Questions tagged [helicopter]

A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to be used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft would usually not be able to take off or land.

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83
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18answers
167k views

Why haven't quadcopters been scaled up yet?

Why are quadcopters not flown by human pilots yet? Wouldn't they be more stable and easier to control than helicopters?
73
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7answers
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Do helicopters use more fuel when hovering?

This answer says A helicopter uses a LOT more fuel hovering than it does in forward flight. Is this correct? Why?
57
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9answers
18k views

Can this helicopter/wrecking ball combo remain airborne?

I just ran into this meta-answer which includes this image: My initial guess is that the wrecking ball is far too heavy for the helicopter to lift, but I'd be interested in the numbers to see just by ...
50
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6answers
19k views

Why can't helicopters or Zeppelins drop fire-fighting material on burning buildings?

There have been a number of tragic cases where tall buildings have caught fire for various reasons, and fire-fighters on the ground appear to have been unable to reach the upper stories with fire ...
48
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4answers
8k views

Why do helicopters have such limited range?

Why do rotorcraft like helicopters have such limited range, rarely exceeding 1000 km on a full tank? For example, the range of the Apache is close to 425 km, and MI-26's is 800 km.
42
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6answers
19k views

Can a helicopter stand on the ground upside down on its rotor head?

From what I understand the rotor head needs to be strong enough to hold the craft weight hanging below it, and sounds pretty strong. The blades however look quite fragile (for a piece of metal). In ...
40
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4answers
29k views

Are there any helicopters with ejection seats?

Are there any helicopters with ejection seats? If so, how is the clearance problem with the rotating blades solved?
39
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9answers
13k views

Can all helicopters hover, and how long does it take to “stop”?

Following the accident of Kobe Bryant's helicopter N72EX, there are a few things that puzzle me: While waiting for clearance to fly close to Burbank airport, the helicopter didn't "stay in place", ...
39
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1answer
6k views

What's parked in Mil Moscow helicopter plant?

This answer has a photo of a Mil Mi-26 that I felt in love with, so I looked in Wikipedia and learned it's the largest production helicopter, second only to Mil V-12 that flew as a prototype. In turn,...
39
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4answers
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Is a rotary wing craft capable of supersonic flight?

Just what the title states. Since the Wright brothers, aviation technology for fixed-wing craft has advanced by an order or more. Rotary wing craft on the other hand (I know little about aviation; ...
36
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4answers
35k views

Why do police helicopters always fly in circles?

Why do police helicopters always fly in circles while news helicopter hover in one spot? Is it to avoid criminals opening fire at them, or is it because there is a difference between the two types of ...
36
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2answers
4k views

Why do helicopters not roll over when flying forwards?

Related to this answer: with velocities so different at forward going and rearward going blade, why does the helicopter not roll over? The higher airspeed at the forward going blade should cause more ...
35
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15answers
39k views

Flying in a helicopter with open doors: why don't people fall out?

This has been puzzling for quite a long time. Every action movie or military documentary features helicopters with no door or with open doors and yet people inside look like they couldn't care less. ...
35
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4answers
5k views

Do the wheels of taxi-capable helicopters have power?

There are many big helicopters which seem to taxi just as good as any fixed wing aircraft, for example CH-47. Do their landing gear wheels have power or they also taxi using thrust like their fixed ...
35
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1answer
7k views

Do the Mt. Everest rescue helicopters have modified engines to operate at high altitudes?

There are so many climbers on Mt. Everest today that there is now a helicopter rescue service there. They operate rescue up to 21,000 + ft. Because this is essentially stationary service it seems that ...
34
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2answers
9k views

Why do helicopters have windows near the pedals?

What is the purpose of the clear windows in some helicopters in the floor of the nose, right where the pilot's feet and pedals are? For example, here's a Huey with windows clearly visible: Airbus ...
34
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7answers
14k views

Is a helicopter ride unsafe for young children?

