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1. Helicopter history
2. VTOL aircrafts
3. Fundamentals of helicopter flight
4. Elements of helicopter
5. Basic maneuvers
6. Introduction to rotor aerodynamics
7. Climb and descent
8. Factors effecting vertical flight
9. Forward flight
10. Tandem and coaxial helicopters
11. Analysis of blade motion
12. Basic helicopter performance
13. Conceptual design of helicopters
14. Conceptual design of helicopters

Principles of Helicopter Aerodynamics,
G. Leishman, Cambridge Uni. Press, 2001.

Midterm exam
Term Project
Final Exam





1. Helicopter history
2. VTOL aircrafts
3. Fundamentals of helicopter flight
4. Elements of helicopter
5. Basic maneuvers
6. Introduction to rotor aerodynamics
7. Climb and descent
8. Factors effecting vertical flight
9. Forward flight
10. Tandem and coaxial helicopters
11. Analysis of blade motion
12. Basic helicopter performance
13. Conceptual design of helicopters
14. Conceptual design of helicopters

Flying Machines
 Airplane, Glider
 Aircraft, Rotorcraft, Spacecraft
 Helicopter, Gyrocopter, Ornithopter
 Airship, Balloon
 Parachute, Missile

Definition of Helicopter
 Etymological aspect
From French hlicoptre, from Ancient Greek (helix, spiral) + (pteron, wing).
Famous drawings by Leonardo da Vinci
 Technological aspect
Rotary wing
Flapping motion (Copter)

Earliest helicopter..
Chinese Top

Two thousand years ago ...


Da Vinci:
man powered concept

Paul Cornu (1907)

First man to fly in helicopter mode..

 Ciervas C-19 autogiro

 Rotor runs freely
 Lift is equlized with flapping
 Can not hover, but needs minimal forward
speed to maintain flight.

 Sikorsky R-4
The R-4 was the world's first large-scale massproduced helicopter and the first helicopter to
enter service with the United States Army Air
 Single rotor; tail rotor for anti-torque.

 Sikorsky R-4
 First commercially certified.

 Boeing CH-47
 Twin rotors (tandem at
opposite ends of the fuselage.

kaman k-Max
 2 masts interchanging

 Sikorsky-Boeing RAH 66
Comanche (cancelled)

 McDonnell Douglas
MD 520N

 McDonnell Douglas
(now Boeing)
AH-64 Apache

 Mil Mi-26
 The worlds largest and heaviest

 Kamov Ka-50
 Co-axial rotors.

 Lockheed AH-56
(compound Helicopter)

 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

 Tilt rotor.

Helicopters at Work
With the ability of hover, helicopters can perform a wide range of missions.

Rescue: HH-65 Dolphin

Air ambulence: Sikorsky S-76C

Attack helicopter: A British Apache

Winching Operations

 Unfortunately, the use of helicopters is restricted to applications where other

concepts are not suitable!
High maintenance costs
High power required for flying
 However, the helicopter ability to hover, allows it to land almost everywhere
Ideal for rescue missions (in mountains, in oceans, ...)

Helicopters specifications
 Fly forward/backward/sideways

Aerodynamically and mechanically

complicated systems.
Higher power requirements than a fixed-wing

Configuration of Helicopters
 Classification by Rotor Configuration
 Single Main/Tail Rotor
 Twin Main Rotor
Tandem Rotor
Side by Side Rotor
Coaxial Rotor
Synchropter, Compound, etc
 Tip-Driven Rotor
 Tilt Rotor

Types of rotorcraft

- Power driven main rotor
- The thrust (T) is to the
tip path plane
- The air flows from TOP
- Tilts its main rotor to fly

Gyroplane (Autogyro)
- Un-driven main rotor, tilted away
- Forward propeller for propulsion
- The air flows from BOTTOM to TOP
- No tail rotor required
- Not capable of hovering except in:

- Power driven main rotor
- Additional propeller for
- Main rotor remains // to
dir. of flight
- The air flows from TOP to

Aerodynamically and mechanically complicated systems

Key technical problems:

Aerodynamics of vertical/horizontal flight.

Suitable engine.
Control weight.
Rotor-torque reaction.
Stability and control
Recovery from engine failure.

Power Plant Limitations

Helicopters use turbo shaft engines.

Power available is the principal factor.
An adequate power plant is important for carrying out the missions.
We will look at ways of estimating power requirements for a variety of operating

Vtip = R + V

Vtip = R V

Vtip = R

Unequal Lift and Drag Force Distribution

Blade Flapping is the up and down movement of a rotor blade, which,

in conjunction with cyclic feathering,
causes Dissymmetry of Lift to be eliminated.

