Robinson R22 Beta II Flight Notes

has to offer. There's nothing like threading your way through the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago or New York and, with practice, you'll be able to make rooftop landings.

Many factors affect flight planning and aircraft operation, including aircraft weight, weather, and runway surface. The recommended flight parameters listed below are intended to give approximations for flights at maximum takeoff or landing weight under ISA conditions.


Important: These instructions are intended for use with Flight Simulator only and are no substitute for using the actual aircraft manual for real-world flight.

Note: As with all of the Flight Simulator aircraft, the V-speeds and checklists are located on the Kneeboard. To access the Kneeboard while flying, press F10, or select the Aircraft menu, and then choose Kneeboard.

Note: All speeds given in Flight Notes are indicated airspeeds. If you're using these speeds as reference, be sure that you select "Display Indicated Airspeed" in the Realism Settings dialog box. Speeds listed in the specifications table are shown as true airspeeds.


By default, this aircraft has full fuel and payload. Depending on atmospheric conditions, altitude, and other factors, you will not get the same performance at gross weight that you would with a lighter load.

Controlling the Helicopter using a Joystick

You can use a joystick to operate the basic flight and power controls for the Robinson R22 helicopter.

The stick part of the joystick controls the cyclic, which controls the helicopter's pitch attitude in flight and movement over the ground while in a hover.

If you have a joystick like the Microsoft® SideWinder 3-D Pro, you can twist the stick to apply left or right anti-torque pedal inputs. Anti-torque pedals are used to yaw the nose of a helicopter side to side by adjusting the pitch of the blades on the tail rotor. Push the left pedal, and the helicopter's nose will rotate to the left. Pushing the right pedal has the opposite effect.

The lever, or wheel, on the joystick, which you use like the throttle in an airplane, is the collective when flying a helicopter. This controls pitch in the main rotor blades collectively. Its primary function is to control altitude.

In recent years, sophisticated turbine-engine helicopters have all but eliminated the throttle from the collective lever. Computerized mechanisms control the power necessary to maintain rotor rpm appropriate to the collective setting chosen by the pilot. This is essentially how the collective works in Flight Simulator. The fuel control unit automatically adjusts the throttle (engine speed) as you move the collective.

To control the throttle manually, press CTRL+F2 to decrease power and CTRL+F3 to increase power. (This procedure is not recommended unless you're familiar with helicopter operation.) Monitor the power turbine gauge to set engine power as a percentage of power turbine rpm.

Required Runway Length

Practically speaking, the required runway length for the R22 is the length of its skids (the long bars that contact the ground to support the fuselage). You can land this aircraft on buildings, boats, or anywhere except on water (in real life, R22s can be equipped with floats in order to land on water).

Engine Startup

The engine is running by default when you begin a flight. If you shut the engine down by clicking the Fuel Valve Switch, you can return to engine ON by clicking the Fuel Valve Switch again or by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+F4.

Hovering and Taxiing

Taxiing in a helicopter is often called hover taxiing. This means that you will hover just a few feet off the ground with a forward motion. Generally, you would use this technique when taxiing from one area to another on the airport or if you needed to move the helicopter a short distance.

Under typical weather conditions and operating weights, you'll need 70 to 75 percent torque to hover or hover taxi. If you lift the skids more than about 3 feet (1 meter) above the ground, the helicopter effectively flies out of ground effect, and you'll need about 10 percent more power to maintain a hover.

Keep in mind that under certain conditions, such as in tall grass, over steep or rough terrain, or at high altitudes, the helicopter may not be able to hover out of ground effect.


Helicopters don't have flaps.


Note the wind direction and speed. If possible, plan to take off directly into the wind to minimize sideways drift and to increase the helicopter's performance during takeoff and climb.

Wind blowing through the main rotor disk has the same effect as forward airspeed. For example, if the helicopter is facing into a 10- to 15-knot wind, the rotor experiences effective translational lift (ETL) even when the aircraft is on the surface.

When you're ready to make a vertical takeoff, use scenery objects as a guide. Note a point in the distance (such as a building, tower, or gas pump). Use that point and the outside horizon as references to help you maintain the helicopter's alignment and attitude as you lift off.

Set the cyclic (joystick handle) in an approximately neutral position. Set the collective in the full down position (use the joystick throttle, or press F2).

Smoothly and slowly raise the collective (press F3, or push forward on the joystick throttle). The helicopter should become light on the skids as you reach 40 to 60 percent torque. Ease into this range smoothly and slowly.

As the helicopter's weight comes off the skids, it will start to drift and turn to the right. Hold the collective steady at this point, and use slight left cyclic pressure to hold the helicopter in position.

Apply left pedal pressure (twist the joystick to the left, press the left rudder pedal, or press 0 on the numeric keypad) to compensate for the torque from the main rotor.

