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Old 07-15-2016, 05:32 AM   #11
RogerBW
 
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: Vertol vs Helicopter

I think one big question at this point is:

"Should a single aircraft only ever require a single GURPS skill to fly it in all its modes?"

And I think the answer must be "no", because we have things like Ospreys and Harriers and stoppable-rotor helicopters that have multiple distinct let's call them "flight modes", one helicopter- or vertol-style for hovering and low-speed flight and one airplane-style for faster flight.

Mind you, I'm working right now on an adventure set during the Falklands War, and one of the stock PCs is a Harrier pilot who's been shot down. I'm not going to insist that he have Vertol as well as High-Performance Airplane even if that's what he should have, because his piloting skill in this adventure is only going to be useful for knowing things about aviation, not for flying.
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Old 07-15-2016, 02:58 PM   #12
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Re: Vertol vs Helicopter

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
However, you could, as I understand it, drive a Harrier perfectly well without knowing how to hover as long as you didn't try any vertical manoeuvres and treated it as an STOL aircraft ...
It's not actually STOL if the thrust is not vectored. Its wing is fairly small, and it needs a fair run to take off or land in this mode.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:17 PM   #13
thrash
 
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Default Re: Vertol vs Helicopter

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
However, you could, as I understand it, drive a Harrier perfectly well without knowing how to hover as long as you didn't try any vertical manoeuvres and treated it as an STOL aircraft
I suggest that this is the realm of skill defaults, with no (or extremely poor) defaults allowed for completely novel flight modes.

Quote:
I get the impression that the same cannot be said of tilt-rotor machines (so far limited to the Osprey AFAIK) and helicopters.
Osprey can take off and land like conventional airplanes. There's a bit of jiggery required because the prop/rotors are wider than the ground clearance, but that should be in the checklist.

Helicopters, not so much.

Quote:
Actually, speaking of helicopters, quadcopters and similar things, is driving a twin rotor (like a Chinook) a different skill from a single rotor? How about Kamov style stack rotors? Based on my (limited) understanding of how these things fly, they should behave very differently...
More of a familiarity penalty than a different skill altogether. The aerodynamics are fundamentally the same -- it's the applications that vary.

Features that can produce different handling characteristics even in a single main rotor helicopter include clockwise vs. counter-clockwise rotation, fixed vs. semi-rigid vs. fully articulated rotor system, high vs. low inertia rotors, conventional tail rotor vs. ducted fan vs. NOTAR, nose-high vs. skids-level hover attitude, and degree of automation and hydraulic assist in the flight controls.

I was surprised and pleased as a senior aviator to sit down in my first unfamiliar helicopter type in almost ten years (fifth overall) and pick it up to a hover with nary a bobble. Learning all the systems and how to respond to specific emergencies took considerably longer -- but that's what familiarity penalties represent.

Last edited by thrash; 07-15-2016 at 04:22 PM.
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