AP modes on HOTAS = incorrect usage? - ED Forums
 


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Old 05-07-2020, 04:25 PM   #1
X-31_VECTOR
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Default AP modes on HOTAS = incorrect usage?

After only a handful of hours in the KA-50, I decided I needed the four autopilot modes (Pitch Dampener/Hold, Bank Dampener/Hold, Lateral Dampener/Hold and Altitude Hold) mapped to my HOTAS. I've also read that advice multiple times on this forum.

Except... in the real aircraft, those buttons are positioned such that the pilot could only manipulate them by taking his right hand off the cyclic (or reaching across with the left hand, but that seems unlikely). This makes me think that if I need these buttons on the HOTAS, I am probably using these modes incorrectly.

Are RL pilots -- or for that matter any of you more experienced KA-50 simmers -- only setting these modes on the ground before flight? Or only changing them when the aircraft is well trimmed such that taking the hand from the cyclic is no big deal? Any advice/guidance much appreciated!
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Old 05-07-2020, 04:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-31_VECTOR View Post
After only a handful of hours in the KA-50, I decided I needed the four autopilot modes (Pitch Dampener/Hold, Bank Dampener/Hold, Lateral Dampener/Hold and Altitude Hold) mapped to my HOTAS. I've also read that advice multiple times on this forum.



Except... in the real aircraft, those buttons are positioned such that the pilot could only manipulate them by taking his right hand off the cyclic (or reaching across with the left hand, but that seems unlikely). This makes me think that if I need these buttons on the HOTAS, I am probably using these modes incorrectly.



Are RL pilots -- or for that matter any of you more experienced KA-50 simmers -- only setting these modes on the ground before flight? Or only changing them when the aircraft is well trimmed such that taking the hand from the cyclic is no big deal? Any advice/guidance much appreciated!
I turn them in before take off. As tought in the training.

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Old 05-07-2020, 04:30 PM   #3
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I turn them in before take off. As tought in the training.
Thanks. And do you generally keep all four modes engaged for the entire flight/mission?
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Old 05-07-2020, 04:39 PM   #4
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Thanks. And do you generally keep all four modes engaged for the entire flight/mission?
Not the altitude hold one. That depends on what I'm doing.

EDIT: And I have them mapped on a macro keyboard, not on stick, with individual key lighting, so they the keys are light blue for easy reference.

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Old 05-07-2020, 04:40 PM   #5
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You can hold your cyclic by left hand in real choper.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:49 PM   #6
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to be honest I think those AP buttons get pressed maybe twice within the entire flight by a real KA50 pilot.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:12 PM   #7
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Press and hold the trimmer button to temporarily disengage the autopilot inputs while you maneuver. When you release the trim button you have given new targets for the autopilot.
If you want to do a lot of maneuvering without using the Autopilot, and still want the stabilization modes engaged, activate the FLT DIR button next to the 4 channel buttons.
The altitude hold channel needs a reference for the autopilot to input corrections. In the real aircraft that's associated with the friction lock lever on the collective. The pilot releases the friction lock by pressing the lever, and this temporarily disengages the altitude hold channel. They are now able to move the collective. When the lever is released again (friction lock engaged), the new altitude is used as referenced for altitude hold.

Since I have no easy way to recreate that functionality, I just leave altitude hold off.

Last edited by randomTOTEN; 05-07-2020 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:06 PM   #8
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Understood, and many thanks all. I'll keep Flight Director mapped to my HOTAS, but will treat the individual channel buttons as essentially pre-flight items.

Regarding altitude hold, am I understanding correctly that using the collective brake will disengage the channel while the collective is being moved, in much the same way that the trim switch disengages the other channels (except for damping) temporarily while the cyclic is repositioned? Thus, it's possible to keep Altitude Hold engaged (referenced to either RADALT or barometric) but still climb and descend normally using the collective brake?
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:26 PM   #9
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I think you can try removing the Flight Director from the HOTAS map too. It's only a quick glance to press it, and you will either have autopilot control engaged, or else have the helicopter trimmed and stabilized (ready to resume autopilot control) anyways when you are ready to press it.


Quote:
am I understanding correctly that using the collective brake will disengage the channel while the collective is being moved
here's what the manual says for the collective brake lever. I'm not entirely sure how it exactly functions.
Quote:
Collective brake - Assign altitude lever [F]. This lever serves two functions:


o Press this lever to disengage the collective stick brake before moving
the stick. The brake is needed to prevent the stick from moving due
to vibration or casual touch.


o Once the brake has been released and a signal is sent to the
navigation system, the lever can be used to assign a new altitude
when using the altitude hold flight mode.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:05 AM   #10
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The collective brake [F] have basically same functionality in regards of the altitude hold as the trim button on the cyclic towards the other channels (except no "recentering of the stick").
Before altitude changes, press and hold the button. When >stabilized< on the new altitude/height, release the button.
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