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AE 6070 Final Take Home Examination

Select one helicopter max per category, for a maximum of three vehicles, from the
following five categories:
a) Eurocopter products http://www.eurocopter.com/site/en/ref/Overview_56.html
EC120B
b) Augusta-Westland http://www.agustawestland.com/
c) US Civil Products from Bell, Boeing, Sikorsky
Bell 407
d) US Military Product from Bell, Boeing, Sikorsky
Sikorsky Blackhawk UH-60A
e) Helicopter from the far East (India, China, Korea, Japan,)
1. For the 3 vehicles selected, find out as much as you can from the web and
publications (See my web site for representative papers on Apache, Blackhawk,
etc.). In particular, find out Maximum power, Maximum continuous power,
specific fuel consumption, equivalent flat plate area f, Lock number, etc. If the
exact values are not available, choose a representative range of values for use in
problem #2. Justify your selection.

If any values were not found, they were estimated. The justification is explained in the
next sections for each estimate.
2. For these three vehicles, find
a) Absolute ceiling in hover
In order to find the absolute hover ceiling, first assume an altitude h. Then

0.00198h

1
288.16

4.2553

compute the density using the variation of density formula: sea level
. Next look up the main rotor area. Then find the induced velocity v using the
formula [T/(2A)]1/2, where the thrust is equal to the vehicles gross weight in lbf.
Normally thrust is equal to the vehicles weight plus the download, but in this
case the download is neglected. Next find the main rotor power required by using
the following formula: P=kTv+AR)3*Cd0/8. Divide the Power Required for
the main rotor by the angular velocity in order to find the main rotor torque.
Then divide this torque by the distance between the main rotor and tail rotor shaft
in order to find tail rotor thrust. Then find the induced velocity v at the tail using
the formula [T/(2Atail)]1/2. To find the tail rotor power required, use the following
formula: P=kTtailv+AtailRtail)3*tailCd0/8. Add the required main rotor and tail
rotor power to obtain the total power required. Divide this quantity by 550 to
convert into horsepower. Next, find the total available power at sea level by using
engine charts. The maximum power available at sea level was found by using the
maximum power of the engine and then multiplying by a factor of 0.9 to take into

account 10% power losses. Then use the following formula to find total available
P

power at the selected altitude: Psealevel sealevel . Finally, in order to find the
absolute ceiling in hover, increase or decrease the altitude until the required power
is equal to the available power.
b) Service ceiling in hover
The service ceiling is reached when there is just enough power left to climb at 100
ft/min. In order to calculate the service ceiling, use the following formula: Pavailable
(lbf*ft/s) = Prequired (lbf*ft/s) + Weight (lbf) * Rate of Climb (ft/s). The values for
Weight of the helicopter as well as the desired Rate of Climb are known. Next,
rearrange the formula so that Rate of Climb (ft/s) = [Pavailable (lbf*ft/s) - Prequired
(lbf*ft/s)] / Weight (lbf). Remember to convert ft/s to ft/min and then solve for the
altitude that gives a Rate of Climb of 100 ft/min.
c) Maximum forward speed from power considerations
In order to calculate maximum forward speed at an altitude, first choose the
altitude and then assume a forward velocity, V. Use this speed to calculate , the
advance ratio. Then calculate alpha using the following formula: TPP =
arctan(.5**V2*f/W).

The above figure was used in order to estimate each helicopters equivalent flat
plate area f. For the UH-60A Blackhawk, the Utility helicopter curve was used.
The UH-60As empty gross weight of 11,218 lbs. gives it an equivalent flat plate

area of approximately 26.2 ft2 on the Utility helicopters curve. This is around the
estimate used in Yeos Performance Analysis of a Utility Helicopter with
Standard and Advanced Rotors.

