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autorotation argument


Energi2er
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my brother is in to planes and im in to helis. Our main argument is autorotation, he says planes can glide down safely when the engine fails, helicoopters cant. I tried to explain to him that helis are just as safe because they can autorotate. He says that it is not possible to land safely that way because without an engine there is no centrivical force to make the blades strong enough to hold the weight of the aircraft. And that falling does not provide enough airflow to keep the blades spinning fast enough to slow down the heli anyway.

 

What can I tell him to convince him that an auto can save your life (as long as the pilot reacts in time) just like glliding a plane.

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Its not an argument....its a fact of aerodynamics. Its not like autos are a theory! If it wasnt possible, we wouldnt practice full down autos now would we!?

 

Falling is exactly what keeps the blades spinning, by using the air coming up through the rotor system. Being a helo and fixed wing pilot, I can tell you each has its benefits and drawbacks. A helo, your going to land "right there" but you dont need much room. An airplane, yeah you can glide a little (depending on the aircraft) but you still need a suitable runway....ie. a street, field and you are going to land doing about 65 knots forward...that can be a sudden stop depending on where you chose to land.

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Flying Pig is correct, it's a simple matter of aerodynamics. I also fly fixed-wing as well and depending on the situation, I would probably prefer an engine out in a helicopter than an airplane...that is unless I was back in something with an ejection seat.

 

The simple way to settle the discussion is to take him out and do (or have someone do) an autorotation with him.

 

Doug

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The biggest advantage in a helicopter is, you can end your autorotation with zero groundspeed, zero vertical descent. You can land very safely in a tiny spot. (if executed right) That's also where the problems with fixed wing lies, groundspeed. You'll always have at least 40-50 knots of forward speed when you touchdown. (SEL)

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Just explain to your brother that a helicopter rotor is merely an airplane wing travelling in a circle. The same forces which keep an airplane (or glider) moving forward through the air while gliding keep the rotor spinning while autorotating. Find some video of autogyros and gyrocopters - there's nothing but air keeping those rotors spinning, exactly like an autorotating helicopter.

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Cut to the chase: wager $55(or whatever $) for him to experience the half hour of autos in person and that he'll come out alive and unscathed...if you win, you won the $ and he loses; If you lose, well...um...he loses too. At least you won't come out any less than even. :P

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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I like arotrhd's thinking... I'm going to remember that next time I get into an argument with stuck-wing brethren. :P

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well no matter what I say I cant convince him. I told him its the same thing as a plane gliding only the wings rotate so the craft can decend instead of the craft moving forward to stay in the air. He just doesnt understand. But it completely makes sense to me.

 

So now we have a bet (gentlemens bet, no money on it. but good idea arotrhd). so I asked him if he would get in a heli for an auto to prove that he would live through it. Hell no.. too scared. He said you do it and I will watch safely from the ground.

 

SO.... Doug..

 

This is Charles, I talked to you the other day on the phone about High Sierra, Did you get the 300CB yet?

 

We are in Pollock pines which is just over the river and through the woods from the airport I went up there and saw your pretty blue R22 sittin there and I talked to someone in the office who gave me your number.

 

Anyway in order to settle this bet.. Is it possible for you or your CFI to take me up and autorotate so my brother can watch me live through it? and how much would you charge? Just please dont kill me cuz I really dont wanna lose the bet if ya know what I mean.

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SO.... Doug..

 

This is Charles, I talked to you the other day on the phone about High Sierra, Did you get the 300CB yet?

 

We are in Pollock pines which is just over the river and through the woods from the airport I went up there and saw your pretty blue R22 sittin there and I talked to someone in the office who gave me your number.

 

Anyway in order to settle this bet.. Is it possible for you or your CFI to take me up and autorotate so my brother can watch me live through it? and how much would you charge? Just please dont kill me cuz I really dont wanna lose the bet if ya know what I mean.

 

Charles,

 

Give me a call and we can set up a flight so that your brother can see what an autorotation is all about. I'll be at the Georgetown airport most of the day on Thursday and there is some pretty poor cell coverage there, but leave a message and I'll get back with you.

 

We'll let him watch from the ground and then we'll strap him in and let him see first hand what an autorotation is all about.

 

Doug

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Dang dude, your brother won't even get into a helo??!!! I was thinking you had a sure win and might share some of the cash with me. I really have to ask with his obviously IRRATIONAL fear, has he had a plane off of the runway yet or does he just taxi around? Flybull nailed this one.

