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Coning Angle during Hovering

Because the blades of a helicopter rotor are hinged near the root with a flap hinge, the
blades are free to flap up or down. The lift forces will tend to flap the blades up, while the
centrifugal forces will tend to push the blades down. A static equilibrium is achieved in
hover, where the blades come to rest at an equilibrium coning angle, called
0
. In
forward flight, the airloads tend to var in a sinusoidal form, and a static equilibrium is
not feasible. !ather, the blades undergo a limit ccle oscillation of the form"
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ... # $ cos
c $
% # $ sin
s $
% # cos
c &
% # sin
s &
%
0
%
... 't $ cos
c $
% 't $ sin
s $
% 't cos
c &
% 't sin
s &
%
0
% t %
+ + + + +
+ + + + +
(e will stud the forward flight flapping motion in detail later in this course. In this
section, we stud a technique for estimating the coning angle when the blade is in hover.
)or simplicit, we will assume that the hinge point is at the origin, r*0.

0
d+
d,entrifugal
)orce
r
,onsider a small strip of the blade of width dr, at a distance r from the hinge point as
shown in the picture above. This strip is sub-ected to lift force d+ and the centrifugal
force d,). It is also sub-ected to a drag force d., perpendicular to the plane of the paper.
This drag force onl affects the lead/lag motion of the blade, and does not influence the
flapping motion.
)rom blade element theor, the lift force d+ *
( ) ( ) dr
l
,
$
'r 0c
$
&
dr
l
,
$
v
$
'r 0c
$
&

1
]
1

+

1oment arm * r cos
0
2 r
,ountercloc3wise moment due to lift *
( ) dr
l
r,
$
'r 0c
$
&
Integrating over all such strips,
Total countercloc3wise moment *
( )

! r
0 r
dr
l
r,
$
'r 0c
$
&
4e5t, the centrifugal force acting on this strip *
( )
rdm
$
'
r
dm
$
'r

(here dm is the mass of this strip


This force acts hori6ontall. The moment arm * r sin
0
2 r
0
Thus, cloc3wise moment due to centrifugal forces * dm
0
%
$
r
$
'
Integrating over all such strips, total cloc3wise moment * 0
%
$
I'
! r
0 r
dm
0
%
$
r
$
'

(here I is the moment of inertia of the blade about the hinge point
At equilibrium coning angle position, the cloc3wise moments must counteract the
countercloc3wise moments. Thus,
0
%
$
I' *
( )

! r
0 r
dr
l
r,
$
'r 0c
$
&
7olve for the coning angle to get"
0
%
*

,
_

! r
0 r
!
r
d
effective
8
9
!
r
I
:
0ac!
I
! r
0 r
dr
l
,
9
0cr
$
&
The quantit
I
:
0ac!
is called +oc3 number, and given the smbol . It is a measure of
the ratio between the aerodnamic forces and the inertial forces acting on the rotor blade.
In general has a value between ; and &0 for articulated rotors <i.e. rotors with flapping
and lead/lag hinges=. It has a value between > and ? for hingeless rotors.