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New helo trainer at Rucker?

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I've heard people push twins because that's "what they'll fly in the fleet," but that always seems weird--it's not as if helos have asymmetric thrust. There's no such thing as "managing" two engines in a helicopter. What you're saying is proof of that point.
That's not completely true. I agree that having a twin isn't necessary for training, especially considering the increase in cost. But there are EPs where you have to manage your engines, just like for AMEL. Whether it's dealing with component failures (DECU/FADEC) or engine failures, there's still some managing that eventually needs to be learned.

But again, for the cost, that skill-set can be learned at the FRS.

The point of practicing autos to the deck in a trainer is that you can't do it in the fleet and it's occasionally still necessary--fuel contamination and tail rotor driveshaft failure.
A guy I work with now was a Navy -60 guy and then went on to fly several AB variants and the Koala (which he was a big fan on). We were chatting about this the other day and his opinion was that none of the options were optimal because if you're first learning how to fly helicopters, it should be in something that you actually have to hand fly to get the helicopter feel (ie, no/minimal SAS, minimal automation, full autos, etc). It was an interesting take and I can see his point. Since what he describes is pretty much a -57, obviously there isn't a viable candidate that matches that that can also do IFR.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
That's not completely true. I agree that having a twin isn't necessary for training, especially considering the increase in cost. But there are EPs where you have to manage your engines, just like for AMEL. Whether it's dealing with component failures (DECU/FADEC) or engine failures, there's still some managing that eventually needs to be learned.

But again, for the cost, that skill-set can be learned at the FRS.



A guy I work with now was a Navy -60 guy and then went on to fly several AB variants and the Koala (which he was a big fan on). We were chatting about this the other day and his opinion was that none of the options were optimal because if you're first learning how to fly helicopters, it should be in something that you actually have to hand fly to get the helicopter feel (ie, no/minimal SAS, minimal automation, full autos, etc). It was an interesting take and I can see his point. Since what he describes is pretty much a -57, obviously there isn't a viable candidate that matches that that can also do IFR.
Do we really need to teach studs to hand fly non-SAS aircraft? Is there such a beast in the fleet? One could argue that the stick habits learned in the 57B did not translate in to flying the 60. The 60 has mechanical and computer magic to largely remove the human mixing ubit required in a 57B. Fly by wire helos will only have this more so essentially producing a flight product that doesn't require a fully trained human mixing unit as the computer will do it allowing the pilot to just use the controls to point where he wants to go.

That approach is like insisting that your tennager learn to drive on a stick. 20+yrs ago when I was learning g to drive that skill was already anachronistic. When my kids start learning to drive in a few years I cant imagine that there will be any use to that skill because stick vehicles are largely non-existent in the normal car world these days.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Do we really need to teach studs to hand fly non-SAS aircraft? Is there such a beast in the fleet? One could argue that the stick habits learned in the 57B did not translate in to flying the 60. The 60 has mechanical and computer magic to largely remove the human mixing ubit required in a 57B. Fly by wire helos will only have this more so essentially producing a flight product that doesn't require a fully trained human mixing unit as the computer will do it allowing the pilot to just use the controls to point where he wants to go.
I think his argument was that it was more to get an understanding of how a helicopter flies so that when you do have to hand fly it, or when you fly it with magic on, you understand what needs to happen to help the system. Even with all the magic on, there's some specific things you do that became ingrained because you learned that muscle memory (autos and pitch-bias/mixing, power/airspeed, etc). Ask anyone who had to go fly an AS-350 cold and they'll give you a story about how the nose broke on them.

What's interesting about your argument (which is valid) is that the fleet practices flying SAS/Boost off all the time (by practice, I mean it's a check ride item), so apparently it is still important. And let's not kid ourselves, it's not like those systems (or corresponding systems that result in the same thing) don't fail even on the newer airframes.

As for being anti-standard transmission, sometimes it's not about practicality, it's about fun.
 

SynixMan

Professional CCX Wrangler
pilot
Contributor
No inside info, but the Airbus helo might be in the lead if for nothing than it can get here the soonest and it's (sort of) proven with the Army. Meeting the procurement ramp will be tough.

WRT full autos, I think it's dumb. When the AH-1W goes away, no fleet aircraft will auto like the 57 anyway. Managing Nr and Airspeed can still be accomplished in a power recovery auto.

I think a lot of this is the tail wagging the dog. So much of the advanced syllabus is designed around the TH-57's strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. I could teach a MIDN to hover the -60S in a few minutes with all the Auto Pilot magic. Between newer sims and less wasted flying like Trans-FAMs, there's a lot of efficiency to be gained moving to something newer.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
I think his argument was that it was more to get an understanding of how a helicopter flies so that when you do have to hand fly it, or when you fly it with magic on, you understand what needs to happen to help the system. Even with all the magic on, there's some specific things you do that became ingrained because you learned that muscle memory (autos and pitch-bias/mixing, power/airspeed, etc). Ask anyone who had to go fly an AS-350 cold and they'll give you a story about how the nose broke on them.