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

 

 

Oh, OH, OH...I know what it is... he's really afraid that the heli might really be able to fly BACKWARDS and he can't do that in a plank. And you mean to say that a helicopter can suspend itself in mid-air, AND BE MOTIONLESS TOO??? Then it really can't be safe if it's that much fun. Yep. You really need to find out if he was adopted.

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Guest pokey

Here is a video on my website of a full-on auto being performed by the guy that taught me how to fly helicopters. Its right on the 1st page-so you cant miss it. :)

 

www.laitlatool.com

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Here is a video on my website of a full-on auto being performed by the guy that taught me how to fly helicopters. Its right on the 1st page-so you cant miss it. :)

 

www.laitlatool.com

 

That is the scariest video ever. It looks like the rotor has completely stopped moving. Obviously, this can't be the case but it's sure to scare the uninitiated.

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Guest pokey
That is the scariest video ever. It looks like the rotor has completely stopped moving. Obviously, this can't be the case but it's sure to scare the uninitiated.

 

"well, ya kinda haftah hit the rotor brake @ just the precise moment" !! :lol: ( DO NOT hit the rotor brake in flight--i was Just kidding) !! Full on autos are NOT to be taken lightly--they ARE scary for the uninitiated ! I used to do some skydiving & work on the jump planes years ago, the videos that they took & showed the students too? they would say "glad we got a parachute !- the propeller stops in all the videos" ! B)

 

 

Its too bad the quality of computer videos is not yet up to what we can watch on tv :( & BTW? that was shot w/ a sony mavica,,, remember those?

 

The outcome of the auto is what we should be concerned with tho, still up on skids, rotors turning & able to lift off w/ out the aid of a forklift :rolleyes:

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Spot 6 wasn't it? And who was that fine-looking lad with the big grin at the end of the ride? Darn if those ag-turn autos aren't fun, though. That helo sounded like good old 2039Y - loudest transmission in the fleet...

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Spot 6 wasn't it? And who was that fine-looking lad with the big grin at the end of the ride?

 

 

Looks like spot 6 yes...The guy flying is Chris, he was one of the CFI teamleaders/stagecheck pilots down there about two years ago. Did my commercial stagecheck with him, he's a darn good pilot!! From what i've heard he moved on to ERA later though......

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Depends on what helicopter and what fixed wing.

 

R-22 vs SE Cessna or maule/supercub like = F/W wins

 

R-22 vs B-727 = R-22 wins

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Depends on what helicopter and what fixed wing.

 

R-22 vs SE Cessna or maule/supercub like = F/W wins

 

R-22 vs B-727 = R-22 wins

I'd like to see you do a engine out landing in a C-210 into nothing more than a hover hole. Unless you've got something relatively flat and smooth for the roll out, I'll take a helicopter any day of the week and twice on Sundays. That is unless I'm back in the F-4 with a Martin-Baker ejection seat and the nylon elevator to take me to the ground floor.

 

Doug

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Looks like spot 6 yes...The guy flying is Chris, he was one of the CFI teamleaders/stagecheck pilots down there about two years ago. Did my commercial stagecheck with him, he's a darn good pilot!! From what i've heard he moved on to ERA later though......

 

 

Totally unsolicited response, but thanks. To whom shall I write the check? I am with Era and I've got further proof autos work in the real world should your brother require it.

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I'd like to see you do a engine out landing in a C-210 into nothing more than a hover hole. Unless you've got something relatively flat and smooth for the roll out, I'll take a helicopter any day of the week and twice on Sundays. That is unless I'm back in the F-4 with a Martin-Baker ejection seat and the nylon elevator to take me to the ground floor.

 

Doug

 

Have you ever auto'ed in an R-22?

 

<300ft = crash, if youre lucky you walk away

 

+500ft = you will never hit a hover hole without a wreck, they run on and have no protection in front

 

If you have dropped into 200 ft and landed in a 206 cessna thats about what it takes to auto an R-22 (done both many times). Or you can pancake into the side of a hill, any hill you choose in a f/w. I have seen F/W "hit" a hover hole and the pilot/pass walk away OK on a hillside.

 

After chasing a fleet of heli's with a Maule/PA12 in the bush for years we got in on more than a few mishaps, right seat and left - all depends on the aircraft and situation.

Kind regards, Mark

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How about if one does a steep flare in a fixed wing and stalls just before he hits the treetops? He'd basically end up going straght down, wouldn't he?

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