Helicopter hovering very frustrating

  • So I bought a Thrustmaster rudder for R22, but I am still struggling with hovering.

    This is my procedure:

    1. Gently increase collectives. Very gentle indeed.

    2. R22 becomes light and begins to turn to the right.

    3. I apply some left rudder to counter the torq until it stops turning right. Everything is OK at this stage, and R22 has not quite lifted off the ground though it is light and movable now.

    4. I increase more collective. R22 is off the ground a few inches, and it immediately begins to tilt to the right. (Why does it tile to the right? No tutorial seems to indicate this.) I turn the cyclic to the left to compensate for this. And R22 now begins to get out of control. It can move towards any directions. Of course I will try to use the cyclic to counter the movement, but then R22 will move in another direction. I can never let it hover. It's always overcompensation.


    I have watched videos of real R22 take off from Youtube. It's very stable, rising steadily and slowly from the ground, and stay there. No turning to the right, no tilting to the right. I'd really like to achieve this. How can I do it? I mostly want to know how can I do it correctly in step 4, that is immediately after I have lifted off the ground. Looking forward to your advice.

    • Official Post

    That's just helicopter physics at work. Raise the collective -> more torque -> more tail rotor needed -> more left cyclic needed.


    The real helicopter is no more stable than our r22, the stability is greatly affected by the pilot inputs. Don't let videos of the real R22 mislead you into thinking that it is a stable aircraft, the pilots have many hundreds of hours of training, and they are feel every small movement of the aircraft which you can't feel on your chair...

    You are probably over correcting to a small disturbance. To stay in hover you need extremely fine movements. Usually 0.1 degrees of stick deflection is plenty to keep the helicopter in balance. It's easier if you remove the spring from your joystick because the center position of the cyclic for hover is not the same as for forward flight (again due to helicopter physics), so during hover you need to hold a bit of left cyclic (about one or two mm) and for cruise you need to hold right cyclic.


    - Check that your controls are calibrated well.

    - Fly with the smallest inputs possible, let go of a correction as soon as the helicopter is starting to show a response. If you keep holding the correction in the helicopter will move towards that faster and faster and it will become hard to stop.

    - You can also trim out the helicopter with the aircraft trim commands, and this depends on how well your joystick is calibrated. For me its about 5 clicks left aileron trim and one or two clicks forward.

  • Thanks a lot for the advice. I will try harder. :)


    I can put my frustration in another way:

    As soon as the heli leaves the ground, it starts to move rapidly, regardless of what amount of cyclic I use. And if I use less collectives, it will not leave the ground.

    So my question becomes: how can I lift the heli off the ground very slowly?

    • Official Post

    Profi mode.

    This mode takes some practice. It's likely that your problem is that you still need to learn how to fly the R22 in this mode better. We suggest to try flying the R22 in novice mode first to see if it reacts better for you.


    But just in case, make sure that you have your controller calibrated properly and that the axis are centered or closed (depending on the function).

  • Standard mode is no problem for me, and I'd like to try the real deal. ^^

    Yes I have calibrated both controllers from the Aerofly FS2 setup section.


    This mode takes some practice. It's likely that your problem is that you still need to learn how to fly the R22 in this mode better. We suggest to try flying the R22 in novice mode first to see if it reacts better for you.


    But just in case, make sure that you have your controller calibrated properly and that the axis are centered or closed (depending on the function).

  • frui I was wondering the same thing as your original post. You describe lift off perfectly!


    My wonder is if my (even lower model than your) joystick and pedals are simply too coarse to ever fly smoothly.

    That is to say, my joystick requires a lot of force to move, and rudder has stickiness to it. So tiny moves and finesse are near impossible.

    If the flight model is accurate, this means flying with my input devices could be more difficult than the real thing.


    Basic flight mode is so simple and stable, I throw the craft all over the sky, and precise landing is more a problem of visibility than stability.

  • It's a bit like riding a unicycle with a circular saw strapped on top of your helmet. Also, the difference between an experienced pilot and a rookie (I know I'm in the latter category) in terms of how smoothly a helicopter behaves, is significant. Don't worry OP, you are doing fine.

