Helicopters and Autorotation

I have liked helos for some time now, but have recently learned some new stuff about them. Previously I thought that if the engine shut down in one of these things, it would fall straight out of the air and end in a fiery pile of twisted metal. Not so, apparently, as is demonstrated in this video:

As they explain the concept of autorotation, and thus, safely landing a helicopter without power, it makes enough sense. It’s just something that I’d never thought about. This guy did a whole miniseries addressing the mechanics of these amazing flying machines that is definitely worth the watch. If any of you out there are helicopter mechanics, can you confirm or deny the information given? Beyond helos, I highly recommend the Smarter Everyday channel in general. It’s a show about physics and biology that deals a lot in guns and high speed photography and video. There’s a little Christianity in the mix, but he’s definitely not in-your-face about it.

2 thoughts on “Helicopters and Autorotation

  1. I am not a helicopter pilot and I do not play one on television, but I did have the privilege of taking a helo on a spin around NAS Oceana once, and I can confirm that autorotation is a real thing. Thankfully, not because I had to do it myself ;).

    It sure as hell is not easy, it requires countless hours of practice, and it is still no guarantee that the aircraft will enjoy the process of reuniting with the ground, but given that most helos lack any kind of parachute system for their crew, it is always nice to have in your back pocket.

  2. I was in three real autorotations over the years… It DOES take skill on the pilot’s part, and it’s not exactly a ‘smooth’ landing… Just sayin…

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