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What Made You Choose Rotor Wing Over Fixed Wing?


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After four flights in an airplane, what can I say?,...I just didn't enjoy it.

 

Demo flight in a 22, he picks it up into a two foot hover, I look around and think to myself, "this is awesome!". Two months later I'm a Private Chopper Pilot!

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I didn’t want to be responsible for 200+ people seating behind me…

 

That, and the freedom helicopters provided (which has changed over the years)......

Edited by Spike
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After four flights in an airplane, what can I say?,...I just didn't enjoy it.

Demo flight in a 22, he picks it up into a two foot hover, I look around and think to myself, "this is awesome!". Two months later I'm a Private Chopper Pilot!

How many days a week did you fly to earn your license in two months?

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How many days a week did you fly to earn your license in two months?

Let's just say it was definitely a full-time experience. I was at the school pretty much every day whether it be for flight, ground, or to study for the written. Many times it was flight lesson, ground lesson, computer practice exams, lunch, flight lesson, go home and study.

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Helicopters tend to require the pilot to always be flying the machine, not George.

Which brings up an interesting trivia question...

Why are autopilots named "George" ?

 

In answer to OP question...dual rated.

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My father and uncle were airline pilots, older brother was chopper pilot, brother-in-law was bomber pilot, I asked for choppers or fighters, and got choppers.

 

Still ended up doing about 1500 hrs flying jets, but stayed in choppers in the civilian world. Probably because I was too bone-lazy to sit for the ATPL exams.

 

Avbug said:

 

 

Most non-IFR fixed wing flying involves hand flying, too.

Yes, but the plane is stable and wants to fly, and it will only crash if the pilot interferes with it. A helicopter is unstable, and designed to crash, and it is only the amazing co-ordinated skills of the intelligent, good-looking dude holding the cyclic that stops it from crashing. Unless he relaxes too much...

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Which brings up an interesting trivia question...

Why are autopilots named "George" ?

In answer to OP question...dual rated.

Because your CFI becomes "Bob" when training a new cfi...gotta keep em straight

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My father and uncle were airline pilots, older brother was chopper pilot, brother-in-law was bomber pilot, I asked for choppers or fighters, and got choppers.

 

Still ended up doing about 1500 hrs flying jets, but stayed in choppers in the civilian world. Probably because I was too bone-lazy to sit for the ATPL exams.

 

Avbug said:

 

Yes, but the plane is stable and wants to fly, and it will only crash if the pilot interferes with it. A helicopter is unstable, and designed to crash, and it is only the amazing co-ordinated skills of the intelligent, good-looking dude holding the cyclic that stops it from crashing. Unless he relaxes too much...

That's why there aren't any mirrors in helicopters.

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That's awesome! Do you fly both commercially or recreational?

 

I am a military helicopter instructor pilot. I am a civilian FW CFII.

 

Both kinds. Country and Western.

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I think the George thing came from the commonwealth. I thought it referred to a member of parliament, but it might be from the eponymous WWII-era movie.

 

I came up through the military, and there's only a few airframes out there in that line of work that are regularly hand flown, and the helicopters are nearly all hand flown, though that is changing. There are certainly niche aviation markets out there where an airplane pilot can make a living moving the stick and rudder. I am learning to fly the Taylorcraft I bought, and I love the thing. It does require some work to fly, but in cruise flight I can basically fly it with rudders and throttle only.

 

I've talked to a few folks that have quite a diversified resume, and from what I've been told the best flying around is helicopters and floatplanes. Hoping to find out about the float flying next summer.

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Wanted to make a livable wage earlier than fixed wing would have allowed. And I wanted to be home every night, which fixed wing also wouldn't allow.

 

 

That really depends on the fixed wing job.

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Yes, but the plane is stable and wants to fly, and it will only crash if the pilot interferes with it.

 

That really depends on the airplane. A little broader experience will prove otherwise.

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I think the George thing came from the commonwealth. I thought it referred to a member of parliament, but it might be from the eponymous WWII-era movie.

 

 

You are on the right track.

When autopilot controls came into use by Britain, King George and the monarchy officially owned the aircraft the autopilots were installed in.

So the banter amongst the pilots was "let George fly it", or "give it to George".

Hence the autopilot became referred to as "George".

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The autopilot was first demonstrated publicly in 1914 by the inventor, Lawrence Sperry, who showed it off at a demo in France in a Curtis C-2 biplane by doing a flyby while standing on the wing, to show that no one was in the cockpit. His research and invention/development was underwritten by the US Navy, who funded the effort.

 

Some have incorrectly identified George DeBeeson as the reason that some call autopilots "george," though DeBeeson's patent application didn't come until much later, in 1929. It's ironic that Sperry died in 1923 during an instrument flight across the English channel. There are other stories about the reference "george" (though I can't recall hearing anyone refer to an autopilot as "george" in an automated cockpit in decades). A popular one is reference to an old radio program, "Let George Do It!' Another is the reference to RAF crews, though by the time the RAF had them, autopilots were in use elsewhere, and the US Navy had been using them functionally for some time.

 

Don't forget US Navy Lt. Patrick Bellinger, who was the first man (other than Sperry in developmental flying) to fly in a Sperry Autopilot aircraft, and also the first to cross the Atlantic in an aircraft, who called the autopilot "george." Bellinger had a name for the autopilot, instead of simply referring to it as a piece of equipment, insinuating another person in the cockpit. Bellinger's transatlantic flight was in 1918.

 

For many years, the standard flight director was the Sperry style, which resembles two crossed deviation indicators like an ILS, rather than the banana style that's more popular today.

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