Okay, I read the explanation linked by QantasA332
in Reply 11, and it poses an interesting point.
If, on early helicopters there was one collective between the pilot seats it is easy to see why the right seat quickly became favored.
The collective has a twistgrip throttle, similar to a motorcycle throttle at the top end. If you hold the collective in the left hand and "pull pitch" you perform a motion similar to picking up a heavy bucket. This is natural. As you lift you rotate your knuckles inward toward the body. On an older, underpowered helicopter this is needed to make it take off. Pulling upward on the collective lever increases pitch in all main rotor blades (collectively) loading them up and making the helo struggle skyward. Rotating the twistgrip throttle in that direction adds power to the engine which will be needed to keep the rotor RPM from bleeding off as the load increases.
Performing this simple action with the right hand would be very uncomfortable and awkward. Try it. Sitting in your chair, pretend you are lifting a heavy bucket with your right hand. But as you lift you must also roll on throttle and that requires that you bend your hand backwards - very uncomfortable.
Could it be that simple - that an early prototype helicopter just had one collective lever between the seats and that it was easier and more comfortable to operate the collective from the right seat?
I just do not believe that the design criteria was biased to tailrotor failure. That is an event so unlikely that of the hundreds of helicopter pilots I have known, having hundreds of years experience between them, only one has experienced it, and he wound up in a wheelchair because under the circumstances he had so little control over the aircraft that he was not even able to arrest the descent, much less pick a place to land. That is just a fairy tale.
As for the winch being on that side; just does not make sense. We install the secondary accessories to make them convenient, we do not design the whole vehicle around some accessory that you use occasionally.
My opinion. Can't prove a thing.
One last wild theory. American helicopters have main rotors that rotate counter-clockwise as viewed from above. If the rotor RPM and diameter are such that the blade tip speed is 300 knots, and you are doing 50 knots forward, then the advancing blade (on the right side) is doing 350K and the retreating blade is only doing 250 knots. Indeed, on the left side, from the hub out to a certain point, the airflow over the blade is from trailing edge to leading edge - backwards. Thus the right side of the rotor disc is automatically producing more lift at any time in forward flight. If you have the pilot seated on that side you have less roll tendency to damp out with the blade pitch control linkage/swashplate rigging. Since the helo always has at least a pilot aboard, put him on the right side.
no, sorry I did not. Knew flight surgeon Biggs, and Biggs AAF
Favorite: The Huey. Taught crewchief/doorgunners in it. Then later flew UH-1D and H. Wonderful machine. Lots of power. Light, smooth, accurate flight controls. Grateful that I had the opportunity to fly it. It is a classic aircraft to be compared seriously with the DC-3 or the P-51 or the Cub or the Spitfire. Classic!
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.