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E-Sky › So, which are more difficult to fly in the wind...helis or airplanes?
03-31-2009 01:11 AM  9 years agoPost 1
racin06

rrKey Veteran

Indianapolis, Indiana

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As I drove to my flying location this afternoon, I pondered this question with my HBK2, Super FP and Sukhoi in tow. Which is more difficult to fly in the wind...helis or airplanes? My natural tendency was say helis because as we all know, overall, helis are more difficult to learn to fly versus airplanes. However, there are also many variables that come into play such as the weight of the aircraft, the wing loading of the airplane, the headspeed of the heli, etc. For example you can't compare a 90 size heli to a foamy airplane that weighs 10 oz. Obviously, in this example, the airplane would be the most difficult to fly in the wind. Conversely, you can't compare a .60 size airplane to a 300 or 450 size size heli either. So, the general answer to the question would be...it depends.

But that answer wasn't good enough for me. So, then the light went off in my head...my Super FP and Sukhoi weigh about the same. So, with weight being an equal variable, which is the more difficult to fly...my Super FP or Sukhoi? Well, I came up with the answer...my Sukhoi. Why? First of all, both aircraft behave pretty much the same when turning downwind and moving downwind...both really pick up speed rather quickly; however, I would say that the Super FP is slightly more difficult to control downwind because the Super FP has a tendency to lose altitude a little quicker than the Sukhoi.

What about flying in a crosswind? The Sukhoi is more difficult than the Super FP. The Super FP's HH gyro keep the heading reasonably constant. However, the Sukhoi doesn't have the luxury of a HH gyro and wants to crab into the wind and requires opposite rudder to keep the airplane moving in the same heading.

What about turning into and flying into the wind? This is where the comparison ends. The Sukhoi is MUCH more difficult to control versus the Super FP. Yes, both aircraft bob up and down. However, what makes the Sukhoi difficult to control is the sudden rolling on the horizontal axis in both directions . This rolling was rather severe at times and I was constantly working the ailerons to keep the Sukhoi level. I'm assuming this severe rolling is due to the light wing loading of the Sukhoi. The Super FP? Just some slight rolling at times. The Super FP also does a better job of cutting into the wind. Anyway, it was interesting comparing both aircraft in those 10-12 mph wind gusts. Of course, it was also much fun, as well .

So, you guys that fly both airplanes and helis, what have been your experiences in the wind. I'd like to here your thoughts.

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03-31-2009 01:28 AM  9 years agoPost 2
hbk2owner

rrKey Veteran

indianapolis, Indiana

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I think helis would be harder but what do i know i think i am still called a newbiee by you guys. i us to fly my plane in thesame amount of wind with my parkzone skyfly.

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03-31-2009 01:42 AM  9 years agoPost 3
Gregor99

rrElite Veteran

Western Wa

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I've never flown an airplane, but after flying my HBK2 in VERY turbulant wind gusts yesterday, I can't imagine that a plane of similar size would be able to retain control in the same conditions.

Revolectrix Beta Team

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03-31-2009 02:33 AM  9 years agoPost 4
tryan02

rrProfessor

Canton, Missouri

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I'll fly my raptor 30 in a wind I will never fly my flatbottom trainer!!!!!!! Both comparable in size and weight.

Helis are generally easier

you can fly lower and slower with a heli.

Now the TREX I wont even take it with me on a windy day.

And the sukoi hell I'll fly it in a tornado just be ready to hold on when you go downwind. Last week I flew it in winds so strong I didnt have enough speed to get it to move forward without serious down pitch. I actually was doing stationary rolls with it cause at level flight it could not move forward. But it was bobbing up and down 3 to 4 ft and all over the place.

But it is easiest to fly why? Cause I didnt care


So in the end the hardest to fly is the easiest to fly.

No Really I am the club President!!!

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03-31-2009 02:36 AM  9 years agoPost 5
tryan02

rrProfessor

Canton, Missouri

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Oh and greg pick up a sukoi and throw it together best $40 you will ever spend. I am sure racin and melnic will back me up on that one.

No Really I am the club President!!!

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03-31-2009 04:40 AM  9 years agoPost 6
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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Break it down.

Takeoff - Helis are WAY easier, especially the bigger ones. With planes you have to take off into the wind. If that direction is not available, you can not take off or at least not without a serious chance of flipping it over. With helis you just face them into the wind and spin it up fast. You can hold it on the ground with negative and then pop it up when you are ready.

Flying low - Helis are easier. With the rotors acting as a fixed wing but with the ability to add and remove lift as you fly, it is much easier to hold an elevation. Flying a plane low in the wind is asking for a crash. The smaller the plane, the more risk.

Flying high - Planes are easier but not by much. They always fly forward and that makes them more predictable when flying in the wind. As long as you can make decent progress flying into the wind and you have a plane that is capable enough, the task is trivial. Helis are just as easy to fly higher but they are usually harder to see and require more input.

Landing - Helis hands down. Again you can land in any angle relative to the wind. You have negative pitch to bring you down and once down you can hold it down even after you kill the motor. Planes are jumpy in high winds and the chance of have the wind slam it down on the runway is high. Of course bigger planes do better but then again bigger helis do better yet.

I have flown in a lot of wind and I have seen a lot of planes fly in the wind. Matching the skill of the pilots, I would say that helis are easier to take-off, hover and land but planes are easier to fly around.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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04-04-2009 06:24 PM  9 years agoPost 7
tryan02

rrProfessor

Canton, Missouri

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Well proof positive helis fly better in wind than planes. Today was a micro funfly at the local club. About 10 planes in all and my 60" trainer was about the smallest there all were 60 size and up. The winds picked up Where I wouldnt fly the trainer and eventually got bad enough the plane pilots grounded themselves.

I grabbed the R30 and everyone asked you gonna fly in this? I said sure! It was only 15mph with gust a little more.

No Really I am the club President!!!

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