14 November 2010

Eurocopter: The little things

The US Army's gotten a good deal out of the Eurocopter 145, redesignated as the LUH-72A Lakota. Nevertheless, my transition from the UH-60 Black Hawk to the Lakota has had a few bumps.

Of course, there are the obvious differences between the UH-60 and the LUH-72; the Lakota features a glass cockpit and skids, while the L-model Black Hawk still has old-fashioned "steam" gauges and wheeled landing gear.

But there are a few minor differences that take some getting used to. Fitting for a helicopter company that builds most of its products with a clockwise-rotating rotor system, the pilot's door handle rotates in the opposite direction as that of the Black Hawk, which is cause for some facepamingly-bad embarrassment.

(Mercifully, the LUH's main rotor system rotates in the "right" direction, so I don't have to bungle through putting in right pedal and right cyclic on takeoff)

There's also the curious design quirk of an engine throttle which works in the opposite direction as that of the Bell 206 JetRanger, the US Army's training aircraft during the initial stages of flight school. What has two thumbs and nearly shut down an engine instead of starting it? Oh yeah, this guy.


Anonymous said...

We have all had oops with different throttle configs. Once surged an aircraft forward on taxi when I was attempting to hold short. With an instructor who was checking me out on new aircraft.

Josh Kennedy said...

Glad you liked it, and getting a chance to fly our first serious off-the-shelf acquisition. I sat source selection and the operational test for the LUH (now called UH-72A), and so while I'm biased, we feel there is good bang for the buck and you got the best of the four candidate aircraft systems.