Helicopter sport



Helicopter sport

is a kind of aviation sport in which competitions are conducted using helicopters, i.e. rotorcraft, equipped with several propellers (carrying screws) driven by the engine (engines), creating the necessary lifting force for the flight. These machines are capable of vertical take-off and landing, moving in any direction and for a long time hanging in the air in one place.

Projects of the first rotorcraft appeared in 1475 – that’s when Leonardo da Vinci had an idea to create a device with a vertical take-off. However, his “ornitottero” on modern helicopters was not very similar. The idea of ​​the first prototype of the helicopter was proposed by M.V. Lomonosov in the year 1754. His “aerodynamic (air-breathing) machine” was supposed to rise into the air with the help of twin screws (on parallel axes) and did not imply the presence of a pilot. A century later, the French inventor Ponto d’Amecour designed another rotorcraft, called “airless”.


However, these bold projects were never implemented. More successful were the designs created at the beginning of the last century – inventions of the brothers Berge and M. Leger (France) were able to break away from the earth to a height of 50 cm to a meter and a half and stay in the air for a few seconds to 1 minute. The flights became much longer and more manageable only after the invention of the skew machine, the scheme of which was published by the engineer B.N. Yuryev in May 1911, but due to lack of funds, he could not patent his invention. Unlike Yuryev, G. Botezat, who emigrated from Russia, was not constrained in the funds, since he was fulfilling the order of the American army, and his invention was patented.

Helicopter sport

Today, the scope of helicopters is quite wide. Aircraft of this type are used for various operations of the armed forces (patrolling and border guarding, landing, reconnaissance, transfer of troops, providing ammunition, etc.), special forces and police, in medicine and rescue (rescue of victims and their delivery to the hospital ), in commercial transportations, in agriculture (for pest control). Specially equipped helicopters are used in construction (helicopter cranes), to extinguish fires (fire helicopters equipped with water tanks) and aerial photography.

Competitions on which pilots of helicopters could demonstrate their skills began to be carried out in many countries of the world from the middle of the last century, and quickly gained considerable popularity. The first world championship in helicopter sport was held in early September 1971 in Buekberburg (Germany). Since then, European and world championships for this sport are held regularly, every 2-3 years.

The term “helicopter” comes from the words “twirl” and “fly.”

There are several versions regarding the origin of this term. For example, some experts asserted that this word was created for the name of the first machine equipped with a screw capable of taking off vertically and is a reduction of the words “vertical” and “fly” (this statement is incorrect, since the first autogyro, which was originally called a helicopter, was not is capable of vertical take-off). In addition, there is an opinion that the word was created by analogy with the French “gyroplane”, or the first part of the term perpetuates the name of the company that produced the helicopters – Vertol (an acronym for “Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft” – “vertical takeoff and landing aircraft”).

Helicopter, rotorcraft, autogyro, turbolet – synonyms.

This is not quite true.Rotors (the screw is used for flight as a wing), as well as convertoplanes (using propellers for take-off, and then for flight, like aircraft propellers), are considered one of the helicopter schemes, equipped with engines, but have some distinctive properties (for example, emergency situations can go into a planning flight, to which helicopters are practically incapable). For a long time, the autogyro was also ranked among the helicopters. Confusion arose from the consonance of the names of both aircraft (helicopter before the war was called a helicopter, gyroplotter, gyroplane, rotoplan) and some common design features (for example, the presence of a screw). However, it should be noted that the autogyro, unlike the helicopter, flies exclusively in the autorotation mode of the propeller, and the horizontal speed is reported to it by a propeller fixed to the front of the fuselage (while a helicopter having an engine can use the helicopter flight mode), not is equipped with a skew machine. The autogyro is not capable of vertical takeoff and landing, but, like the rotorcraft, it can go into a planning flight. Turbolete, which is a bench for testing the operation of engines and not equipped with screws, is closer to aircraft with vertical take-off and landing, and looks like a helicopter only for vertical take-off and hovering in one place.

