War Thunder

I’d like to settle some fake news about flying a helicopter without a tail…

warthunder 2 - I'd like to settle some fake news about flying a helicopter without a tail...
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So this is happening now more often than ever and I thought that this would be a great time to flex on you guys with boring ass jobs.

So a bit about me: I'm a UH-60 bro in the US military, rated as a pilot in command. I serve in an assault helicopter battalion, and have a not-astronomical but decent amount of time flying small to medium sized helicopters in a whole bunch of different conditions.

First off: Yes, you guys are right. If you lose a tail rotor, depending on how quickly you can react, you can retain control of the aircraft. There are various emergency procedures we memorize and practice to retain control of the aircraft if all of the sudden we lose our anti-torque rotor. In some cases, the step is to immediately enter an autorotation and pull the engines offline right before touchdown. In others, you can pull the engines back a bit and just adjust your rate of descent with your collective to keep your rotor RPM up.

Now, in a UH-60, we do indeed have a fantastic vertical stabilizer. At around 100 KIAS, the 4.5* cambered fin on the stabilizer offloads pretty much all anti-torque duties from the tail. So yes, if the tail rotor fucking breaks, so long as you're above 100 knots you aren't going to enter a rapid right yaw. As you decrease speed, you have to decrease engine power or a yaw rate will absolutely build up.

HERE'S WHERE YOU GUYS ARE WRONG.

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Fellas, I don't ever see a tail rotor cease functioning in this game. What I see is the entire tail boom get blown clean off. No amount of forward airspeed is going to fix this. For starters, the only device that keeps a yaw rate from building up is that vertical stabilizer. Second, a helicopter is a meticulously engineered piece of machinery and careful attention is paid to the center of gravity when designing these things. The loss of your entire tail boom is going to cause such a massive shift in CG, that the aircraft will become completely uncontrollable. Fellas, you're in bad shape if this happens. Even the mighty KA-50/52 with its coaxial rotor would suffer from such a CG shift.

Ok, so lets talk secondary effects. These things have pretty damn powerful engines. The engines in a UH-60 send power through a transmission that powers both the tail rotor and the main rotor. Yes, we have electronic engine controls that work to prevent overspeeding of the engine – however I have a strong suspicion that if suddenly your engines do not have to spin the tail any more, your main rotor is going to overspeed like fucking crazy. That's bad news bears, folks.

You want to know what a real shootdown would look like? Here ya go

The helicopter physics in this game are fucked. Not like they are in BF4, but please don't think you can just keep flying forever without a tail boom. It simply isn't going to happen.

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