What Do I Need to Know About Helicopter Training in a Cabri G2?
When introduced in 2008 the Cabri G2 was the first 2 seat helicopter introduced for 30 years. Its state-of-the-art design is reflected in many areas of the helicopter, from the higher inertia three bladed rotor head, to the Fenestron tail rotor and glass cockpit.
Built to the latest European safety standards the Cabri G2 sits midway between the R22 and the Robinson R44. Those who fly the R22 welcome the extra space provided by the G2, as well as the increased weight capacity, but there are some who prefer the handling characteristics of a normal/conventional tail rotor compared to a Fenestron tail rotor system. The sleek composite fuselage and advanced rotor system allows the G2 to reach a comfortable cruise speed of 90 knots, exceeding that of the Robinson R22.
The digital avionics screen displays flight parameters in a much more intuitive way than other light helicopters which makes it perfect for the trainee pilot. Aside from a clearer presentation of information compared to a collection of analogue dials, one of the benefits we see in the digital display is that the system can warn you when approaching a limit by changing the colour of the gauge and numbers to attract your attention. This responsiveness aids situational awareness and makes a safer training environment for both instructor and student.
Cargo space is usually fairly limited in 2 seater helicopters but the Cabri G2 boasts a very large 200 litre baggage compartment behind the pilot (accessible externally and internally) as well as a 20 litre cockpit compartment underneath the main console on the passenger side. Whilst probably not enough to carry your skiing or golfing gear, a couple of small bags for a weekend away would fit perfectly.
Designed with flight training in mind, the Cabri G2 offers precise and responsive handling characteristics with very few apparent vices (possibly the Fenestron if not understood correctly) and, importantly for students, is also forgiving. The helicopter airframe will happily let you get away with doing things that you wouldn’t dream of attempting in other aircraft, low-g manoeuvres included.
Pros: Modern construction to latest safety standards. Superb learning environment, particularly for those looking to fly Airbus Helicopters. Practical machine to fly once you have your licence.
Cons: Cost relative to R22 (but you are flying a more modern & state-of-the-art machine) and availability as there aren’t a huge number around.