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Helicopter Flight, Control and Stability

Collective Rigging for Autorotation - This article discusses how the main rotor collective control is rigged for autorotation. This depends on the helicopter's operating environment, specifically the air density. We briefly discuss some of the basic physics of rotor speed in autorotation to understand why this is so.

Coordinated Turns - Turns are one of four fundamental helicopter flight conditions. In this article we discuss the coordinated turn.

Helicopter Autorotation - This article discusses the physics of helicopter autorotation and how a pilot executes autorotation.

Helicopter Control Forces - This article discusses the feel of the primary flight controls in a helicopter. It includes reversible and irreversible control systems, trim systems and factors that impact the feel of the controls including friction, gradients, damping and inertia. Finally, control force measuring equipment and the simulation of flight controls is explained.

Helicopter Controls - This article describes the four primary controls on a traditional helicopter: the collective, longitudinal cyclic, lateral cyclic and pedals.

Helicopter Off-Axis Control Responses - The article discusses off-axis control responses in a traditional helicopter, including pitch, roll and yaw responses to collective, cyclic and pedal controls.

Helicopter Stability - This article discusses helicopter static and dynamic stability, including phugoid and Dutch roll behavior.

Helicopters have unique stability and control characteristics not seen in other aircraft.  In this section we discuss helicopter flight, controls and stability.  It includes a high-level introduction to the primary flight controls that a pilot uses to fly a helicopter:  Helicopter Flight Controls.  Aspects of the helicopter's response to pilot control inputs are discussed in our article on helicopter stability:  Helicopter Stability.  Undesirable "off-axis" responses to pilot control inputs are discussed in this article:  Off-Axis Control Responses.  

For more detailed / technical information about the forces exerted on pilot sticks and pedals see this article:  Control Forces.  For technical notes about collective control rigging for autorotation see this:  Control Rigging for Autorotation.  To learn more about autorotation - how a helicopter glides to the ground upon engine failure - see this:  Helicopter Autorotation.