Ceiling for Bell 47?

Hello, I’ve been using this great helo to sight-see in VR (heh, not the only one). I’m fairly new to helicopter flight dynamics, but am flying with the “expert” settings with engine governor disabled. I’ve had no problems starting my tour of the Grand Canyon from KGCN (Grand Canyon National Park Airport) but found there’s a little grass field called KGRN in MSFS2020 that I thought I would explore from.

For the life of me, I can’t find the right throttle setting to get the motor RPM vs rotor pitch to take off more than a few feet off the ground. Even with full throttle and collective while fiddling with a slightly lowered fuel mixture to not over load the engine, and letting the main rotor torque yaw me to the right to ease the torque on the main rotor without much pitch on the tail rotor, I can just only manage to get about 3-4 times above tree height. I believe it has to do with the altitude, but at about 8700’ (on the Bell altimeter) seems (to me) it seems to be below some altitude records I’ve seen (on wikipedia) it seems as if it should be capable of flight from these heights.

I tried lowering the pilot weight and fuel to 1/4 / 25% tanks and don’t see much of a difference. I can fly from KGCN which is at ~6700’ no problem and seem to only be able to climb up to about 8500’ with 10 kts of forward flight and throttle at the forward stop and collective just below max (before the main gets bogged) – fiddling with the mixture until it’s also at max.

Is this normal for this helo and I’m just discovering it for myself?

Thanks, and still having fun despite these limitations!

Hi David and welcome aboard.

I went through exactly the same process when trying to take off from places like Lukla and Bugalaga, which are perhaps not the best places to learn to fly a helo.

Having had some input from Rick, our resident flight model expert, I also reduced the payload and fuel. I also moved the mixture lever down, at least to where the top and bottom of the lever bracketed the “CAR” of the “CARB HEAT” label.

I was told that the key to climbing is apparently to get to an optimum speed and to “be patient”. It does come with practice, especially the patience bit, and i did manage to get up to around 11,300ft at around 30mph, when attempting to go up the valley from Lukla, before the old girl finally refused to go any further.

Keep at it and maybe drop the mixture back a little more.


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