Control authority is how well the helicopter responds to the commands given to it by the pilot.
A helicopter may have poor control authority for a number of reasons, but the most common are insufficient servo travel and too low rotor RPM. For example, a fixed pitch helicopter may have poor cyclic authority while descending for a landing, as the rotor will have slowed down considerably from its normal speed in flight. Similarly, a collective pitch helicopter with a belt driven tail rotor may have poor tail authority if the main rotor RPM is too low.
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