For the EC120B, its empty gross weight of 2,185 lbs. gives it an equivalent flat
plate area f of 4 ft2 on the Clean helicopters curve. For the Bell 407, its empty
gross weight of 2,598 lbs. puts it in the vicinity of the equivalent flat plate area of
the OH-6A Cayuse, which is 5 ft2. However, like the Bell 222, the Bell 407 is a
much more streamlined vehicle than a military observation/scout helicopter. For
this reason, the equivalent flat plate area for the Bell 407 was estimated to be 3.8
ft2.
Then calculate CT by using the formula CT = GW/(cos(TPP)*TPP (R^3)), since
CT = CW/cos(TPP). Next, to solve for inflow ratio, first assume an initial guess
and then iterate using equation 2.126 from Principles of Helicopter
Aerodynamics, which is show below:

Plug in the assumed initial guess into the formula to get the next guess. Iterate this
process until the n-1 guess is equal to the n guess.
Now enter this value of into the equation CP= P=kCT+ Cd0/8)(1+4.62) + .
5(f/A) 3. The 4.6 is an empirical correction factor that is used because not enough
is known about the blade characteristics, and blade element theory cannot be used.
Once CP is found, Prequired of the main rotor can be solved using the following
formula: P=CP*AR)3. Find P required for the tail in the same manner as when

calculating the P required for the tail in the hover settings. Add the required power
for the rotor and tail to find the total power required. When the total power
required is equal to the power available at the given altitude, the maximum
forward speed is found. The forward velocity that equates the Power required with
the Power available is the maximum forward velocity at that altitude.
d) Range and endurance for a typical operating condition (choose gross weight,
payload, fuel for an advertised operating condition).
To approximate range, the following equation was used:

This method however is a conservative estimate and neglects the reduction in


weight of the helicopter as the fuel is burned. However, a conservative estimate is
sometimes beneficial in that he may have slightly more range than estimated.
When looking at a chart of fuel flow vs. airspeed, the airspeed that gives the
maximum range can be determined by finding the point that is tangent to the line
coming from the intersection of the vertical and horizontal axes.

Graphical Determination of
Maximum Specific Range for a
given GW

Fuel Flow
Rate lb/hr

Best SR=1/slope
Best speed for maximum specific range
Relative Forward Speed including head or tail wind, knots

To approximate endurance, the following equation was used:

In order to find endurance, the range was divided by the forward velocity of the
helicopter.
The below graph also shows how to visually find the speed which gives the
longest loiter.

Power Consumption at a given GW

Power
HP

Power loiter
Best speed for Loiter
Forward Speed

e) Autorotative index (Assume that the polar moment of inertia J is approximately


b times I, where b is the number of blades, and I is the blade moment of inertia).
AI

J 2 A
GW 0 T ,

In order to calculate Autorotative, use the following formula:


where J = Moment of Inertia = JMain + JTail tail/main) + Jtransmission. The mass
moment of inertia of each rotor blade (a stick about an end) is calculated using the
formula I = (1/3)mbladeLblade2. Mass has to be converted from lbs. to slugs.

The mass of each blade is calculated using information from the table above.
Table III. from Nixons Preliminary Structure Design of Composite Main Rotor
Blades for Minimum Weight paper gives the weight of the UH-60As blade. This
value was then scaled in order to approximate the weight of the UH-60As tail
blades as well as the blades of the EC120B and the Bell 407. The equation used
was Total Blade Weight main rotor = (#blades * weight of Blackhawk blade (in
slugs) * blade length * chord length)/(Blackhawk blade length * Blackhawk chord
length).
The equation used for the tail rotor total mass was Total Blade Weight tail rotor =
(#blades tail * (Total Blade Weight main rotor (in slugs)/(#blades main)) * blade
length tail * chord length tail)/(blade length main * chord length main). These
scaling equations assume that all the helicopters blades are made of the same
Titanium material that the Blackhawks blades are composed of. The scaling
equation also assumes the thickness of the blades are equivalent. Once the mass
moment of inertia is found for the rotor and the tail, plug J into

AI

J 2 A
GW 0 T .

Three different situations were analyzed. The first on was where Jtransmission = 10%
of JMain. The second was where Jtransmission = 5% of JMain. The third situation was
where Jtransmission = 0.
For safe autorotative landing, the autorotative index must be higher than 60 for
single engine helicopters, and higher than 25 for twin-engine helicopters
(assuming only one engine is likely to fail).
3. Compare your results with advertised values.

