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-   -   Helicopter max climb altitude (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/626729-helicopter-max-climb-altitude.html)

The Range 29th Oct 2019 11:39

Helicopter max climb altitude
 
Hi, guys

What's the highest altitude a helicopter can climb?

Vertical Freedom 29th Oct 2019 11:43


Originally Posted by The Range (Post 10605769)
Hi, guys

What's the highest altitude a helicopter can climb?

Depends on which machine, all up weight, DA, updrafts, what You had for breakfast, luck, etc etc..........28,500'amsl for a filming job :eek:

Ascend Charlie 29th Oct 2019 11:45


The current world record for absolute altitude achieved by a helicopter — 12,442 meters (40,820 feet), flown by a heavily modified SA 315 Lama — has stood for more than 45 years at this writing.
After starting the engine, they removed the starter motor to save weight.

Then when the engine flamed out at 40 squillion feet, they set the record for the world's highest autorotation, as there was no way to relight the engine.

PS you are too lazy to Gurgle the answer yourself?

Robbo Jock 29th Oct 2019 12:14

Bit harsh AC, there's lots of stuff asked here that could be Gargoyled but where's the fun in that? All you get then is answers - no banter, no anecdotes, no handbags at dawn.

Repos 29th Oct 2019 15:45

Record broken in 2002 apparently
 
About thirty years after the record set by Jean Boulet on a SA315 B “Lama” helicopter, Fred North, professional pilot, takes an AS 350 B2 “Squirrel” to the fantastic altitude of 12954 m.

https://www.fred-north.com/record

cavuman1 29th Oct 2019 21:27

Good to see you're still with us, VF! Is life treating you alright, Mate?

- Ed

nomorehelosforme 29th Oct 2019 22:48


Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie (Post 10605772)
After starting the engine, they removed the starter motor to save weight.

Then when the engine flamed out at 40 squillion feet, they set the record for the world's highest autorotation, as there was no way to relight the engine.

PS you are too lazy to Gurgle the answer yourself?

AC,

As a matter of interest how did the auto end? Was there any damage?

nomorehelosforme 29th Oct 2019 22:51


Originally Posted by Repos (Post 10605910)
About thirty years after the record set by Jean Boulet on a SA315 B “Lama” helicopter, Fred North, professional pilot, takes an AS 350 B2 “Squirrel” to the fantastic altitude of 12954 m.

https://www.fred-north.com/record

Repos,

That was an interesting story to read after a hard days work Thanks for posting!

The Range 30th Oct 2019 00:21


Originally Posted by Robbo Jock (Post 10605799)
Bit harsh AC, there's lots of stuff asked here that could be Gargoyled but where's the fun in that? All you get then is answers - no banter, no anecdotes, no handbags at dawn.

That's it!

Vertical Freedom 30th Oct 2019 00:40


Originally Posted by cavuman1 (Post 10606115)
Good to see you're still with us, VF! Is life treating you alright, Mate?

- Ed

G'day Ed...thanks for asking Mate, doing awesomely & having a ball, hope You are too :ok:

RINKER 30th Oct 2019 07:33

Hi vf I remember from my pplh about oxygen use at altitude.
sorry to ask a daft question but did you need to use oxygen at that altitude.
R

Sir Niall Dementia 30th Oct 2019 08:09


Originally Posted by RINKER (Post 10606321)
Hi vf I remember from my pplh about oxygen use at altitude.
sorry to ask a daft question but did you need to use oxygen at that altitude.
R

Over 40 000' you need pressure oxygen, a demand system won't cope. On the jet at FL420 we are required to keep our masks strung round our necks.

SND

Fareastdriver 30th Oct 2019 08:11

Certainly a daft question.

Generally speaking oxygen is recommended when flying about 10,000 ft in an unpressurised aircraft.

ShyTorque 30th Oct 2019 08:17


Originally Posted by Sir Niall Dementia (Post 10606349)
Over 40 000' you need pressure oxygen, a demand system won't cope. On the jet at FL420 we are required to keep our masks strung round our necks.

SND

We were trained at RAF North Luffenham how to use a pressure breathing system. It's a very strange sensation, being the opposite of normal breathing.

Spunk 30th Oct 2019 18:45

For the past 25 years I’ve been operating close to sea level. The highest I’ve been to in a helicopter (Bell407) was up to FL110 for a photo mission. Didn’t like it :=

ShyTorque 30th Oct 2019 19:23

In a previous part of my career we were sometimes required to climb as high as the aircraft could hover without breaking any engine limits and remain there for some time (usually about 10,000 feet or so). One night we were required to be a little higher, about 14,000 feet. I suddenly noticed that the orange sodium streetlights below us no longer looked quite so orange, and my vision became mainly monochrome, like black and white TV. I realised it was likely to be an early symptom of hypoxia. Thankfully, we were able to descend shortly afterwards and as soon as we had gone down a couple of thousand feet, my colour vision returned to normal.

If my memory hasn't completely failed me (and it might have), I think at 14,000 feet the air (and oxygen) density is only about 55% of that at sea level.

RINKER 30th Oct 2019 22:21

Yes 10,000 feet was what I recall. Never been that high in rotary.

Cornish Jack 30th Oct 2019 23:24

Great height and helicopters is, for many of us, NOT a good mix. Did a height climb air test in a Sycamore in Aden and felt distinctly vertiginous from 1000' until back there in descent. Much more relaxed at 500' and below. One of my 'Bosses' on Whirlwinds said the only way he could manage the required 10.000' air test climb was to imagine an enormous pair of swept wings attached, out of sight, to the lower fuselage. A lot to do with low speed - 60 knots at 10K feels like a hover.

Ascend Charlie 31st Oct 2019 00:04

Vertical ref can tell you what it's like at 23,000'++, all I have been to is 17,000 in a Huey, the blades going Wok..swish...wok..swish... Minimum speed was about 40kt, Vne was around 50kt so the envelope was substantially reduced. Then when we rolled the throttle off, we had to hold a large amount of collective in to keep the rotor RPM in limits.

Agile 31st Oct 2019 01:26

can anybody provide some technical insight about the factor of high altitude flying in a helicopter,

my experience is only with a H300 at 10,000ft and AS350 at 12,000tf
  • reduced power margin especially in the piston machine, but a lot can still be done if you remain very smooth
  • blades having a much more frequent and drier slapping sound
  • passengers tend to fall asleep at the back especially young ones
  • VNE coming much sooner (at least the pre VNE vibration coming sooner)
  • control margin decreasing quickly away from the max rate of climb speed (especially as you get to 0 rate of climb)
  • very easy to over NG if you decrease altitude fast ( I have yet to fully understand that one)

any other factors?


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