Learning how to fly the R22

  • Now that the R22 is out, I'd like to leave a link for a free resource where you can learn more about helicopters, controls and how to fly them: https://www.helisimmer.com/how-to-fly-helicopters/

    We also have a group on Facebook and, of course, you are free to contact me for help. I'll be more than happy to assist some new rotorheads getting into the fantastic world of helicopters.

    Have fun! And don't forget the 3 rules of helicopter learning: practice, practice, practice!

  • Thank! Helisimmer is a wonderful site. I've been visiting it daily for a year now!

    Good stuff there. Nice reviews and a lot of fun to read. Keep up your great work.

    Do you know what happened to hovercontrol? Have been searching for two weeks for answers but cannot find anything.

    Thanks a lot


  • ( Jan pointed out that I assumed use of profi mode so this is MUCH less relevant to beginners who should start in default easy mode. Jan doesn't like me suggesting rudder trim)

    Some study of helicopter principles of flight is needed, people are jumping in at the deep end without realising that a helicopter is very different from an aeroplane and specialised techniques are required to cope with unfamiliar effects.

    The biggest misconception is that the helicopter is expected to be stable and that something is wrong with the simulation if it twists and pitches all over the sky. It is our job to not let it get into that state and we have to stabilise the machine even before it lifts off the ground.

    We have to get the cyclic and torque controls ready for the first few seconds of climb and this means holding the helicopter light on its skids and - with almost the power needed to become airborne applied - having the machine free from any tendency to pitch, roll and yaw. To avoid having to hold strong and tiring inputs zero out any forces with simulator trim especially if a twist grip rudder is used. Assign trim keys or buttons in the control menu if needed. Avoid non linear or output curve control-software rudder adjustment.

    There is no neutral 'rudder' position, there are some comments about joysticks or pedals not being properly centred in the sim' as if the hardware or the simulation is letting people down. With an understanding of the principles of flight grasped the 'rudder' force applied can be seen as countering the effect of the power delivered to the rotor during the various stages of flight, as power is varied so the drag of the rotor varies and corresponding continuous adjustment of the 'rudder'/torque pedals is needed.

    If the machine is held light on its skids, just short of take off power and the 'rudder' trim is adjusted to cancel any yaw the effect of applying extra power can be anticipated. The trim in this condition approximates to that in a descent as not enough power is applied to sustain flight. If power is added extra left 'rudder' is needed, a significant amount to maintain altitude and a much greater amount for a climb. As the helicopter is lifted off the ground extra left rudder is added to prevent yaw and this extra force needs to be trimmed out as quickly as possible. Any reduction in power will need more right 'rudder' and right re-trimming. With anticipation there will be no crazy spinning of the machine, it will do what you want and you will not be chasing what it is doing.

    There is much more to study in principles of flight. Yaw will affect lift according to direction, torque pedal operation will affect delivered rotor power and of course rotor power affects yaw. These effects increase and decrease engine load according to direction though rapid return to normal rpm will be applied by the govenor.

    Low speed control will be improved by applying pitch or bank in small blips returning to a hover like attitude to sustain the movement. The H.U.D. is helpful in holding an attitude and seeing the effect of power change.

    Helicopter study will be rewarding and well worthwhile.

    Edited once, last by Overloaded: I was not using easy mode. (December 2, 2018 at 4:09 PM).

  • Honestly, instead of using rudder trim you should just stay with the easy mode. It still has the exact same physics and you can learn a great deal without needing to hold a constant rudder deflection. There is no actual rudder trim in the real aircraft and it is just one more control you have to adjust.

    If you have pedals then your control will be more precise if you don't trim it, since you are away from the center, usually with the left pedal deflected. It's way better because you don't have to deal with the neutral deadzone or the mechanical stop in the center, that some pedals have.

    And you have a linear spring response from your pedals which is much easier to fine-adjust. If you were to trim your pedals to zero, just to avoid having to put in constant pressure you will need to adjust that trim constantly and you are always in the ugly center, where some control reversals can happen depending on the mechanics used. Much better training to get that left hand, left foot coordination instead of reaching for the trim which doesn't exist in the real helicopter.

  • Easy mode Jan!=O It is very easy. I'll change my post to say profi assumed and so MUCH less relevant to beginners!