For the Bell 407 at 5,000 lbs., the absolute hover ceiling was calculated to equal 6,467.45
ft. and the service hover ceiling to equal 5,684.71 ft.

These values are similar to the advertised values obtained below. The Out of Ground
Effect Hover Ceiling with a Takeoff Gross Weight is 5,750 ft. at International Standard
Day conditions at 20 degrees Celsius. This value is slightly higher than the calculated
value of 5,684.71 ft. Possible discrepancies can be attributed to the fact that for Power
available, it was estimated that there was a 10% power loss. In addition, Cd was estimated
as 0.007 for the Bell 407. This value was chosen because the Bell 407 is a clean,
streamlined helicopter and the Blackhawk is a less streamlined utility helicopter, whose
Cd is equal to approximately 0.008.

The calculated value for maximum forward velocity at an altitude of 4,000 ft. is 123.73
knots true airspeed, which is remarkably close to the advertised value of 126 ktas in the
same conditions.

For the Bell 407 at 5000 lb. weight, the maximum range was calculated to be
approximately 350 nautical miles, with an average true airspeed of 103.68 knots. This is
slightly less than the advertised value of 364 nautical miles with an average true airspeed
of 120. However, my calculated value is also at the point that would be tangent to the line
drawn from the intersection of the axes.

The above calculations for Autorotative Index show that if the moment of inertia of the
transmission is at least approximately 5% of that of the main rotor blade total, then the
autorotative index will be 60 and above, which is the safe advertised value for singleengine helicopters. Possibilities of uncertainty include not knowing the mass moment of
inertia of the transmission and using estimates. Other possibilities of uncertainty are not
knowing the density and thickness of the blades and relying on a scaling model.
For the Eurocopter 120B, the below table shows the advertised values of the hover
ceiling, fuel consumption, max speed, and endurance.

For the EC120B at 3,781 lbs., the absolute hover ceiling was calculated to equal 7256.93
ft., which is close to the advertised value of hover ceiling in standard atmospheric

conditions of 7,600 ft. The service ceiling in hover is calculated to equal 6,507 ft. The
advertised value of hover ceiling in standard atmospheric conditions plus 20 degrees
Celsius is 1,700 ft. Both the calculated values for absolute and service ceiling in hover
are inside this range.

Discrepancies between the calculated and advertised values can be attributed to Cd being
estimated as 0.007 for the EC120B. This value was chosen because the EC120B is a
clean, streamlined helicopter and the Blackhawk is a less streamlined utility helicopter,
whose Cd is equal to approximately 0.008. In addition, the dimension of tail rotor chord
was estimated as 2.5 inches because an exact dimension could not be found. This chord
dimension was estimated by scaling the tail rotor chord of the Bell 407 down since it has
a smaller rotor length. In addition, the chord was scaled down even more due to the
EC120Bs Fenestron tail design. Furthermore, the length from the main rotor hub to the
tail rotor hub was estimated because an exact dimension could not be found.

The calculated value for maximum forward airspeed is 107.13 ktas, which is almost
exactly the same as the airspeed obtained from the chart below.

For the EC120B, two different rates of fuel consumption are given. One is for the fast
cruise speed of 120 knots, and the other is for the recommended cruise speed. Since our
maximum speed is under the recommended cruise speed, the value for fuel consumption
per hour used is the one found in the above graph for the recommended cruise speed,
approximately 185 lb/hr.

It gives a maximum range of 415.76 nautical miles, which is greater than the advertised
range of 383. However, when the fuel consumption in lb/hr is changed to the advertised
value of 213 for the recommended cruise speed, the range decreases to 361.11 nautical
miles.

If there was a graph with the fuel consumptions vs. velocity at more than 2 data points
(which are both above the maximum speed calculated), then a more accurate estimate of
range could be given. On a side note, if the two different range calculations are averaged,
the maximum range would be around 388 nautical miles, which is very close to the
advertised value of 383.
The maximum endurance at loiter calculated is 3.88 hours, which is close to the
advertised endurance of 4.19 hours. However, like the range, the accuracy of this
calculation could be greatly increased with more data regarding fuel consumption per
hour.

