Left or right seat??

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by vortexringpiece, May 29, 2011.

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  1. Not withstanding AH etc, why is it that rotary wing sky gods sit on the right side and lesser aviators sit on the left.

    Maybe done before but couldn't be arsed to search.

    ........and while I'm thinking on, why is it that the back of a prop s covered with bugs and none on the front

    ........and assuming an aerofoil section has a curved top and flat bottom, how can that type of plane fly inverted??
  2. Try this. I did but I'm not sure they've worked it out yet
  3. In a 2 pilot crew, the Aircraft Commander/Captain sits on the left. If the crew is comprised of pilot and crewman, the pilot sits on the right. By default, most aircraft have all the primary controls and instruments on the right so its the primary flying position. For example, the Lynx has hydraulic selector switch on only the right hand collective and the standby AI is on the right too.
  4. Which ties into the fact that maritime helos tend to make an approach from red 170ish, which means the RHS Pilot has the best view of landing. I don't know which came first though.
  6. Think about it - the prop is a screw, the bearing surface is that which does the work of levering the air backwards in order to pull the airframe forwards, hence the face of the blade you look at from in front doesn't get hit by the bugs. However, anything bigger than a bug will discover disc solidity.

    OTOH, you could ask on PPRuNe......

  7. Yep got that, question is why though, on a commercial jet for example, al the primary flight controls are on the left, not the right, so why is it different in helicopters? I know the Lynx is like it is hyd disconnect on port side collective etc, but that seemed to be following convention, but that doesnt explain why its different to fixed wing, commercial heli's same as military.

    I had an idea it was to do with tail rotor drift and one side of the cabin being higher than the other, but obviously depends on disc rotation, I also thoiught it might have something to do with cavalry mounting (in the non biblical sense) horses but that would be wrong side too.

    In the greater scheme of things it doesnt matter one little bit, but since first I rorary winged, its bugged me,
  9. Bernouli or Newton's Third? Given enough thrust you could get airborne with a couple of meters of plywood.
  10. As far as Im aware, airlines crew capt left hand seat and co pilot rhs with the copilot being the usual handling pilot.
  11. The standard circuit direction for fixed wing aircraft is to the left. How far back in aviation history this developed, I'm not entirely sure. Anyway, in a tandam seat aircraft this is not a problem, but with side by side seating, putting the pilot on the left will give him a better view of the airfield during the circuit.

    Although in helicopters the convention is for the pilot to sit on the right, some civilian helos are certified for the pilot to sit on the left, and some types of flying, eg underslung loads on very long strops, are better done from the lefthand seat. Anyway, sitting on the right, you have your right hand on the cyclic and your left on the collective. On the instrument panel, between the seats and up in the roof can be various switches, knobs, dials etc that may need to be operated, changed or adjusted in flight.

    This is easy in the RHS, as you can do it with the left hand, while the right continues to fly the aircraft. It's a little problamatic in the other seat. You have to change hands on the cyclic, make the adjustment with the right hand, and then change hands again. Apart from being a bit awkward, your left hand is not used to making delicate movements of the cyclic, especially if near to the ground. Also early engines were not that reliable and, even today in single engine helos, it's a good idea not to have your lefthand too far from the collective just incase it all goes quiet.

    All the above is my theory and may bear no resemblance to reallity. :)
  12. Sounds like a bloody good theory though MG. The Sioux is flown from the left hand seat primarily. Which could make it quite interesting when solo trying to adjust switches and radios...especially in the hover taxi (manual twist throttle). Luckily, there arent that many switches to adjust but one needs to be well ahead of your game when flying from the left hand seat, trying to hold cyclic between knees (no friction on the stick), whilst simultaneously keeping left hand on throttle (maintains rotor speed as well as fuel and pitch) and right hand selecting Tower or some other random freq. I'm sure ATC knew how much of a workload it was so got me to change freqs close to the ground just for shits and giggles... Quite often, I'd just land in the middle of an airfield to change the radios. Saves embarrassing loss of control
  13. Yep, would deffo go along with that, right or wrong, it'll do.