Keep your attention outside the helicopter, and focus on the horizon and other visual clues. To continue the liftoff, smoothly increase the collective.

Anticipate the need to add left pedal as you lift off and make small, smooth corrections with the cyclic (move the joystick, or press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW) and pedals (twist the joystick, or press 0 [left] or ENTER [right] on the numeric keypad) to maintain heading and position.

Hold the helicopter skids about 3 feet (1 meter) above the ground. You want to stay low in case the engine fails and to keep the helicopter in ground effect. You'll probably need 70 to 75 percent power to maintain the hover.

Raise or lower the collective to maintain altitude. Maintain the correct attitude using light, small cyclic pressures, and use the anti-torque pedals to keep the helicopter's nose from rotating.

Anticipate corrections to compensate for wind. You'll need slight forward cyclic pressure if you take off into a headwind, left pressure with a left crosswind, and so forth.

When you're ready to continue the takeoff, gently apply a small amount of forward cyclic (push the joystick forward, or press the UP ARROW) to lower the nose and begin moving forward along the departure path. The helicopter may tend to settle as you start forward. Compensate by adding slight up collective (increase the joystick throttle setting, or press F3).

As airspeed reaches 10 to 15 knots, the helicopter enters effective translational lift. The nose tends to yaw left and pitch up slightly. Apply some forward cyclic to prevent the nose from rising.

Add some left lateral cyclic (push the joystick left, or press the LEFT ARROW) to prevent the helicopter from drifting right, and apply right pedal pressure (twist the joystick to the right, use the right rudder pedal, or press ENTER on the numeric keypad) to maintain heading. The helicopter will continue climbing and accelerating.

If you feel like you're juggling a lot at this point, you are. Helicopter flying is not easy; it's been described as an activity similar to trying to balance one ball on top of another.

Continue the takeoff by flying a modified traffic pattern. Climb straight ahead at 60 knots to 300 feet (90 meters). The helicopter should be in a nearly nose-level attitude.

Turn 90 degrees left (standard traffic pattern) or right to the crosswind leg. Maintain 60 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) and continue the climb to 500 feet (150 meters).

To accelerate and maintain rate of climb, increase collective and add slight forward cyclic. On the crosswind leg, depart the traffic pattern or return for another landing by turning 90 degrees again to join the downwind leg.


The Robinson R22 can achieve a maximum rate of climb of about 1,300 feet per minute at sea level under standard weather conditions. The aircraft's best rate-of-climb airspeed is 53 knots. However, 60-65 knots is a good climb speed because it's also the speed to use for autorotation if the engine fails.

For a normal climb, adjust the collective (use the joystick throttle, or press F3) for a torque setting about 10 percent above that required to maintain a hover in ground effect.

Under standard conditions and at typical operating weights, you'll need 80 to 85 percent torque for a normal climb. Use the cyclic (the joystick or the ARROW keys) to set a pitch attitude that maintains an airspeed of about 60 knots.

Keep the following considerations in mind as you climb:

To level off from a climb, start decreasing collective about 50 feet (15 meters) below the altitude at which you want to level off. Add right anti-torque pedal as you decrease torque to the cruise setting. Use the cyclic to maintain cruising airspeed. Apply forward cyclic to increase speed and aft cyclic to slow down.


Cruise altitude would normally be determined by winds, weather, and other factors. You might want to use these factors in your flight planning if you have created weather systems along your route. Optimum altitude is the altitude that gives the best fuel economy for a given configuration and gross weight.

Under typical conditions, the Robinson R22 cruises at about 96 knots while burning 8 gallons (30.27 liters) of fuel per hour.

To maintain the desired track over the ground, use the anti-torque pedals to turn the helicopter into the wind and establish the correct crab angle. To turn, use the cyclic to bank the helicopter.


To descend at a comfortable rate without building too much speed, you must decrease main rotor pitch by lowering the collective (use the joystick throttle, or press F2). Anticipate the need for the right anti-torque pedal as you decrease torque.

The nose drops as you lower collective, so remember that you'll need to add a little aft cyclic (pull the joystick aft, or press the DOWN ARROW) to maintain the correct pitch attitude and airspeed. Don't add too much aft cyclic, however: the aircraft will climb. Note that as you descend, the engine produces more power. Monitor the engine instruments and smoothly reduce collective to continue your descent.

To level off from a descent, start increasing collective about 50 feet (15 meters) above the altitude at which you want to level off. Add left anti-torque pedal as you increase torque to the cruise setting. Use the cyclic to maintain cruising airspeed. Apply forward cyclic to increase speed and aft cyclic to slow down.


Approaches in a helicopter have more to do with local traffic and terrain than a need to be at a target speed and configuration. Enter the airport traffic area in a safe manner that avoids obstacles, and follow the landing procedures below.


