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Rotary Wing
Discuss helicopters and other rotary wing aircraft from any era.
Helicopter Pilot/Co-pilot postion question?
Grauwolf
#084
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
KitMaker: 2,109 posts
ModelGeek: 62 posts
Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 09:05 AM GMT+7
Hi all, Hope you are having nice holidays.

It seems that in all the references that I have seen, in a helicopter, the pilot sits on the right of the cockpit and the co-pilot to his left,whereas in an aircraft, it is the opposite.

Any official reason for this set up?

Cheers,
Joe
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 15,740 posts
ModelGeek: 760 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 05:30 AM GMT+7
It is due to the arrangement of the cockpit. The pilot needs to keep constant control of the cyclic control stick which is between his legs, so the hand on it stays there. The other hand is on the collective which is to his left on the floor and can be released when set. The hand on the collective can then be used to flip switches and turn knobs on the center console and IP. If the pilot was in left seat, he would have to cross his left hand over himself (or switch hands on the cyclic) to reach the IP and center console to turn knobs and flip switches. If the PIC is in the right seat, his left hand can be free while his right hand stays on the cyclic without contorting himself to reach buttons and knobs.

Grauwolf
#084
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
KitMaker: 2,109 posts
ModelGeek: 62 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 07:19 AM GMT+7
Thanks for the info Gino. I understand the part about the
contortion free operation because of the cockpit design but
why was the helicopter designed with main controls on the
right as opposed to the aircraft left side, in a side by side
cockpit.
Any official reason for this.

Cheers,
rdt1953
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 06, 2015
KitMaker: 752 posts
ModelGeek: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 07:51 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Thanks for the info Gino. I understand the part about the
contortion free operation because of the cockpit design but
why was the helicopter designed with main controls on the
right as opposed to the aircraft left side, in a side by side
cockpit.
Any official reason for this.

Cheers,



I believe the reason may be historical in that Sikorsky 's R 4 which many regard as the first true production helicopter had only one collective pitch control as a weight saving measure . Sikorsky knew the R 4 would have to do duty as a trainer as well
so he put the collective pitch lever in the center where it could be used by either pilot.
Hope this helps - Richard
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 15,740 posts
ModelGeek: 760 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 08:05 AM GMT+7
I think it has to do more with most people being right-handed. The controls are the same on either side of the helicopter. The cyclic is the more important control stick and the designers assumed pilots would naturally hold it in their right hand. Hence the PIC is on the right side.
Grauwolf
#084
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
KitMaker: 2,109 posts
ModelGeek: 62 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - 09:40 AM GMT+7
Thanks to you both!

Now that makes a lot of sense and understand why it was done that way.

Thanks again and happy modeling in 2018!

Joe