was a full glass cockpit aand the ability to use Hellfire among other things.

Here's a bit of info:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_AH-6

hmm, no mention there of FBW systems... but I'm certain that I read somewhere else that they had a FBW system running on a prototype variant...

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Old 07-12-2019, 08:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by QuiGon View Post
Do other european NH90s not have a Fly-By-Wire? I would have thought such fundamental systems would be the same across all users?
I don't know, I'm only sure about the Italian version because an aircraft carrier pilot boasted the feature, but I think the other European states that use it, are also in possession of the same version.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:40 PM   #9
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Every NH-90 has FBW... you develop not 2 different steering conecpts in one model….
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kam View Post
I think what you are describing is pilot induced oscillations, have a look at this video


While helicopters are dynamically unstable in the hover, you shouldn't be moving the controls constantly. Try establishing a stable hover - then if you keep the controls steady, it shouldn't go anywhere, but this will only last for a few seconds before correction is needed. Things get easier the less you move them.

I'm almost done with my helicopter PPL, the first thing my instructor always mentions after lifting is "stop moving the cyclic!!" I don't even realise I'm doing it..
Interesting stuff
I must say my "stirring the pot" has gone from erratic stirring, to minor input adjustments and I reckon with a little more practice I'll be holding the controls steady.
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