To land the R22, reverse the procedure for a normal takeoff. That is, fly an approach from a 500-foot (150-meter) traffic pattern, enter a hover at about 3 feet (1 meter) above the ground, and then slowly and smoothly lower the aircraft to the ground.

Following this procedure helps you establish good habits and makes it easier to achieve smooth, consistent landings.

Review the landing checklist on the Kneeboard.

Fly a modified traffic pattern that avoids the flow of fixed-wing traffic.

During the first half of the approach, decrease power by lowering the collective (use the joystick throttle, or press F2). During the second half of the approach, you must smoothly increase power to arrive at the 3-foot (1-meter) hover just as you set hover power.

A descent angle of 10 to 12 degrees provides good obstacle clearance and helps you keep the landing area in sight.

Adjust the collective to control rate of descent. Increase collective (use the joystick throttle, or press F3) to reduce the rate of descent; decrease collective (use the joystick throttle or press F2) slightly to increase rate of descent.

Use the cyclic (the joystick or ARROW keys) to adjust the rate of closure with your landing spot. Apply slight aft cyclic to reduce the rate of closure; forward pressure increases the rate of closure. The ideal forward rate of travel is that of a normal walk.

Continue the approach until the rate of closure with the landing spot accelerates. Begin dissipating forward speed by applying smooth, slight back pressure on the cyclic. As you decelerate, anticipate the need to decrease collective to maintain altitude.

As airspeed drops, the aircraft will lose effective translational lift. You must add up collective to compensate for the loss of lift. You'll also need to add left anti-torque pedal pressure as you increase collective pitch.

Transition to the hover over the landing spot. Enter a 3-foot (1-meter) hover over the spot where you want to land. Slowly lower the collective and allow the helicopter to settle onto the landing spot. Once the aircraft is down, lower the collective all the way (move the joystick throttle full aft, or press F1).


Autorotation in a helicopter is the equivalent of a power-off glide in an airplane. The following procedures will help you land the Robinson R22 after a simulated engine failure.

During autorotation, it's important to maintain rotor rpm so you have lift available to cushion the landing. You must also maintain the correct forward speed so that you can reach a suitable landing area and flare to reduce the rate of descent before ground contact.

To achieve the best glide ratio and travel the greatest distance, maintain 65 KIAS, the maximum-distance glide speed. Use the cyclic (the joystick or ARROW keys) to adjust pitch to maintain best glide.

To descend at the minimum-sink rate, fly at 53 KIAS. You won't cover as much distance, but you'll stay in the air for a longer time. You may want to use the minimum-sink airspeed if you're directly over a landing area.

Here are some tips to help you fly the R22 in an autorotation:

Straight-in Autorotation

To practice a straight-in autorotation, use the following procedure:

Enter the traffic pattern at 500 feet (152 meters) and 70 to 100 KIAS.

Close the throttle to flight idle (press CTRL+F2).

Smoothly but quickly, lower the collective to the full-down position. Apply a slight amount of aft cyclic pressure to keep the nose from dropping and to decelerate to 65 KIAS. Be careful not to jerk the cyclic back and forth, chasing the airspeed.

Keep the helicopter in trim using pedal pressure (use rudder pedals, or press 0 [left] or ENTER [right] on the numeric keypad). Control drift using the cyclic. Make sure the skids are straight before entering the flare.

At about 75 feet (23 meters), keep your eyes on the landing spot so you can judge the rate of closure. Begin the final deceleration and flare by smoothly increasing aft cyclic pressure. You should be 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4 meters) above the ground as the helicopter starts to settle.

As the helicopter settles toward the ground, make sure you establish a level pitch attitude. Smoothly apply up collective to reduce sink rate and cushion the touchdown.

Apply right pedal to keep the nose absolutely straight.

Use cyclic pressure as necessary during this transition to keep the aircraft level and compensate for drift.

Autorotation with 180-Degree Turn

Practicing an autorotation with a 180-degree turn develops your ability to plan ahead and control the helicopter smoothly and precisely.

Begin this maneuver at 500 feet (152 meters) and 70 to 100 KIAS.

Establish a downwind leg 150 to 250 feet (46 to 76 meters) from the landing area.

Abeam your intended landing spot, enter the autorotation by moving the collective to the full down position (move the joystick throttle full aft, or press F1).

Turn to the base leg as you stabilize in the autorotation. Remember to use the cyclic, not the pedals, to turn. Use the pedals to maintain coordinated flight. A slip or a skid causes a drop in airspeed, increases sink rate, and shortens the glide.

Use the cyclic to maintain the proper descent attitude and airspeed at about 65 KIAS. Look out toward the horizon to help you maintain the proper attitude.

Roll out on final with the cyclic, and complete the deceleration, flare, and touchdown as in a straight-in autorotation.