In order to prove how well the Heli-Chair works, we took a fresh student to get his first flight in a Robinson R22 Beta II helicopter. The student had only been trained on the Heli-Chair helicopter flight emulator, having logged no time in a real helicopter. We took video footage of this first flight and would like for you to watch it! The video you will see captures the student's first flight in the Robinson R22. This helicopter is known for being quite sensitive on the controls, as our student agrees. The hovering and pedal turns that are demonstrated here represent a skill level typical of a student pilot who has trained between 8 and 15 hours in a full size helicopter (at a price of around $230 per hour for a helicopter including dual instruction). Our Heli-Chair pilot accomplished this immediately after taking the controls of the helicopter. Ask any FAA rated helicopter pilot to view this video and they will be absolutely astounded that a student pilot who has never flown a real helicopter can do this. Even more amazing is that we accomplished this in one of the most difficult-to-fly helicopters out there. Most other popular models of helicopters such as the Bell 47, Schweizer / Hughes 300 or Enstrom are typically more stable and much less sensitive. If you can fly a Heli-Chair, you can fly an R22 and a lot of helicopter pilots will tell you that if you can fly a Robinson R22, you can fly any helicopter!
We had also chance to fly this Hughes 500. The flight instructor said "try the pedals." They were pretty soft compared to the chair, not quite as twitchy. Then he said, "OK, now try the collective." The collective was a piece of cake! On this particular helicopter, rotor speed is governed automatically. On the Heli-Chair the throttle is separate from the collective and so it is necessary to control rotor speed. Next he said, "Now, this will be very hard, but I'll take over when you loose it...go ahead and try the cyclic now". He was right, the cyclic is the hard part and without Heli-Chair training that would have been the end of the experiment. He was literally astounded that someone could fly a helicopter so easily.
Truth is, if you can hover a remote control model helicopter while using the Heli-Chair controls, you can hover the real thing. We've done it! Meet our flight instructors and find out more about flight training with the Heli-Chair on our pilot page.
Take a peek at our first training video for a taste of how realistic the Heli-Chair is.
at the controls of N54PD, a Hughes 500 (Now MD500, McDonnell Douglas)
stepping into one of the coolest choppers around, wow...lucky guys!
a nice stable hover. these helicopters are extremely smooth in flight due to the 5 bladed rotor system