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Video of Tethered Hover Test in Bell 206

May 10, 2023

Tethered Hovering in the Bell 206, Performance Flight Test

Tethered Hovering in the Bell 206, Performance Flight Test Technique is part of the Rotary Wing Performance Flight Test Phase. A hazardous flight test requiring meticulous planning and risk management, it challenges the students’ flying skills requiring very precise flying in order to generate good quality data. The cable is attached to the helicopter with a load cell or tensiometer which is accurate to 10lb-f. This can be used to vary the effective weight of the helicopter by varying the tension applied to the cable. The cable length can also be varied from 10ft height to 100ft hovering in ground effect and hovering out of ground effect.

This test enables data to be gathered quickly for the helicopter performance from minimum to maximum weight in ground effect hover and out-of-ground effect hover by the pilots changing the power. The tension applied to the tether allows for quick and easy changes to the effective weight without having to add ballast to the helicopter for each weight.