What's interesting about your argument (which is valid) is that the fleet practices flying SAS/Boost off all the time (by practice, I mean it's a check ride item), so apparently it is still important. And let's not kid ourselves, it's not like those systems (or corresponding systems that result in the same thing) don't fail even on the newer airframes.

As for being anti-standard transmission, sometimes it's not about practicality, it's about fun.
I get all of what you're saying and in theory it makes sense. It just seems odd to make initial training decisions around potential EPs in a fleet aircraft that can be trained to in the FRS. A SAS off EP is still relatively rare and the 60 EP is so different from anything in the 57 due to the control forces involved and the design of the mixing unit that they're two different animals. I've also never flown a FBW help so I'm not sure of the failure modes involved but I'm guessing that there's no longer a mixing unit and therefore there's no longer a SAS off type condition that can be manually flown. Essentially it's all or nothing.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
Those are all valid points. I guess I would say that there's a reason besides cost that we don't immediately start new airline pilots on 737 simulators, even though the direct skill transfer from a C-152 is minimal. There's a value of understanding fundamentals of aviation, like how a wind correction works, even though in a more advanced aircraft you can just let the box figure it out.

There is a sweet spot, for sure. At some point, things have advanced enough it is a waste of time to teach the remnants of the old ways and use that time to teach more advanced skills. In view of the diverse mission sets that helicopters in the naval services perform, I'd say that the most important thing that can be taught is a solid understanding of the fundamentals and an air sense that can be adapted to fleet platforms.

Spending too much time on button-pushing in entry-level training is pointless, since the buttons will change in the fleet anyway. Getting sets and reps in fundamental tasks is the most important thing. If the operating costs of a new aircraft are too high or the reliability too low everything will just migrate to the sim.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
There is a sweet spot, for sure. At some point, things have advanced enough it is a waste of time to teach the remnants of the old ways and use that time to teach more advanced skills. In view of the diverse mission sets that helicopters in the naval services perform, I'd say that the most important thing that can be taught is a solid understanding of the fundamentals and an air sense that can be adapted to fleet platforms.
I'm not saying don't teach fundamentals, I'm just advocating finding that sweet spot based on the need and the cost.

I forgot to agree with @Gatordev wrt my stick transmission analogy. Driving stick is a ton of fun. But it's just not something I need to focus on teaching my kids off the bat. I'm far better off teaching my kids how to judge safe distances then wasting time on stick when none of the cars that they'll drive will have a stick. It's the same reason we don't teach tail draggers in primary or emphasize managing an help motor with a twist grip outside of a 57 failure mode. It's just not relevant to most fleet helicopters (does the H-1Y/Z have a twist grip? I think the N/W did).

Again, still advocating teaching basic RW fundamentals provided that it's still a relevant skill the fleet needs.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
A SAS off EP is still relatively rare and the 60 EP is so different from anything in the 57 due to the control forces involved and the design of the mixing unit that they're two different animals.
Interestingly, the H135 reacts very similarly to the -60 SAS off, albeit without as much inertia (and the landing, where it is less forgiving than those nice oleos in the -60).

It's the same reason we don't teach tail draggers in primary or emphasize managing an help motor with a twist grip outside of a 57 failure mode.
I'm not sure I totally understand what you're saying due to auto-correct, so I'm not arguing for or against you statement, but... If the H135 is picked, there will be a twist grip EP or two. The idea is similar to a fleet aircraft, just the interface is different. I believe the 407 is the same. I'm not sure about the 119, but I'm guessing it's similar to the -60, since it has PCLs.
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
UH-1Y has twist grips. TH-119 a twist grip for manual reversion from FADEC. The H145/UH-72 has collective mounted rotating twist grips interconnected with FADEC. I would guess H135 would be same! From a few flights in the 407, I remember there is a twist grip as well - but default is FADEC.

UH-72 pilot/copilot collective...



a little google action and here is the H135 collective



Here's a quirky video on start sequence for older AW119


Not a bad looking helo...

 
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ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
Given my post right above yours that states it has one, that's a good guess!
Fair point! My reading comprehension on Sundays seems to be lower :)

It will be super interesting to see what gets selected.... and what the matrix of down select criteria actually are.
 
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ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
Without going too far down the thread jack hole - I'm envious of the H135 collective mounted engine controls. The BK-117 and BO-105 overhead power levers sucked in a single pilot environment. Double sucked on maintenance flights where you had to pull power levers out of FLY for various checks.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
The evaluation criteria are on the announcement on FedBizOpps.

In all honesty, the most important thing in a training helo is that it starts every time and that the Navy can afford to fly it.

Bells and whistles besides the standard are just not worth much.
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
More pics - Student Naval Aviators in the Royal Navy helo pipeline doing just fine on Tucano ----> H135 track! Not breaking the budget, producing world class helicopter pilots, doing just fine not doing touchdown autos, etc.

 
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