“We have ground effect for helicopters as well, where pressure waves bounce back from the ground right back into the rotor. And, as well, as you build speed, the ground effect will go away as the pressure waves coming down from the rotor wind up BEHIND you as you outrun them! But, no matter: Effective translational lift is stronger than ground effect, so if you can hover, then you can fly!”

Does that little paragraph get you excited? Well… Wait until you read the rest.

On their most recent developer blog post, through the hands of none other than Austin Meyer himself, Laminar Research (again, Austin) tells us all about the changes in the flight model with an extensive section talking about helicopters.

And I mean extensive.

Austin starts with a great analogy as to why helicopters need more power in a hover, which has to do with air vortices that cycle from the bottom of the rotor disk to the top.

He then goes on into a lot more details, including talking about Vortex Ring State, native blade slap noise and a lot of other interesting details. Resuming the post would really do no justice to the article. And copying here would just feel wrong!

So, head out to the X-Plane Developer blog and check out everything Austin has written. I promise you will love it.