121 votes
Accepted

Can this helicopter/wrecking ball combo remain airborne?

EDIT Huge apologies to one and all, in my first version of this answer I mistyped 184 as 84, and then proceeded to do all my calculations based on that. This is the corrected version. Also, huge ...
user avatar
76 votes
Accepted

Should the helicopter be washed after any sea mission?

The helicopter shown is an Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter. ASW helicopters generally have the ability to detect submarines either Passively or Actively. Passively, sonar-buoys are dropped into the ...
user avatar
74 votes
Accepted

Do helicopters use more fuel when hovering?

Yes it is correct that helicopters use more fuel when hovering: the engine needs to apply more power to overcome drag. Here is a graph of the engine power required for different airspeeds, from J. ...
user avatar
  • 57.9k
73 votes

Why do police helicopters always fly in circles?

Police helicopters don't always fly in circles. I've often seen my local police helicopter hovering. There are a few reasons you might have seen police helicopters flying in circles:- Not all types ...
user avatar
  • 12.5k
69 votes
Accepted

Why do helicopters have windows near the pedals?

These fall into a category known as vertical reference windows. They can be used for many purposes, but essentially, they allow us to gain a better spatial picture of the orientation of our aircraft, ...
user avatar
  • 4,749
62 votes
Accepted

What helicopter has the most rotor blades?

Special mention for Raúl Pateras Pescara de Castelluccio (good article) who was fond of lots and lots of rotor blades, settling on sixteen for most of his designs, although his Model 3 had twenty. ...
user avatar
  • 9,441
58 votes
Accepted

Why would a helicopter climb in a spiral?

A helicopter will achieve its best climb rate at a moderate forward speed. Climbing in a spiral helps to have forward speed in what is essentially a vertical climb. In a hover all the airflow which ...
user avatar
57 votes
Accepted

How can a helicopter be designed without a tail rotor?

The torque in a helicopter is generated by the engine driving the main rotor in one direction, which causes the fuselage to spin in the other direction. The tail rotor shaft is horizontally mounted ...
user avatar
  • 2,058
57 votes
Accepted

Can helicopters create contrails?

If the temperature and conditions are right, yes. Any aircraft which has a heat engine that burns hydrocarbon fuel, which is pretty much any reciprocating or gas turbine engine used in aviation, will ...
user avatar
56 votes

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

First, they have been used, like in case of the Federation tower fire in Moscow on 2012. The image below shows a Kamov Ka-32A11BC being used to fight fire in that case. Helicopter fighting Federation ...
user avatar
  • 98.6k
56 votes
Accepted

Is a helicopter ride unsafe for young children?

A few notes of update. Evidence from other operators that there is no hard age limit There is no upper or lower age limit for pleasure flight however we recommend that children under 12 are ...
user avatar
  • 25.7k
55 votes

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

As noted in another answer, all helicopters can hover, but a so-called "high hover" (out of ground effect or especially at operational altitude) is a more difficult maneuver, requiring more power than ...
user avatar
  • 14.4k
53 votes
Accepted

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

No, the helicopters are standard production versions. The Eurocopter AS350 is a common model used for these operations. In 2005, Didier Delsalle landed a Eurocopter AS350 B3 on the summit of Mt. ...
user avatar
  • 69.7k
51 votes

Can this helicopter/wrecking ball combo remain airborne?

The helicopter would be a UH60 Blackhawk. Max payload on a hook is 9000lb. At your mild steel density this is half a cubic meter, so the picture as you describe is impossible.
user avatar
  • 16.6k
50 votes
Accepted

Why do helicopters have such limited range?

Helicopters are very inefficient in forward flight, for several reasons. Consider Glauert's high speed assumption, i.e. the helicopter can be represented as an aircraft with a circular wing during ...
user avatar
50 votes
Accepted

What would the reason be for this helicopter maneuver?

Ex-Royal Air Force helicopter force here, spent a lot of time around Chinooks. I think the main answer is "because I can", but I can think of a legitimate combat use. You are heavy, and forced to ...
user avatar
  • 30.8k
50 votes

Can a helicopter carry a large airplane?

If you look more closely, this "airplane" is only the husk of a Tupolev Tu-134, a rather small airliner, and the helicopter is a Mil-26, the heaviest helicopter ever to go into production. Not only ...
user avatar
48 votes

Can this helicopter/wrecking ball combo remain airborne?

Of course the photo is absolutely real. I know a guy who knows a guy who says he met the guy in front! 3) Assume the wrecking ball is solid mild steel with a density of 7.85 g/cm3. That's where ...
user avatar
  • 17.7k
46 votes
Accepted

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

Aircraft, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, have limited capability to produce a sideways force, so they simply can't throw you out. It is a matter of physics. Inertial forces (gravity and centrifugal force) ...
user avatar
  • 54.1k
46 votes
Accepted

Why is the UH-60 tail rotor canted?

John K and Koyovis's answers are both correct. However, as a former pilot of the UH-60 and a mechanical engineer here is a simpler version. A helicopter must be balanced. If the front is much ...
user avatar
  • 476
46 votes
Accepted

How do helicopters avoid detection from enemies by using IR suppressors?

An IR sensor detects objects that are at a higher (or lower but that's not how missiles work) temperature than the surrounding environment, most of the helicopter won't be that much hotter or cooler ...
user avatar
  • 49.6k
45 votes
Accepted

What happens when all electrical systems in a helicopter fail?

The reason for the failure is important actually. If all the electrical systems on an EC135 helicopter fail in your classic EMP scenario then the helicopter has to make an emergency landing as the jet ...
user avatar
  • 49.6k
43 votes
Accepted

What is the loud noise of a helicopter when the rotors are not yet moving?

The sound you're hearing is the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) running. Turbine (jet) engines turn at a much higher RPM than reciprocating engines. This means that an electric starter motor would have to ...
user avatar
43 votes

Why do helicopters have skids?

Image source Larger helicopters have landing wheels, and as we can see on the picture above, they are placed as far outward as practically possible in order to provide stability in the landing. Touch ...
user avatar
  • 57.9k
42 votes
Accepted

Why aren't there more passenger helicopters?

Airplanes are much more efficient, much faster and scale better. Helicopters are limited to around 150 knots because when flying forward the tip of the advancing blade must not exceed the speed of ...
user avatar
  • 54.1k
41 votes
Accepted

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

Forward flight is much more efficient than hovering. As airspeed builds, lift increases from "translational" lift as the air moves more horizontally over the disc. Since the relative airflow is more ...
user avatar
  • 30.8k
41 votes
Accepted

Why don't we have helicopter airlines?

They do in fact exist, though they often use smaller helicopters. A Google search on the term "heli taxi" yields thousands of results, and while a lot are probably irrelevant, the first few pages give ...
user avatar
  • 14.9k
41 votes

What helicopter has the most rotor blades?

The most blades I've seen are 8 on the Mi-26. Source But the highest theoretical lifting efficiency is achieved with the fewest blades and experiments have been done with single blade rotors (with a ...
user avatar
  • 105k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible