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Flight testing incident footage demonstrates strength of new composite helicopter

Following a flight-testing incident in experimental helicopter ZK-HOL SN#003 on Saturday 8 November 2014, Composite Helicopters International Test Pilots Peter Maloney and Norbert Idelon reflect on their emergency landing and the technology that saved them. ( Altro...

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johnmy97 13
Watched the Video of he Test Flight. Awesome cool control by the 2 test pilots on the controls. Ordinary helicopters would not survive that incident.
Pretty extreme way to prove the strength of your product, great flying.
Great job by the crew maintaining their composure and attemping control of the helicopter. Certainly not a great way to test their airframe but it certainly appears that it saved their lives.
If the part that failed was operating in a regime "well below the limits.." it nonetheless failed due to "high cyclic fatigue". These statements appear to be in some conflict.

The shell is extraordinarily beautiful, and quite plainly saved two lives.
I noticed that too, those two statements seem to be in direct contradiction to each other. I think maybe someone was misquoted or misunderstood.

You just could not produce or buy any better advertising than this video tho...
There are several kinds of mechanical failure modes. The component that failed would've been engineered for at least mechanical overload and fatigue failure. You might interpret the statement of "well below the limits..." to mean that the component did not fail due to mechanical overload (i.e. a single event), but failed due to fatigue ("high cyclic fatigue"). I think their point is that they were operating the machine under normal environmental conditions when the component failed, not, say, in a thunderstorm updraft.
I could agree with the low mechanical load part but if this is a "test" model, why the "High cyclic fatigue"? What (well used) helicopter did they borrow that part from to build this one?
JedFR 1
The "third-party" part manufacturer must be a big player in the helicopter markets for them to use such vague and even contradictory language.
Amazing design - way to go!
Amazing, hat's off to the developers
lynx318 2
Very tough design. Worried me a little with the reference to an eggshell, if an egg breaks......
agrove 1
Kudos to those fantastic pilots!
Talk about Button Holes and dirty pants, wow, great job of staying alive!
know 2 helicopter pilot both have been in crashes. Their words not mine.If you fly helicopter long enough it will crash.Too many parts flying in.Very close formation.Something will break.
This quote attributed to Harry Reasoner about sums it up;

The thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by it's nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately incompetent pilot, it will fly. A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying; immediately and disastrously. There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.

This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why in generality, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts and helicopter pilots are brooding introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened it is about to.

Harry Reasoner


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