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Figure 1: Instrument Panel

1 Cockpit

The SA Aircrane features over 40 functioning instruments and gauges in the cockpit. This includes a set of primary instruments for the pilot and co-pilot, and a central set of shared gauges displaying engine and aircraft systems state. Three position lighting switches can be independently controlled for the pilot, copilot and central flight instruments.

The aircrane has over 60 functioning switches and rotary dials that control the various systems of the helicopter. The full start, modeled closely from the RL pilot's manual, is described in a 95 element checklist.

A "kPad" mounted on the pilot side of the cockpit includes an App for displaying the helicopter checklists as well as a GPS/transponder App.

A fully functioning autopilot can be used to do programmed control of the aircraft. Commands can be issued to enter a hover, change/set altitude, set heading and set airspeed.

A rear-facing hoist operator seat is positioned in the back of the cockpit. In addition to the hoist controls, the hoist operator can also use a joystick to make small control movements while in a hover to adjust the position of the hook while picking up a load.

2 Aircraft Systems

2.1 Fuel System

The aircrane has three separate fuel tanks: forward, aft and auxilary. Fuel quantity for each tank is separately maintained, and the Kelly fuel system allows you to select which tank to fuel, and he amount of fuel to add to that tank. Fuel system switches control separate pairs of pumps for the front and aft tanks, and a crossfeed switch allows the pilot to feed to an engine from either tank. Auxilary fuel pumps can be used to transfer fuel from auxilary tank to the forward or aft tanks.

2.2 Electrical System

Four separate electrical busses (one DC bus and three AC busses) can be controlled by the pilot, with different systems operating on different buses.

2.3 Hydraulic System

Some helicopter systems operate using one of the four hydraulic systems. Each hydraulic system is powered by different mechanisms and powers different systems in the helicopter.

3 Hoist System

Figure 2: Aft Pilot View
Figure 3: Aircrane Hoist System

A single-point hoist system that supports sling loads up to 20,000 pounds static (15,000 pounds for hydraulic raising/lower) is included as standard equipment on this helicopter. The hoist can be controlled from any pilot station, but is typically controlled from the aft-facing pilot staion. Three sizes of full-perm hoist loops (with a copy/transfer script) provided with the helicopter can be linked to your own loads to allow you to pick up and carry whatever you can think of. The hoist can be controlled through buttons on the cyclic and collective, or through chat commands. Controls include up/down and open/close for the hook. Loads are picked up by lowering an open hook near the load. When the hook is close enough, the hook will close latching on to the load. A physical follow script is used to "carry" the load with "cross easy" technology used to easy sim crossings.

Aft pilot controls function through the auto-pilot which will return the helicopter to a stable hover after releasing the controls. This allows the aft pilot to make fine adjustments of the helicopter position in order to make load pick-up easier. Instruments at the aft pilot station show the current tilt of the helicopter and the current length of cable that has been fed out. A shear switch can be used to cut the cable in the event of an emergency.

4 Pod System

Figure 4: Universal (Cargo) Pod
Figure 5: Pod Development Kit

The S-64 includes 7 hardpoints at which pods may be attached. Pod attachment is performed through the helicopter menus and causes the pods to be physically linked with the helicopter. This eliminates crossing issues while carying pods as the pods become part of the helicopter linkset. The system allows pods to be dynamically attached and detached. Multiple pods my be simultaneously attached as long as there are available hardpoints.

A universal pod is included with the helicopter allowing you to carry cargo and other important items. The universal pod includes the full-perm mesh for the pods along with copy-transfer scripts. This allows you to customize your own pods and share (or sell) them to your friends.

If customizing the universal pod is not enough for you, a pod development kit is also included. The pod development kit includes attachment brackets of varying sizes to allow you to create fully custom pods for the aircrane.