The mass helicopter sport originated in Europe.

Helicopter sport federations did exist in many European countries, but various kinds of championships in this sport started in 1958 in the USSR. Not only the members of the DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Fleet) competed in flights (at low altitude and along a certain route) and landings for accuracy (for small sites limited by ten-meter obstacles), piloting techniques and other exercises, – Air Force (Air Force) and the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on aircraft technology. By 1971 (when the first world championship in helicopter sport was held), 12 USSR championships were held in the Soviet Union for this sport (while, for example, in Germany – only 3).

The idea of ​​holding the first world championship in helicopter sport belonged to the German flying club.

Wrong opinion. The German flying club was only instructed to prepare the first match of this kind. The initiator of the World Championship was the Helicopter Committee of the Federation of Aeronautical Internationale (FAI) after in 1959 the Soviet Union received a proposal to organize a championship of eight Soviet Republics in helicopter sports in Paris. The second application came in 1960, again from the Soviet Union – now it was an urgent requirement to hold a world championship in this sport, and in the event of a refusal of the USSR committee, it proposed the holding of such competitions in Moscow by its own forces. The German aero club was one of the first to take an interest in the FAI proposal to hold the world championship in helicopter sport, and led by Otto Ritdorf (later – member and first vice-president of the FAI helicopter commission) immediately started developing an exercise program for future competitions and holding national championships in Germany . It should be mentioned that in the first world championship in helicopter sport the USSR team did not take part, although many ideas developed by the Federation of Helicopter Sport of the Soviet Union since 1958 were used in drawing up the competition program.

Helicopter sport

The exercise program offered to pilots competing for the title of champion of Europe and the world, has remained virtually unchanged since the first championship in helicopter sport.

No, the modern program has undergone many modifications – some exercises have been partially changed, others have been eliminated, and new ones have been added instead.For example, a “helicopter slalom”, in which it was necessary to carry a 5 kg cargo through 10 gates (two-meter rods dug into the ground in a meter from each other) in a certain sequence in the minimum time, is somewhat complicated. Now, as a cargo, each of the pilots is given a bucket of water attached to a long halyard. It should be carried through 12 gates, and at the end – placed in the center of the table, the height and diameter of which – 1 m. It is taken into account not only the correctness of the passage through the gate, but also the level of water left in the bucket after the task is completed. Exercise “rescue operation”, during which the crew was to deliver to the “rescue zone” (50 × 50 meters) medical equipment (a halyard with a 5 kg load at the end) and lower it into a 40 × 40 cm hole on the mock-slope roof, replaced by “freight or postman.” Almost invariable were “navigation” and “flight to accuracy.” As an additional exercise, the program also includes “individual freestyle” and tasks designed to increase the spectacle of competitions: “opening bottles” (the pilot opens the beer bottles installed a few meters above the ground with the help of a bottle opener fixed to the fuselage), “parallel slalom” , “parallel flight for accuracy”, “parallel cargo transportation”. Freestyle and exercises of increased entertainment in the overall classification of the Championship are not included.

Most of all world records in helicopter sport belong to Soviet athletes.

According to statistics, before the beginning of 1991, most of the world’s records – 49 out of 123 officially registered – were installed by athletes from the United States, followed by helicopters from the USSR (47 records). But the first places in the world championships athletes from the USSR, and later – from Russia, really occupied more often than others, in particular, the title of Absolute World Champions until 1991, the USSR team was awarded twice (in 1973 and 1978). After the collapse of the Union, the Russian team was awarded this title six times – in all six world championships in helicopter sport (in 1992, 94, 96, 99, 2002 and 2005), 5 of which the team took 1st place, .

Women in helicopter sport appeared only in the late 80-ies of the last century.

