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Good youtube tutorial, how to fly helicopter?


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On 4/16/2023 at 5:10 AM, Nels_Anderson said:


I'd be curious for more details on this...what are we sim pilots missing?


It has already been covered by Rupert and Phrog but the visuals and seat of the pants are two biggest factors.  Seat of the pants is missing in fixed wing too but unless you fly aerobatics it is not as noticeable as the helo.


Here is a vid of some landings at altitude.  There are a lot of errors that a good pilot will pick out but does give some examples of what is possible in the sim.  I forgot to change out the weights  but since I didn't do the humorous narrative it doesn't matter.  I bought a computer specifically for FS2020 before it came out based on the recommendations of a friend.  I also got a 42" monitor and a metal frame to keep me from pushing away from the desk with the pedals.  I mounted the screen at 38" from my eyeball to give a 51 degree field of view.  Narrow considering that peripheral vision is about 160 deg but with track IR mounted to the headphones it fools me into thinking it is wider since small head movements allow more perceived view and looking off to the left and right.  While not perfect, it allows me to fly into constricted areas that are generally very hard in the sim.  You still need a bit of spacial interpretation of where you are.


Why the 500E when I said the controls were horrible?  Because it is a great flight model generally and represents many things like retreating blade stall at speed, LTE, and I am sure I will get vortex state at some point.  Yes I muscle the controls around at times.  Hell I even drink and fly in the sim like the SD tour!  It may cause me to get a proper collective though as there is a point  that much of the precision takes place in a landing that is only about a millimeter of travel of 50 total for the throttle I am using and that is clearly visible in the landings.


What is best in life?  "Your passenger vomit on the cabin top, their screams in your ears; to cause the lamentations of your mechanics." Conan the sim pilot.

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I really enjoyed you sharing this with us. Anyone who is seriously trying to improve their helicopter skills will appreciate since they've ""been there, done that" with so much you show. I l smiled watching your approach and landing from 6:05 to 7:05. High, fast, over use of power and cyclic... like we all do! Glad you shared this so we can all say that when it comes to helicopter skills, enjoy the journey.

Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

phrog x 2.jpg

Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

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I agree with Phrog!  Thanks so much for sharing your video!!


The follow up to what he said about over use of cyclic and collective is to use mini motions, (inputs) especially with the cyclic,  Try rotating the cyclic in a small motion with every trip returning if to to certainly towards the centered position.  And in hover, do the same for the collective. Don't just push one input and wait for something to happen.  Push it a bit in a specific direction then allow it to return to center.  Then repeat the process as needed.


In hover my cyclic was usually almost in continued motion towards the direction I wanted then back to center.  And a side push with the cyclic usually was countered by an opposite input with the rudders.  Then both back to center again.   Make a small circle with the cyclic offset by opposite inputs to the rudder. 


Also remember the collective is much more sensitive when low enough to get ground cushion.  You can easily start bouncing in and out of ground cushion if you over correct with the collective.  Remember with a single main rotor, torque steer is always a real factor, especially at hover.  The aircraft will tend to rotate in the opposite direction from the direction of rotor rotation.   When moving forward at speed the air drag helps to keep your aircraft heading in a straight line and attitude.  But not in hover.  So rudder input is important to prevent torque spin.  More collective needs more opposite rudder correction to stay facing the direction you wish to face.


 Again, I suggest you actually get rudder pedals rather than using the twist grip of a pistol grip for rudder use when flying a chopper.  I've tried it using the pistol grip and I either miss inputs altogether or way over correct all inputs with the pistol grip.

Being an old chopper guy I usually fly low and slow.
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  • 1 month later...

I'm glad you liked the vid!  It was fun making it and the "mission" that I ran with that I didn't share.


I have rudder peddles but not a collective.  I am using a CH products throttle and I am embarrassed to say, some of what I thought was really good ground effects on hill tops was just the throttle giving random inputs.  These inputs were often opposite to my commanded inputs and sometimes with large fluctuations!    Once discovered I made some setting changes as below:




After making these input changes and reducing the rudder peddle tension a lot, I am pretty happy with the control inputs.  I am still eyeing up the collectives though!


Cyclic input from the CH joystick is just fine  with the spring and quite accurate to input.


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