The above calculations for Autorotative Index show that the autorotative is under 60,
which is minimum safe advertised value for single-engine helicopters. Possibilities of
uncertainty include not knowing the mass moment of inertia of the transmission and
using estimates. Other possibilities of uncertainty are not knowing the density and
thickness of the blades and relying on a scaling model. The thickness of the Fenestron tail
blades is thinner than that of the other helicopter tail blades. This however, would just
decrease the Autorotative index. The two main causes of Autorotative index being lower
than 60 can most likely be attributed to under-predicting the Inertia of the transmission
and perhaps over downscaling the mass of the rotors.
For the UH-60A Blackhawk weighing at mission takeoff weight of 16,994 lbs., the
calculated absolute hover ceiling is 14,818.9 ft. and the calculated service hover ceiling is
14,293.36 ft.

The below graph gives a hover ceiling of around 14,500 ft. for when the helicopter
weighs around 16,994 lbs. and is operating at maximum torque% or maximum power.
This value is very close to the calculated maximum hover absolute and service ceilings.
Discrepancies could result from the estimate used to choose power loss. For the most
part, these estimates are very close. The exact hover ceiling depends on the temperature,
because that effects the air density.

The calculated maximum forward velocity at 12,000 ft. altitude is 117 knots. At 12,000 ft.
the temperature is supposed to be -9 or approximately -10 degrees Celsius. Using the
following graph, it is found that the advertised value of should be around 150 knots.
However, when using the graph for 0 degrees Celsius instead of -10 degrees Celsius, the
maximum forward velocity drops to 115 knots, which is remarkably close to the value
calculated.

The maximum range calculated is 192.28 nautical miles, when the Blackhawk is traveling
at an average speed of 103 knots. This is without extra external fuel tanks or internal fuel
tanks. However, the advertised value for maximum range calls for a average airspeed of
120 knots. The maximum calculated endurance is around 2.5 hrs. This loiter time is
achieved with the velocity around 60 knots. However, in the advertised value above, it
recommends a loiter speed of 80 knots. In all the calculations as well as advertised

values, 60 knots seems to be the most efficient speed for loiter as the power consumption
is the lowest at this forward velocity.

For the range calculations, the graph below was used to find the fuel consumption in
lb/hr.

Autorotative index is above 25 in each scenario below, from Transmission inertia = 10%
to 5% to 0% of the main rotor inertia. In addition, this autorotative index is calculated at
12,000 ft. altitude. If the altitude decreases, the autororative index will increase until it

reaches a value between 36-40. Since the Blackhawk has 2 engines, if one fails, the other
can still supply enough power for it to continue flying.

Reference Material
1. PowerPoint Part3
2. http://www.bellhelicopter.com/MungoBlobs/134/463/407_ProductSpec_201302Web.pdf
3. Principles of Helicopter Aerodynamics
4. Data and performances of selected aircraft
5. http://www.heliandco.be/uploads/common/ec120.pdf
6. http://cnmv.ploiesti.roedu.net/~radu/stuff/ec120.pdf
7. http://www.airbushelicopters.com/site/en/ref/Characteristics_57.html
8. http://asp.wn.com/feedback/bell-407.html
9. TM-1-1520-237-10 Technical Manual Operators Manual for UH-60A
10. http://wikileaks.org/syria-files/docs/1047227_uh-60-black-hawk-helicopter-s-70iblack-hawk-helicopter-mh.html
11. http://www.geaviation.com/engines/docs/military/datasheet-T700-401C-701C.pdf
12. http://halfdome.arc.nasa.gov/tutorial/Reports/Howlett%20CR166309.pdf
13. https://vtol.org/
14. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/uh-60a-specs.htm
15. http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/uh-60.htm
16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_UH-60_Black_Hawk
17. http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19840023041.pdf
18. http://axenty.com/blog/tips/rules-of-thumb/
19.