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vol stationnaire

English translation: hover

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:vol stationnaire
English translation:hover
Entered by: Anton Konashenok
Options:
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23:35 Dec 8, 2010
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Aerospace / Aviation / Space / helicopters
French term or phrase: vol stationnaire
Any helicopter pilots out there?

This is not a terminology question but rather a physico-psychological one.

A building component had to be installed using a helicopter. L’opération a été difficile car le pilote ne peut pas rester longtemps en géostationnaire [sic!] (après 5 - 6 minutes il se tétanise et il est obligé de se poser).

My question is: is this inability to hold stationary flight more than a few minutes a recognized phenomenon, something that affects all pilots, or is it just this particular pilot who was unable to do it?

Interesting, isn't it, that objects known for stationery flight are, in my schoolday experience at least, incapable of stationary flight?
xxxBourth
Local time: 18:09
hover
Explanation:
Bourth, first of all, the English term for "vol stationnaire" is hover.
I am a fixed-wing pilot, not a helicopter one, but can give you at least some explanations. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft, which, if properly trimmed, will fly steadily for a while even if you take your hands off the controls, the helicopter has to be controlled more or less all the time. Pilot's right hand remains on the so-called cyclic stick, located in front of his body. In a hover, the control inputs need to be especially precise. You don't hold the cyclic absolutely steady but rather do a very small circle or a figure 8. None of my helicopter-flying friends is currently online to tell me how long one can comfortably hover, but I would imagine there is a certain physiological limit to it, which probably depends more on the type of helicopter than on the pilot.
By the way, one more important factor in a hover is the engine power limitation. If a helicopter is hovering at a height more than appox. one rotor diameter above the ground (and this is likely the case if you have an underslung load), the engines need to be operated at or close to full power, and there is only a certain period of time you can do so without overstressing them. With the maximum load, this may be as short as 5 minutes.

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Note added at 15 hrs (2010-12-09 15:13:20 GMT)
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Just got a response from an old test pilot: hovering for a long time is somewhat difficult but not impossible.

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Note added at 20 hrs (2010-12-09 19:42:23 GMT)
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Another helicopter pilot with 10000 hours said about the same - in principle, it is possible to hover for much longer than 6-7 minutes, but the difficulty depends on the type of helicopter.
Selected response from:

Anton Konashenok
Czech Republic
Local time: 18:09
Grading comment
Many thanks. However various sources suggest that hovering is not absolutely stationary. I also "softened" the text to "The operation was difficult because it is not easy to maintain stationary flight for extended periods (after 5 or 6 minutes pilots can lose their concentration and composure and may have to break off and land)". The original text was written by a non-native French speaker.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +4hover
Anton Konashenok
4stationary flight
Drmanu49


  

Answers


38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
hover


Explanation:
Bourth, first of all, the English term for "vol stationnaire" is hover.
I am a fixed-wing pilot, not a helicopter one, but can give you at least some explanations. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft, which, if properly trimmed, will fly steadily for a while even if you take your hands off the controls, the helicopter has to be controlled more or less all the time. Pilot's right hand remains on the so-called cyclic stick, located in front of his body. In a hover, the control inputs need to be especially precise. You don't hold the cyclic absolutely steady but rather do a very small circle or a figure 8. None of my helicopter-flying friends is currently online to tell me how long one can comfortably hover, but I would imagine there is a certain physiological limit to it, which probably depends more on the type of helicopter than on the pilot.
By the way, one more important factor in a hover is the engine power limitation. If a helicopter is hovering at a height more than appox. one rotor diameter above the ground (and this is likely the case if you have an underslung load), the engines need to be operated at or close to full power, and there is only a certain period of time you can do so without overstressing them. With the maximum load, this may be as short as 5 minutes.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 hrs (2010-12-09 15:13:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just got a response from an old test pilot: hovering for a long time is somewhat difficult but not impossible.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 hrs (2010-12-09 19:42:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another helicopter pilot with 10000 hours said about the same - in principle, it is possible to hover for much longer than 6-7 minutes, but the difficulty depends on the type of helicopter.

Anton Konashenok
Czech Republic
Local time: 18:09
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Many thanks. However various sources suggest that hovering is not absolutely stationary. I also "softened" the text to "The operation was difficult because it is not easy to maintain stationary flight for extended periods (after 5 or 6 minutes pilots can lose their concentration and composure and may have to break off and land)". The original text was written by a non-native French speaker.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Katarina Peters
24 mins
  -> Thank you, Katarina

agree  swisstell
1 hr
  -> Thank you

agree  Bernard LOMBARD
9 hrs
  -> Thank you, Bernard

agree  GeoS
1 day 6 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
stationary flight


Explanation:
CHAPTER 10 ROTARY-WING FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEMS Chapter Objective: Upon ... or remain in stationary flight above the ground (hover). Helicopters do not require ...
www.tpub.com/content/aviation/14018/css/14018_391.htm

I have flown as a left seat pilot several times and no one has ever mentioned any specific difficulty for stationary flight. Of course it is easier to have horizontal speed than to be hovering.
Nevertheless, 6 minutes of seems rather long for conventional flights. Is this military or civilian?
And what type of helicopter?
Some can actually hold the position by themselves

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Note added at 8 days (2010-12-17 11:38:46 GMT) Post-grading
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I have no problem with that but then why select the other answer???

Drmanu49
France
Local time: 18:09
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 175
Notes to answerer
Asker: "Stationary flight" is what I used. Turkmen civil helicopter, therefore prob. a former military pilot, no? Maybe he just needed another shot of vodka ... ;-)

Asker: As I said in the Q, I wasn't looking for a translation but for some insight into how difficult it might be to maintain stationary flight. While you both said basically the same thing, Anton gave rather more detail.

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Changes made by editors
Feb 20, 2011 - Changes made by Anton Konashenok:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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