Exciting news for Guimbal Cabri G2 fans this month as we get ready for the arrival of our new machine. The November newsletter is a must read for all lovers of tech as we examine the G2’s more futuristic components.
That time of year is rolling around once again. The decorations are going up, holiday plans are set, and Michael Bublè has come out from hibernation. Our timetable over the Christmas period will slow down a fraction, however students can still book in as we’ll have at least one pilot here holding down the fort everyday including Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Success for our PPL(H) theory course students
Congratulations to all the students who’ve completed our new theory course. The most recent was our second innings and proved to be just as successful as the first, with all our students completing the course and three having passed the exam only a few days later; we’ve got one more batter to go and we’re sure he’ll knock it out the park.
Thank you to everyone who took part and big props to Chris for doing the hard yards with the students everyday. Stay tuned for future news on courses in 2020. We’ve plans in the works for an intensive CPL(H) theory course following the positive results from our PPL(H).
So we’re thinking of changing the title of this section from ‘student congratulations’ to ‘Glenn est à la mode’. Thoughts?
Featured this month we have Jason going solo in the Guimbal Cabri G2. Jason started with us only a number of weeks ago, he makes it look so easy! Awesome work. Glenn sports a yellow high vis vest and thumbs up; très stylé.
Mike donned the solo gloves in our (red) Robinson 22 this month, achieving a great result out at Bacchus Marsh, great work Mike. Glenn is seen here with a black jacket and a pair of dark sunglasses; classic and timeless.
Another friendly face at the Melbourne Heli hangar is Tim, looking chuffed in this photo having just completed his first solo flight in the (blue) Robinson 44 Cadet. The first of a few congratulatory photos to come Tim. Glenn got a haircut for this one; c’est marveilleux, Glenn.
Specs and special features of the Guimbal Cabri G2
We’ve gone full geek mode as we look forward to our new helicopter being built at the hangar this December. The contemporary design elements of the G2 continue to impress us; here’s a few features for our fellow geeks’ reading pleasure.
Firstly (and this is my favourite), the G2’s structure is designed so that pilots and passengers can walk away from an impact with the ground at 2000 ft per minute, making for far more forgiving heavy landings. This is owed in part to the composite structure of the fuselage (the body of the helicopter), which can absorb the energy from the fall, and in part to two very cool slider mechanisms built into the seats. When a hard impact occurs, instead of crumbling to take the energy the seats slide down on pressurised shafts fitted to their backs. It’s around here I imagine the sounds of spaceship doors opening as the seats are slowed to a halt (no doubt this is not the sound it makes in real life, but a nerd can dream).
Three composite blades, made from carbon and fibreglass reinforced, mounted to a fully articulated rotor head come a close second. I’ll break down this very exciting sentence for you. In a fully articulated system, the strength lies in flexibility as each blade is allowed to lead/lag (move ahead and behind in the lateral plane) and flap (move up and down) independently of each other, with the addition of feathering (the ability to change about the pitching axis). It allows for flight in a range of meteorological conditions, namely high turbulence and wind conditions given it’s capacity to flow with strong currents. Like the feathers on a bird, it goeswiththe wind. This system also greatly lessens the chance of the rotor blades coming into contact with the tail boom (an event that’s somewhat undesirable). The composite structure and materials used to forge the blades create adamage resistant set, currently without an overhaul date.
Occupant safety is priority in the G2. Enter the Fenestron Tail rotor, a brainchild of Bruno Guimbal when he worked as an engineer at Airbus. The design boasts a few advantages over its counterparts. To combat noise its seven blades are fixed within a shroud at varying angular spaces, so as to distribute noise over different frequencies. Its not quite stealth quiet but quiet relatively speaking, which is a big plus for the neighbours. By placing the rotor within a shroud it lessens the production of wing tip vortices, creating a more reliable production of anti-torque force. Finally and most importantly it provides additional safety for pilots and ground crew operating within the area, the blades being less exposed within their housing. There is something to be said for style too, it just looks cooler.
Honourable mentions go to the crash-resistant Kevlar fuel cell (yes, a bullet proof fuel tank), a solid-state electronic ignition system which prevents over speeding the engine on start up, and skids that are attached to the fuselage via elastomeric mounts to counter ground resonance.
The last thing I’ll mention (for today) is the core of the Cabri’s electronics, the Electronic Pilot Management (EPM) system. The EPM allows monitoring of up to 36 system and engine elements, displaying them on a digital platform instead of analogue. The system gives an accurate account of fuel levels and endurance down to the minute, it automatically controls the carburettor anti-icing system, and has remote central locking with an immobiliser. Instead of the traditional warning lights that come on in a helicopter when something goes awry, the G2 will present a warning indicator on the screen highlighting the problem. The overall effect being a reduced workload. The numbers are clear and the interaction is ergonomic and intuitive. If only it could speak to us…
Safety Corner: Vuichard Manoeuvre
As promised, this issue we’ll take a look at the methods of overcoming Helicopter Vortex Ring State.
If you recall, Helicopter VRS is a flight condition where the helicopter experiences a sharp rate of descent due to vortices disrupting the normal production of lift. Claude Vuichard’s manoeuvre aims to move the helicopter safely into clear air without losing too much height; as VRS is a potential danger on approach, height retention is paramount.
For a number of years the practice taught to overcome VRS has been to decrease collective and push forward on the cyclic, thus taking the drag from the disrupted air off the blades and moving the helicopter into clear air. This method works well, however a large amount of height must be sacrificed.
– Decrease collective
– Ease cyclic forward
– Once in clear air and having gained enough airspeed, increase collective
Contrary to the traditional method, Vuichard’s technique sees the pilot increase collective whilst coordinating a swift lateral shift into clear air (in other words, we use the cyclic and the tail rotor to duck out of the disrupted flow). The direction of the shift depends on the direction of the main rotor, you use opposite cyclic to power pedal in order to fly out (left power pedal, right cyclic and vice versa). An important factor in this manoeuvre is the increase in pitch on the tail rotor. As we are increasing the collective and thus increasing torque, we’ll need to anticipate more force on the power pedal. The push from the tail rotor combined with the lateral bank quickly moves the helicopter into clear air without losing too much height.
Actions: to be input at the same time.
– Increase collective to climb performance
– Increase power pedal
– Bank the helicopter with opposite cyclic to power pedal (10 to 20 degrees)