Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:28 pm Post subject: R44 Conversion help
I am starting my conversion to R44 tomorrow and wondered if you have any useful information that could help me with my new endeavour? I have a R22B2 rating currently.
What should I expect during the next few days of instruction?
Joined: Jul 20, 2004 Posts: 3702 Location: Birmingham, UK
Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:43 pm Post subject:
Remember it's a numbers game. Learn all the new figures, speeds etc. out of the POH. You're not just going to be an R22 pilot now but a "helicopter" pilot, which means you have to use your judgement when it comes to flying around with different "loads" on board. You will find it handles very differently if you are at max all up weight with 4 on board, to how it does with 2 on board, or solo. You need to be prepared for significant changes of C of G as well.
Also bear in mind that she cruises significantly faster, so when doing navigation you need to be on the ball and keep track of where you are as you can easily zoom past your waypoints.
Although the R44 is larger and less twitchy, it's a different aircraft and the handling characteristics take a bit of getting used to, so don't despair if you feel like you're learning to fly all over again. The tail rotor is also very efficient and if you're flying a nice hydraulic machine be prepared for the cyclic to be very sensitive. People tend to over control a lot on this at first so just relax.
I'm sure your instructor will go through it all in great detail! Enjoy, it's a great helicopter.
Joined: Feb 14, 2008 Posts: 888 Location: Stavanger, Norway
Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:29 pm Post subject:
The R44 is a nice machine to fly just as Sarah mentioned. If you can get a hold of the POH prior to starting your ground school, just have a look through it and look for the main differences in procedures from the R22.
During your ground school your FI will take you through all the systems that differ from the R22, emergency procedures and also normal operating technique. Then your written exam, and then on to the flying.
Again, as Sarah mentioned the R44 does handle differently, don't be surprised if it takes you an hour or two to get settled in the machine. The R44 is a nice machine, but like every helicopter it has it's limits. Enjoy. _________________ ATPL(H) IR(H): SK92, AS355, EC120, R22/44
"When the tough gets going, the tough eat haggis!"
Thanks for your advice and ideas. I did do the pre-flight session as pointed out with a check A. From lift to the hover, it felt so much more powerful and stable than R22. I did half hour over general upper air work and 2 autos before returning to hover square with precision work there and hover autos (much easier in R44). Returned to refuel and went off with FI to do more autos into very specific fields with using all known techniques to get into a specified field. Very exciting. I am amazed at how the R44 glides compared with R22. Back to aerodrome and landed on pad (which could have been a bit smoother). Two hours of fun passed too quickly. Back today for another two hours! Cant wait.
ps. Something that surprised me was the flying comfort in the cockpit at different airspeeds (90, 120 knots)
Thats a good one! ha ha. Such fine humour in this forum. Thanks guys and ladies. Hopefully will meet most of you in the future at a fly-in or two.
I was surprised yesterday when my instructor demo'ed an instant engine failure and how very quickly the low RRPM horn came on. It was nearly instant. I know most engines don't do that and give you a bit of notice that it wants to do something crazy, but that drove the point home to get the collective on the floor when needed.
The weight of the controls without hydrolics is also worrying. I also did a few limited power landings, which were fun, but surely not fun in real life.
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