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8 Answers

Helicopter Ground Run Ups

Asked by: 4868 views Helicopter

is it correct to say that a helicopter is in a state of flight during the ground run up phase.

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8 Answers

  1. Bob Watson on Sep 25, 2011

    I’m not a heli pilot, but I would imagine it depends on the helicopter. I was under the impression they did the run-up before engaging the rotor system. Because the point of the run-up is to make sure everything is ready for flight, I don’t know why they’d do them after lifting off. Seems rather risky.

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  2. Brian on Sep 25, 2011

    I will check with our heli guys this week. That said, I assume yes. The blades are engaged for runup, but the collective (what changes the pitch) is set too low to lift off. If the collective were raised I would think the RPM is there to lift off, but I’ll get back to you shortly with a more diffinative answer. 

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  3. Bob Watson on Sep 25, 2011

    Brian’s answer is closer to the checklists, now that I’ve acutally looked them up.
    The H269 and R22 checklists list the mag check after rotor engagement and before pre-takeoff, so it’s definitely before flying.
    Sorry for the misinformation above.

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  4. Brian on Sep 27, 2011

    What I originally stated is on mark except for the state of flight. The answer to your question is no, you are not in a state of flight because the definition of flying would be to be in the air. That said, and as stated previously, the rotor RPM is at flight speed. However, without the collective increased (blade pitch), the helicopter remains on the ground. 

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  5. Kris Kortokrax on Oct 18, 2011

    Each helicopter is different.  R-22 & R-44 mag check is typically done around 70% RPM, not enough to sustain flight.  H269/300 is done at normal operating RPM with the collective raised to obtain a certain Manifold Pressure (some load on the rotor).
    Bell Jet Ranger has no mag check.  Start, wait 1 minute, 70% N1, generator on, preflight checklist, full throttle, lift off.
    Sikorsky SK-58, rotor brake on, start one engine, generator on, check hydraulics, release rotor brake, RPM to 80%, start second engine, preflight checks, lift off.
    Once the helicopter has left the ground, state of flight begins.

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  6. Brian on Nov 04, 2011

    “R-22 & R-44 mag check is typically done around 70% RPM, not enough to sustain flight. ”
    Hover flight, or forward flight? I ask because my undestanding, which is meager in this category, is that forward flight requires far less engine power than hover. And because I’m just curious. Thanks 🙂

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  7. Mike Dunkin on Jan 14, 2012

    To answer your question: no ground run is not a stage of flight!

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  8. Cameron on Jun 18, 2012

    Brian, to answer your question, yes.  Less power is required above effective translational lift than below it.  That “line in the sand,” typically between 16-24 knots, is really what separates “hovering flight” from “forward flight.”  But in a wheeled helicopter it’d take a ground run like an airplane to take off with less than hover torque applied to the rotor system.  You can kind of do a running take off in a skid-gear helicopter but it’s hard on the skid shoes and a little more interesting for the pilot.
    In my helicopter, I typically hover around 75% (weight and conditions dependent) and can sustain constant altitude, constant airspeed powered flight as low as 48-50% torque.
    He also mentioned “70% RPM” for the mag checks.  RPM should remain at 100% for all flight operations.  Any throttle maneuvering is done to increase or decrease the amount of power to the rotor system as demands (collective blade pitch) are increased or decreased – all in order to maintain that 100% RPM.  We change torque settings in flight and match throttle (or have it done automatically, which is my favorite way, haha) to demands to keep 100% RPM.

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