goinv
Posts: 255
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Turbulence And Helicopters

Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:21 pm

Do helicopters suffer from chop/turbulence as do aircraft ?

You hear many stories about how turbulence affects civilian flights but I honestly can't say I have ever heard a story of helicopters and turbulence.

Is this because far more people travel in commercial aircraft compared to helicopters so , by default, there are more people to witness such events ? Or is is because of the way that helicopters fly - by "pushing" the air down to stay aloft rather than "pushing" it vertically as in the case of an aeroplane ?
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cancidas
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:32 pm

helo's don't fly as high as commercial a/c. in my expierience, i haven't experienced the major chop in ahelo as i have up in the flight levels. actually, most times i've only hit turbulence on a long cross-country flight when cruising in upper air.
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cptspeaking
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:54 pm

Most of why you don't feel turbulence as much in a helicopter is because the wings are flexible. Unlike airplanes where you've got wings that are fixed and fairly rigid, the blades on a helicopter are designed to flap up and down, so more bumps are absorbed before they are felt in the cabin.

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KELPkid
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:12 am

I think they can generate substantial amounts of wake turbulence...

I was once following a US Army CH-47 Chinook on the ILS at TIW (Tacoma Narrows, WA). The tower controller told us "Caution Wake Turbulence".
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avt007
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:39 am

The ride can be bumpy sometimes, but generally speaking the ride is smoother when compared to a private aircraft, a Cessna or light twin. The size and weight are fairly close, but helicopters seem to ride rough air better. I prefer a helicopter over GA aircraft.
 
FredT
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:20 am

I'd suggest starting by looking at the relative magnitudes of the wing loading/disc loading.

When there is enough turbulence for you to hear about it in the media, it is almost always related to the heavy clear air turbulence which can be found up in jet stream territory, i e the higher flight levels. Helicopters don't venture there.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
I think they can generate substantial amounts of wake turbulence...

About the same as any other aircraft. Substitute wing span for disc diameter.

Quoting Goinv (Thread starter):
Or is is because of the way that helicopters fly - by "pushing" the air down to stay aloft rather than "pushing" it vertically as in the case of an aeroplane ?

You'll find that aircraft and helicopters stay in the air in the very same way - by pushing air down.
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UH60FtRucker
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:38 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
I was once following a US Army CH-47 Chinook on the ILS at TIW (Tacoma Narrows, WA). The tower controller told us "Caution Wake Turbulence".

Yes, each helicopter produces a good amount turbulence.

Typically when flying in a stacked formation, you will encounter the wake turbulence behind the chalks in front of you.

Also, while on the ground, and a helicopter is hovering close by, or slowing hovers by you... you will encounter their disturbed air. And if you are hovering as well, then it becomes a little more difficult to hold a stable hover.

...well... so I hear. I am steady as a rock when hovering. I've never encountered issues.  Wink

-UH60
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metroliner
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:21 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 6):
you will encounter their disturbed air

yeah... i got this once when putting an ASK-13 training glider down over a JetRanger that was on the taxiway having just started up... scared the pants off me! and it was only my third solo flight. i think my instructor was very curious as to why i had landed about 200m short of where he wanted me to be...

thank god it wasn't a UH-60, or i'd have been picking grass from between my teeth!  Smile

toni
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bhill
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:56 pm

Helicopters ARE turbulence!!!  Wink ' cause mother Earth keeps trying to push them away..
As a previous Army medic, starting an IV in a Huey was a bitch!! Funny..I don't ever remeber having a smooth ride in a chopper...Either on a medivac flight or when I was with the artillery folks going air mobile with a 105 stapped under us...but the static generated...WOW!!!

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L-188
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
I was once following a US Army CH-47 Chinook on the ILS at TIW (Tacoma Narrows, WA). The tower controller told us "Caution Wake Turbulence".

Jeezus, that is an understatement by the controler.
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WNCrew
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RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:00 pm

I used to take a helicopter to/from work everyday several years ago (I was NOT an FA then)....and we had lots of chop, also weightlessness (a few seconds here and there) because of mountain waves.
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zvocio79
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:33 am

RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:18 am

Helicopter also have one or more vibration absorver located around the nose and towards the center of gravity that reduces vibrations....they are like many pieces of heavy steal put together (150Lbs) that vibrate almost like a guitar string when been touch.
 
cancidas
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Turbulence And Helicopters

Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:56 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 6):
Yes, each helicopter produces a good amount turbulence.

Typically when flying in a stacked formation, you will encounter the wake turbulence behind the chalks in front of you.

Also, while on the ground, and a helicopter is hovering close by, or slowing hovers by you... you will encounter their disturbed air. And if you are hovering as well, then it becomes a little more difficult to hold a stable hover.

...well... so I hear. I am steady as a rock when hovering. I've never encountered issues.

was getting checked out in a jetranger a few years back, and sat on the grass abeam a run-up area at FRG. was in a good mood so i pulled up on the collective just a little, enough to get the warrior next to me with my former CFI a few bumpy minutes. he didn't totally hate me for that, until i got TO clearance before his student was done with his checklist.  duck 
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