21st Century Helicopter – All about the Cabri G2
For most student pilots the choice of training helicopter is limited to a few common ones – namely Robinson. Occasionally an Enstrom or a S300 may be offered but in general the R22 and R44 have the training market covered. Until it would seem, the Cabri G2 came along.
The Guimbal Cabri G2 is a 2 seated, fully articulated, piston engine helicopter designed by Frenchman Bruno Guimbal. It made its operational debut in 2008 compared to the R22 in 1979, so it’s a relatively young helicopter and the first light helicopter with plasma ignition, a built in glass cockpit and that noticeable Fenestron type tail rotor.
For those of us, including myself who trained using American built helicopters, the Cabri G2 can take a bit of getting used to and a little of the opposite pedal! Having flown a S300 previously, I was aware of the perks of a more forgiving rotor head, but the sensitivity of the controls threw me. Compared to the other helicopters I have flown, the G2 remains fairly steady with almost no cyclic input from the pilot. It’s clockwise rotating main rotor, Fenestron, and standard position can make converting type to a G2 seem daunting.
Once you have flown it for a few hours however, the benefits will be clear. For a training helicopter it’s light – due to its composite structure allowing for more endurance; it’s fully articulated rotor head means the Cabri is a very versatile and manoeuvrable helicopter – eliminating the dangers of mast bumping and inside is considerably more spacious than an R22.
It’s no wonder that the G2 is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about – get yourself a flight in one. It even has central locking!