    People seem really hit by the tendency to spin wildly. I'll try to get my old pedals working in the future but trim makes twist grip rudders enormously more controllable and I find trimming a thought free operation. It is a sim-hardware interaction, wrists tire easily, legs are many times stronger.

    The Enstrom F28 had a two axis coolie hat trim on the cyclic and the R-22 has a spring assist lateral cyclic trim so it is a natural enough helicopter function. I have easy coolie trim on my joystick.

    There is no easy button on the R-22 either :) I didn't use easy once I tracked down the profi button.

    Later on if people persevere with the realistic mode they will achieve something quite meaningful. You are 100% right, of course about easy being good/essential for beginners but look at how many people who were suffering, already in easy mode ...or were they? Perhaps the default profi 'rudder' centre could be made to correspond to the flying-power start of the yellow arc on the manifold pressure gauge? ... it is almost there in easy mode.

    Trim free use of rudder pedals seems like a good idea -unless a typical cruise power means clicking either side of a central detent.

  • Overloaded December 2, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Changed the title of the thread from “Helicopter flight for beginners, don't crack up!” to “Helicopter flight for beginners, don't crack up! (Profi mode, less relevant)”.
  • Perhaps the progression would be more manageable if there was a 1-10 difficulty selection rather then the binary profi or training wheels.

    You could up the difficulty as your skill improves until you reach profi status.

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  • Well I can easily handle "easy" mode now, but it's a big frustration going toward "pro" mode.

    So I will stay in "easy" mode for now, but I still want to move on to "pro" in the futurem, and I'd really like to know the difference, so that I can be more prepared when I am in "easy" mode.

  • If you read the release notes it should be clear: https://www.aerofly.com/dokuwiki/doku.…rsion_changelog

    Easy mode turns on a flight controller, that assists you and stabilizes the aircraft. For example it automatically counters the effects of the torque, so that you don't have to hold tail rotor.

  • Having great fun in pro mode, but absolutely hopless at it. The short joystick does not help. Is there a way to reduce sensitivity or would this be a problem when moving fast when you may need more movement? I notice at high altitude I get a low rpm warning. How do I increase this, is it the govenor control or do I just need to increae the throttle?

  • Can someone recommend a good joystick assignment choice? I'm not very familiar with helicopters so I really don't know what axis I should assign to each parameter...

    Hi, same as an airplane, but if your joystick as the ""Yaw"" on it (twist function) you can assign this one for the tail rotor (rudder). Left - right and forward - backward is call a cyclic on an heli, when your hovering the forward-backward serve does what it says, but when you reach speed it become a up and down motion like an elevator on an airplane.

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  • Having great fun in pro mode, but absolutely hopless at it. The short joystick does not help. Is there a way to reduce sensitivity or would this be a problem when moving fast when you may need more movement? I notice at high altitude I get a low rpm warning. How do I increase this, is it the govenor control or do I just need to increae the throttle?

    Decrease collective, you have reached the maximum power of the engine.

  • In addition to what ftp2leta said: you should assign your throttle axis to the collective! So NOT to the throttle! Furthermore, if you want to do it realistically, you should reverse the axis: when you pull it back/up, towards you, the heli should go up and when you push it forward/down, away from you, the heli should go down.

    The throttle does NOT need to be assigned!

  • The easy mode is a dumbed down flight model, if that is the right word. Professional is much more realistic. The Robbie is very twitchy in real life and will take practice to master. I would suggest you get proficient in easy mode then progress to the professional model, it will come with practice.

    I learned to fly in a Jetranger, which is a very flattering aircraft and is pretty easy to fly well. The first time I flew an R22, I thought it was broken it was that jittery. The tendency is to, what we refer to as, stirring the stick, which is over compensating with your inputs. Take a deep breath and try to relax.

    Good luck because once you get to grips with it, it is enormous fun.8)

  • What I have defined for airplanes in the settings menu (trimming buttons) also works for the helicopter.

    It is unfortunately in German. The inner buttons 12, 11, 3 and 4 are from the CH Flight Sim Yoke, the outer buttons 3, 5, 4 and 6 are from the Logitech 3D Pro joystick. They all work also when I fly the helicopter.



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