Absolutely mistaken opinion! Initially, in this sport, women competed on a par with men. For example, in the Soviet Union since 1973, according to the results of the competition, the title of Absolute Champion of the USSR was awarded to both men and women. And at the first World Championships in helicopter sport competitions for women pilots were held: Khana Reich from Germany and Dorothea Schrimpf from Colombia won the first place, the second was Kristel Teryung and Irene Tofel (West Germany), the third was Mendy Finley from England and the Belgian crew . These days competitions of this kind are held on the condition that at least 3 countries will put on the world championship purely female crews. Then the world title (Continental) is held among women, otherwise the representatives of the fair sex compete either as part of mixed teams or prove their skills by competing with male pilots.

одном Single and double helicopters take part in the world championships in helicopter sport.

No, only cars whose crew consists of two people are allowed to compete with this type of competition.

The national team can have no more than 5 crews.

Yes, the national team can consist of at least 3 and a maximum of 5 crews. However, the number can be increased if the Absolute world champions (among men or women) want to defend the title received – they have the right to participate in the competitions as additional crews. And if a country can not set the minimum number of crews (three) needed for competitions for the team championship, it has the right to apply for participation only in the individual competition.

A participant or team dissatisfied with the results of the refereeing or any situation that arose during the competition must file a protest through the team leader.

It should be noted that the protest must be accompanied by a mandatory contribution, which will be returned to the team if the protest is met (sometimes even if the protest is rejected – the contribution can be returned in full or in part to the athletes) and evidence of the committed violation. There is an opportunity to solve the problem without filing a protest – in the event of a disputable situation, the participant (team) within 2 hours after the announcement of the preliminary results of the competition must apply to the authorized official at first verbally and then in writing (this kind of appeal is called a claim, and a cash contribution is not accompanied). If the participant’s (team’s) claim is not properly considered, he has the right to file an official protest.

Helicopter sport

Only certain weather conditions will work for helicopter competitions.

Yes, and for different exercises, weather conditions may differ slightly. For example, exercises 2, 3, 4 can be performed at a wind speed of about 7.7 m / s (15 knots / hour), and a successful exercise of 5 exercises is possible only with a slightly lower speed of air flows – 4 m / s (8 knots / hour ). It also has a cloudiness (minimum height – 300 m) and visibility over the horizon (at least 2 km). In some countries, these parameters can be changed (in the case when the operating conditions in the state are more stringent than the above).

Both crew members can operate the helicopter.

Wrong opinion. To the levers has the right to touch only the claimed pilot (except for emergency situations), a violation of this rule leads to the immediate disqualification of the crew.


During the competition, pilots can not use various equipment to facilitate the execution of tasks.

Indeed, the rules of international competitions prohibit the use not only of an autopilot, an auto stabilizer, a radar, a radio altimeter, but also a mobile phone or some other means of communication (although for emergency cases an UHF transmitter is installed on each car). Moreover, judges and assistant judges are also prohibited from using their personal mobile phones during the competition. And if the pilot seen in violation of this rule is fined 100 points, then the judge, who has used any means of communication during the performance of his duties, is excluded from the College of Judges.

If a helicopter technical malfunction is detected on the start line, the departure time for the exercise will be changed and the pilots will be able to correct the problem.

It depends on the starting line. If about the pre-launch line (line “P”), where the participants arrive 10 minutes before the start of the departure and where after the inspection of the machine for the availability of communication facilities they receive the necessary inventory for the exercise (a pin with a tether strapped to it, loads (bags of rice weighing in 1 kg or a bucket of water)) – the above statement is fair. In addition, for every minute of delay on the pre-start line, the crew receives 5 penalty points (but not more than 25). But if the test flight is interrupted after crossing the line of executive launch (line “D”, where the helicopter should move 5 minutes before the start of the match and where the crew receives an envelope with instructions and a flight card) – neither postpone the start nor re-execute the exercise crew already can not, whatever the reason (technical malfunction, lack of fuel, etc.). Falstart (both early and late) from the line “D” brings the crew 200 penalty points.



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