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HelicopterFlight School › How-To: Autos
01-02-2013 08:44 PM  5 years agoPost 1
Rªzª

rrNovice

Orlando

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Today I want to talk about Autos. They are one of those deceptive things that at first seems really hard, but then they seem really easy, but to do really good ones, they become really hard again

I want to share what I've recently learned in the last couple of weeks. It boils down to this one simple statement: Even at negative pitch you can pull out of a dive or FFF.

I started to notice that if I was flying forward at a decent pace, I could pull up and gain altitude even when I was at zero pitch or even less than zero pitch. This is not an obvious behavior about flying helis. With that knowledge in hand I started practicing and right off the bat I started pulling off some near perfect autos.

1. Start off high and away
2. Get the heli moving forward towards the direction of your landing zone.
3. When it gets moving pitch the nose down a bit, put the collective at a few degrees negative pitch (around 1 white tick mark below center), and then hit the throttle hold. If doing an inverted auto you would use a few degrees of positive pitch...
4. Come down about a 45 degree slope. you will be picking up more speed from the descent
5. As you near your target gently pull up and begin to flair upwards. Do NOT touch the collective. Leave it at a couple degrees negative pitch.
6. As the heli pulls out the the dive the head will spin up very fast. So fast you will have quite a lot of hovering time. At this point maneuvar the heli around to land in your spot.
7. It's generally a good idea to swing the tail around on your final approach (after your flair) so that you are flying backwards a little bit to help keep you from hitting the tail blades when you land.

Doing this you will have all sorts of time to place your landing wherever you want. You will need practice to get the hang of where to start the dive, how high, how far away, how fast, what approach slope, etc... but now at least you should be armed with some knowledge on how to get the head to spin up really fast. Even inverted autos start to get easy quickly once you get the mechanics down on how to flair out of an inverted dive.

So I hope that helps some people. It was definitely one of those click moments for me. I always avoided learning autos as I didn't really understand what went into doing one properly. Now that I understand them much better, autos are finally easy again

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03-15-2013 03:01 PM  5 years agoPost 2
Rªzª

rrNovice

Orlando

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No need for anyone to be shy in this forum. Feel free to post or ask questions. I recently had a pm:
Hi Rªzª
Your Write up on Autos are great really good info,im flying mild 3d really doing well but i just cannot do Autos the correct way,i do my Autos quite high up from the side coming in slowly in normal mode,after watching Smack talk i followed what Bert said set your collective hold to around -3 degrees when hitting throttle hold one must go full negative flat bottom stick and then slowly add positive to you hear the flair,im doing that but get the feeling the heli is coming down to quick and i do not hear any flair from the blades on my radio JR DSX 9 if i know i not going to make it i have a quick time delay that kicks around 1 second and that bails me out,my question is when i hit hold and come down at -3 when exactly do i start adding positive pitch,i need to figure out what im doing wrong,maybe you have an idea,thanx
Here is my reply:

What you want to do is to add a bit more forward momentum to your approach. You should try coming in at about a 45 degree slope. Come in with some speed and adjust the negative pitch on your approach to keep that slope angle. You also want the nose pointing slightly down into your approach. The reason being is you want to make sure some air is passing through the blades to keep them spinning, but not too much that it slows your momentum down too much.

Then near the bottom (you can do this high at first then bail out) you will pull back on the elevator to flair the heli. The important thing here is to keep the negative pitch on the blades while you are flairing. This may be counter intuitive, but it's important because that negative pitch makes the blades act like a pinwheel and the blades will eat up all that energy of the wind blowing through them and spin up really fast. This also has the added benefit of making the blades act like a parachute and the heli will slow down considerably. Just at the point the blades spin up the fastest is when you want to stop all forward momentum with positive pitch, level the heli out and set it down.

It's definately a timing thing and it takes a while to get use to the approach distance, forward momentum, angle, and when to start flairing, but you'll get used to it quickly.

Thanks, and have fun

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06-05-2013 12:27 AM  4 years agoPost 3
chopperben1

rrApprentice

Ontario, Canada

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Just wanted to thank you for these posts. Very helpful!

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06-05-2013 01:12 AM  4 years agoPost 4
Zbawer

rrApprentice

Singapore

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Nice write up!
Just I guess the way you wanna enter into the auto is up to everyone preference, then the procedure becomes as you've very well explained, or similar to what I wrote on the other site some time ago :
" You should "dump" (quickly lower) the collective to get the pitch off the main rotor in the negative ... as previously said there is a sweet spot in the area of -2 / -4 degrees you need to find. Usually you dump it, then establish the aircraft immediately into wind - at about 10-15ft flare the hell out of the heli to bleed off airspeed, level the ship, wait, wait until she starts to "sink" to about 2-3 feet, then raise the collective to cushion the landing...........this is an ideal auto-rotation.

The way I like to enter an auto is by speeding as fast as I can across my flight line and when about 200 feet awat from me start pulling back on elevator into the biggest stall climb possible, when my rotor disk reaches the vertical is when I go ahead and hit TH, still, the heli will have some more innertia and will continue its climb for an extra 50 feet or so.
Once I reach the top I flip the tail 180 and go into a nose dive at zero pitch and for about half the height I started from.
Then I start pulling back on ele and dumping the collective, which will innevitably also helps building some forward speed for the second half of the descent...

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02-12-2015 04:05 PM  3 years agoPost 5
jessdigs

rrApprentice

Concord ca USA

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Another great write-up. Thanks

Hobby: Meet wallet!

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