Recently we were in London and noticed how so many helicopter rides were there. While booking a ride I found out that they do not take a child under 4 years of age, none of the Heli ride companies I ...
34
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3answers
8k views

Why would a helicopter climb in a spiral?

I was just watching the James May's Toy Stories Christmas Special Flight Club*, and in it he commented that the helicopter was making a spiral climb to 8,000'. Why would the pilot spiral, not just ...
33
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6answers
11k views

Why aren't there more passenger helicopters?

I've observed helicopters being used often in the military for medical flights for other special use purposes, such as sightseeing and news reporting Why aren't there any commercial passenger ...
32
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2answers
16k views

Helicopters: why hasn't NOTAR been more popular?

NOTAR No tail rotor: use of a ducted fan within the helicopter's body, and venting the air through the side of the tail boom to get the desired anti-torque. One big advantage is simplicity and ...
32
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1answer
6k views

Are there full scale helicopters capable of sustaining inverted flight?

Background I'm a model aviation enthusiast and really enjoy seeing how far people can push the limits of aerobatics. Model aircraft are able to push the limits well beyond full scale due to their ...
31
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5answers
14k views

Why is the PIC position for helicopters the right seat, rather than the left seat as in airplanes?

So far as I am aware, in a fixed wing aircraft having side-by-side seating and dual controls but only a single set of instruments, those instruments are always positioned in front of the left seat. ...
30
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12answers
30k views

If a helicopter's tail rotor fails, is it possible to perform an emergency landing?

In the event of a total failure of the tail rotor, is it possible to maneuver a helicopter to an emergency landing spot that is within, say, 30 minutes flying time? What are the maneuvers required ...
30
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2answers
9k views

Why don't helicopters always takeoff from a hover out of ground-effect?

I've read enough crash reports to see that helicopters discovering too late in takeoff that they lack the power to fly out of ground-effect is a serious problem. I am wondering why the following isn'...
29
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4answers
10k views

Can a helicopter mask itself from radar?

I have read somewhere that if a helicopter is traveling under 100 km/h and below 5 meters AGL then most radars will ignore it. From what I understand of this process, the radars can pick up things ...
29
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2answers
30k views

How can a helicopter be designed without a tail rotor?

How will the main rotor torque be balanced if a helicopter doesn't have a tail rotor?
29
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2answers
7k views

What happens when all electrical systems in a helicopter fail?

I was thinking of asking this question at Worldbuilding, because it is for a book I am writing, but I hope this site will fit better. You can migrate this question if you find Worldbuilding more ...
29
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2answers
11k views

Were there any instances of aerial combat between helicopters?

Were there any cases in history where two attack-helicopters like AH-64 and MI-24(for example) were involved in an air fight between each other?
29
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2answers
26k views

Do helicopters have an auto hover system?

I'm not a helicopter pilot. The way I understand it, helicopter pilots have to constantly make small adjustments to make a helicopter hover steadily at a certain point in space, just like fixed wing ...
29
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6answers
5k views

Why aren't there simplified fly-by-wire helicopter controls?

I was discussing helicopter control with relatives over the holidays, particularly regarding how difficult it is to fly one and how changing any control requires adjusting the other two main controls. ...
28
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2answers
10k views

What helicopter has the most rotor blades?

I have seen 2 rotor blades up to many and wonder when does having more rotor blades become less efficient? What helicopter has the most rotor blades? Related: Why don't helicopters prefer shorter ...
28
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5answers
11k views

What would the reason be for this helicopter maneuver?

At 4:30 in this YouTube video, a Chinook traverses the runway on its rear wheels. The text on the video lists "Emergency landing and take-off". Is there any reason for the pilot to do this other than "...
28
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3answers
6k views

Can helicopters create contrails?

Can some or all helicopters have contrails? If only some, why only those? If not, why can they not? Pictures would be really helpful. I do know that turboprops and piston props can leave contrails, ...
28
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2answers
6k views

What happens when a helicopter loses an engine?

