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Autorotation How To....

Old 09-24-2002, 05:48 PM
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Default Autorotation How To....

Post your technique's to a perfect auto and aerobatic auto's here to help out our newbies and Pros alike-
Old 09-24-2002, 07:23 PM
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Default Auto Rotation, my offering...

Hey Pete and Paul!
Over these years of heli-izing, I have had
around 12 forced engine out autos.
The first one with the ZXX occured on the
next day, as a newbee, when I had just the prior night
reset the low end atv to give me -3 degrees! (was Zero!)
I was havin so much fun hoverin tail in at 75 feet
I forgot to watch the fuel tank! The eng lean'd out
and died! I pulled the collective back to the stop,
watched her fall (Thankfully - tail in!) as I managed the
cyclic. She got 10 feet from terra firma and I slammed
the COL all the way up! It stopped at 3 feet altitude
bled the head and dropped on her skids, on the asphalt
runway, breaking the tail fin!
Bare in mind that I was new and had just read Ray H.
book on everything including the chapter on auto's!
Have had lots of them since those days!
My suggestion for a beginner is this:
Avoid auto practice on the 30 if you can. (But engine out
autos can be done with the following technique.)
Use the 600mm 50 size and up machines to practice
Thold conditions!!!!
Once one has the technique down pat, the 30 becomes
easy, but one must remember the energy management
on the 30 is quite critical.
So - Take your 50 to 200 feet, point her into the wind
and Thold her! Immediately lower the coll to that fine
-3 or -5 you have already set up in thold condition!
Manage the cyclic as she comes down with a tad bit
of down ele (fwd cyc) to get an 85 or less down line.
As she approaches Terra firma slowly up the Collective
timing your slow down to give you 2 foot of altitude at
hovering stick position (5 - 6 pos pitch!) She'll stop
the drop. Flare with Back Cyclic as she bleeds off the head
speed. She's gonna drop that last two feet and you have 6 degrees left to carefully set her on the skids.
(+11 - +12) :stupid:
No worries Mate!
The key, as with all heli flyin, is good COLL/CYC management!
Byron, Omaha
Old 09-24-2002, 07:31 PM
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Default Autorotation How To....


Here is my take on autos.

I think that learning autorotations should be a part of the training program for the flyer that has nose-in hover and FF down pat. Anything less than this can incur unnecessary crash costs.

I am not an advocate of crashing to learn autorotations and I know that many believe it is a price to pay. But, if you are trying them before you have 360 degrees of hover down and you don't know how to perfrom FF then it is pretty much an excercise in futility. Reason is that most beginners are flying non-driven tails and if the heli piros around on flare or if it doesn't weathevane cleanly for them then look out!

Currently I am shooting autos from any altitude to the left, right, and nose in. No aerobatics yet. But on a 30 size 4-5 degrees negative is a good conservative pitch. For positive pitch I try to stick with no more than 12 degrees. Any more than this and you pretty much kill the rotor speed to fast. Rememer this, try to hit the hold switch AFTER you go negative unless you are practicing hover autos. Tighten your blades up in the grips just a tad more than normal. We don't want them slinging out and striking the boom.

Here is how I learned:
1) Make a large 4' bullseye mark on the ground with florescent orange spray paint.

2) Start with the hover auto. Go into a tail-in hover from 3' and hit throttlehold. Practice experiencing landing the model without power. Lift off from the bullseye and try to land in the bullseye!! Do these over and over and over from tail-in, Left side, right side and nose-in if you are brave enough.

3) Do the same as Item 2 above but now do them from 6'. Then 12'. You will notice that a straight down auto gets pretty tuff when you get up to around 15' because you don't have much headspeed when you land because you don't have enough time to go negative before hitting the hold switch. If you can do these and you have forward flight then you got it made!

4) Now, you should be comfortable hitting the throttlehold switch in flight from all the hover autos. So, from your strongest orientation side about 75' up and 100' down wind enter FF for a couple of seconds and go negative. Hit the throttlehold switch and work at maintaining a mild nose down position with the heli maintaining your course to the target. If you hear the rotor blade get noisy then you got the disk maintaining rotor speed as air is making it up thru the blades. At about 25' bail out and kick the throttle hold off and fly out. Whewwww!!! That was exhilarating! Do this a few more times an NO more. You don't want to get spoiled on bailing out!

5) Now, do it for real! The only difference is that once you break the 25' mark you are committed! Do not bail out! Here is the key thing to remember. Work the Cyclic!!!!! If you try to stop FF with the collective you will lose what you need to flare. So, when you enter 15' you need to start to pull back elevator mildly. Don't worry about stopping ALL forward motion. This is very important. I made the mistake of trying to stop every once of forward motion and experienced a boomstike because there wasn't much inertia left on touchdown. Actually, if you are coming in fast enough in FF the elevator flare will BUILD rotorspeed. But, once you have the heli pretty much stalled from FF just let it fall and add collective. Set it down. Don't wait around. Just get the heli to under a foot and let it settle. It sounds hard but it really isn't because you have already done it with a 15' hover auto by now!

There you go. Now you can work on perfecting your timing on your next ones. There are a few other methods you can consider to make it more comfortable. One, you can get an experienced auto shooter to coach you hit the throttlehold switch for you while you concentrate on the approach. Two, you can do a straight drop auto from 75'. These are a tad harder but less disorienting. Reason they can be harder is because you don't have the luxury of that cyclic flare that builds up speed right before touchdown. Lastly, you can spend some time practicing fast low-power landings. Just use your Normal mode and modify your throttle curve to pretty much go to idle a little sooner. Or, raise your throttle percentage in throttlehold.

Hope this helps. My hand is tired. I know there are many other ways to learn but this was mine. I am no pro but I have done probably a hundred of these and only had one boomstrike. BTW, I learned them on my Venture 30 using 550mm SABs. Now, I am using my Falcon 50 SE V2 with 600mm Gammas. Much easier. But, for real leisure I drag out the ole trusty R60 with 686mm MAH blades. Man, you can hover for quite some time on the bottom with a 60 and 680s. The guys with Furys and 700+mm blades get to scratch the crotch, wipe off their brow, go get a Coke, and then land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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