    Try just getting the damn thing up in the air any way you can and then practising moves so that you have a bit more space around you. Tiny constant inputs, but don't forget there is a slight delay between your movement on the stick and the eventual movement of the aircraft.

    i7-7700K/Gigabyte RTX2080/Win10 64bit/32Gb RAM/Asus Xonar DX+ Beyer DT990 pro headphones/LG 34" UM65 @2560x1080/Rift CV1/TM Warthog+VKB MkIV Rudder pedals

  • My wonder is if my (even lower model than your) joystick and pedals are simply too coarse to ever fly smoothly.

    That is to say, my joystick requires a lot of force to move, and rudder has stickiness to it. So tiny moves and finesse are near impossible.

    If the flight model is accurate, this means flying with my input devices could be more difficult than the real thing.

    This... exactly this...

  • Flying helicopter is hard anyway... it is not for everyone.

    I have been an RC Heli instructor pilot for most of my life and I have seen people frustrated to a point of... no return.

    I am 50 yo now and it shows, I have to do at least a few flight each 2 week to keep my finger in shape. ;)


    Ben

    BennyBoy. I5 8600K @ 4,3ghz, 16 ram, GTX 1060 6G @ UW @2560 X 1080. Sim: AF2 & P3D V4

  • For those with rudder pedals that have stiction that makes it hard to be precise, I really recommend getting some NyoGel 767a, cleaning the old lubricant off of them, and then using a light coating of this in its place. I have the Thrustmaster pedals and they were terrible before doing this...they would stick a little and then jump large distances when broken free. The nyogel is a damping grease and it prevents that large friction difference between static vs kinetic movement. It also creates a nicely damped resistance, not quite as good as a hydraulic linkage but still far superior to the stock 'feel' of the pedals. It works nicely in throttles too. It's probably a little too resistive for a short joystick, but it'd probably work great with a joystick converted to a long handle too.


    Edit: just be warned, this stuff is extremely sticky and is hard to get off of your fingers or fabric, so be very careful applying it...use gloves and some kind of applicator you can dab it on with, then cycle the controls many times to smooth it out. Start with a tiny amount and add more as needed...it doesn't take much.

  • - You can also trim out the helicopter with the aircraft trim commands, and this depends on how well your joystick is calibrated. For me its about 5 clicks left aileron trim and one or two clicks forward

    I just tried this and it really did seem to make take off and hovering a lot more stable.

    It appears Trim is reset ever time you re-locate the aircraft and every time the aircraft resets after crash landing.

    I don't see any Reset Trim option or display to show it's current value (apart from the cyclic visibly moving when trimming.)

    For fixed wing craft, this is no problem as trimming seems safe and easy. The R22 is very sensitive, so it would be nice to paranoid reset trim manually.

  • I am hesitating about trimming as I think it will make flying R22 less realistic as in reality it does not have this kind of trimming.

    So maybe it would be better we first master it without trimming?

    I just tried this and it really did seem to make take off and hovering a lot more stable.

    It appears Trim is reset ever time you re-locate the aircraft and every time the aircraft resets after crash landing.

    I don't see any Reset Trim option or display to show it's current value (apart from the cyclic visibly moving when trimming.)

    For fixed wing craft, this is no problem as trimming seems safe and easy. The R22 is very sensitive, so it would be nice to paranoid reset trim manually.

  • Spring centring is essential for fixed wing aeroplane simulation of aerodynamic force on a joystick or yoke. Motorised smart spring based feedback would be ideal but we have to make do with what we have.

    With the R-22 simulation we could do with much less spring force so using trim to unload the stick is trimming the user to hardware interface and is not removing authenticity from the simulation, it is in fact restoring the natural feel of the helicopter simulation. Increasing stick and pedal sensitivity also drives the control movement range towards the light spring force centre and provides a delicate and yet more positive control input.

    Give trim and increased sensitivity a try. It sort of makes sense and it works well.