It seems like at this point it would be game over, since the spinning rotor is the only thing keeping it in the air. Is there any way to land a helicopter in this condition without crashing?
28
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2answers
5k views

Are helicopters aerodynamically stable?

On a fixed wing aircraft, if the aircraft's attitude is disrupted by a small angle and the controls are let go, it will slowly right itself to straight and level, due to built-in aerodynamic stability ...
27
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5answers
8k views

Why is the UH-60 tail rotor canted?

The Sikorsky UH-60 (S-70) has a tail rotor that is canted 20 degrees upwards. Why is that? Picture source
26
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4answers
9k views

How does a coaxial rotor helicopter achieve yaw?

Without a tail rotor, how does a coaxial rotor helicopter achieve yaw control? Does a coax have to bank in order to turn? The link goes to wikipedia's article, and down a ways it says: Rotational ...
26
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2answers
6k views

Are there helicopters with vertically mounted turbines?

On the helicopter representation in this answer, the turbine is horizontal, with gear required to drive the vertical-axis propeller. Are there helicopters where the turbine is vertical and directly ...
25
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9answers
14k views

Why don't we have helicopter airlines?

Just a curious thought. Why isn't there any helicopter airline? Airlines that operate large helicopters that can transport 10 or 20 people a short distance?
25
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7answers
14k views

Why is *vertical* autorotation in a helicopter not recommended?

Helicopters can autorotate back to earth in case of emergency. The FAA recommends a flight profile similar to the following procedure: Notice that in section (2) there is forward speed: vertical ...
24
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5answers
5k views

How do modern helicopters tackle Vortex Ring State?

According to the wikipedia page : Air vortices can form around the main rotor of a helicopter, causing a dangerous condition known as vortex ring state (VRS) or "settling with power". In this ...
24
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1answer
5k views

What is the purpose of fins on the empennage on some helicopters?

The S-70 Black Hawk has some kind of movable surfaces on its tail, look: Source: Airliners.net They look like "elevators" on airplanes. Does anybody know what are these things for?
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3answers
8k views

Do emergency services helicopters fly VFR when leaving base?

I've recently been watching an interesting documentary on helicopter paramedic teams. As you all probably know, their job consists of a lot of sitting around doing nothing before a scramble and then a ...
24
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2answers
19k views

Can I land a helicopter anywhere?

If I own a helicopter and am appropriately rated, can I land the helicopter anywhere that isn't private property, and is a safe place to land (clear of obstructions, appropriate surface, etc.)? My ...
23
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4answers
6k views

Do helicopters ever dump fuel before landing?

In my answer to this question about fuel dumping I included the following rhetorical question: Or if you're dumping fuel from a helicopter (does that ever happen?) it could hover over a tank on ...
22
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3answers
8k views

How is it safe for helicopters and Ospreys to refuel in mid-air?

How do military helicopters like the Blackhawk and CH-53, as well as the V-22 Osprey, perform mid-air refueling without their rotor blades (periodically and accidentally) contacting the drogue or fuel ...
22
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1answer
31k views

What are the differences between a helicopter engine (turboshaft) and an aircraft engine (turboprop)?

Given the fact that most helicopters nowadays use turbo shaft engines and many aeroplanes still use turboprop engines (which are essentially turbo shaft engines with a propeller), how do you ...
21
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6answers
14k views

Why do helicopters have skids?

Why can't they just land on the helicopter's floor? If it's for stability, they could still use skids which are shorter than what is commonly used.
21
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4answers
6k views

Do helicopters fly a standard pattern before landing?

How do helicopters approach and land at an airport? Do they use the same general traffic pattern as fixed-wing aircraft?
21
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3answers
5k views

Why do some helicopters have the tail rotor mounted higher than the tailboom?

Why do some helicopters have the tail rotor mounted high above the tailboom, whereas others have it at the end of the tail boom? Above the tailboom: Wiki Commons At the end of the tailboom: Boeing....

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