Coriolis force tends to make a rotor blade want to speed up and slow down it's
rotation around the mast. If the blade is rigidly attached to the mast but isn't
strong enough, it could develop stresses large enough to break the blade.
A lead lag hinge simply is a hinge which allows the blade to pivot slightly
forward and backward which prevents break of the blade.

Ways of countering
the Reactive Torque

Ways of countering
the Reactive Torque

NOTAR Helicopter
(NO TAil Rotor)

Interactional Aerodynamics

There are many ways to deal with these problems.

One example would be the airfoil selection.

Fuselage type selection

Airfoil selection

Rotorcraft present an interesting problem for airfoil design.

Fixed Wing Aircraft can be designed for certain conditions.
The Rotorcraft environment changes rapidly as the blade travels
around the rotor disk.

Reynolds Number and

Mach Number

Airfoil selection
High Speed Forward Flight Limitations

As the forward speed increases, advancing side experiences shock effects,

retreating side stalls. This limits thrust available.

Vibrations go up, because of the increased dynamic pressure, and

increased harmonic content.

Shock Noise goes up.

Fuselage drag increases, and parasite power consumption goes up as V3.

We need to understand and accurately predict the air loads in high speed
forward flight.

Airfoil selection

Four Rules of Rotorcraft Airfoil Design

High CLmax
High MDD
Good L/D over a wide range of Mach Numbers
Low Cm

Design constraints are much narrower for rotorcraft. (I.e.: Cm 0.02)

Early Helicopter Airfoil Design

Initially, symmetric airfoils were used

Low Pitching Moment, Cm
Cyclic Pitch
Juan de la Cierva
First to use a cambered airfoil
Resulted in a crash in 1939
Crash and low torsional stiffness resulted in
universal use of symmetric airfoil until the 1960s.

The 60s & 70s Revolution

Vast Improvements in Modern Computers allowed engineers to utilized them.

Panel Methods
Inviscid Solutions but still insightful
Conformal Mapping introduced into computer codes
Reintroduction of Cambered Airfoils
Computer design
Improved Structures
More concentration on transonic effects

Example: YAH-64 Apache, 1976

Heavy use of computer during design process.
Reduced amount of wind tunnel testing necessary
Design costs and time decrease
Started with a NACA 63A-410 and ended with the HH-02

1980s Airfoil Development

Trailing Edge Tabs

Offset the pitching moment of a cambered airfoil
By simple application of thin-airfoil theory, one may see the effect.
Research showed that these tabs led to a small increase in drag and little
effect on lift.

1990s Development

Change blade geometries

British Experimental Rotor Program (BERP)
Developed to deal with tip effects on blade.
Transonic Effects (Advancing Side)
High Alpha Stall (Retreating Side)

2000 and Beyond

Morphing Technologies
Gurney Flaps
Keeps flow attached in high alpha conditions.

Unsteady Aerodynamics
Current design methods assume static CLmax & Cm
as in a steady flow condition.
With blade wake interactions, this is not the case.
Current research is concentrated in this area
where a N-S solver will be used along side the
Eppler code to design airfoils.

Ground Interactions

Out of Ground Effect

In Ground Effect

At low forward speeds,

less power is required.


Helicopter direction control

The helicopter is probably the most complex flying machine

A helicopter is a collection of vibrations held together by
differential equations John Watkinson

Illustration by Ted Wilbur

 Basic Terminology.
 Cyclic, collective and pedal mechanisms.
 Rotor Flapping Characteristics
o Qualitative Discussion of Flapping
o Flapping Equations in Hover Including the Effect of Hinge Offset
o Flapping Equations in Forward Flight
o Flapping Due to Pitch and Roll Velocities
o Moments Produced by Flapping
o H-Force Due to Flapping

Helicopter Major Systems

Engine & Transmissions

 Solid Modeling for Engine / Transmission / Flight Control

Rotorcraft Functional Areas

 Lift from Main Rotor & Anti-Torque From Tail Rotor

Helicopter Controls
 Flight Control with Main Rotor Thrust Vector Tilt & Tail Rotor Thrust

Hub Geometry

Control input by pilot regulate the Blade Pitches for Main Rotor
Collective Pitch : Up / Down of Fixed Swashplate
Longitudinal Cyclic Pitch : Lateral Tilt of Fixed Swashplate
Lateral Cyclic Pitch : Longitudinal Tilt of Fixed Swashplate

Collective Pitch Control

Cyclic Pitch Control

Tail Rotor

Cockpit Display
Avionics and Cockpit Display

Comparison of Fixed-Wing Aircraft and Helicopters

Fixed Wing Aircraft

 Wings produce lift and roll control

 Engines produce thrust
 Tailprimarily for directional and pitch
Primary functions and controls are


 Produces lift
 Produces thrust
 Produces directional control
AND unbalanced torque
Lift, Thrust, and Control are allcoupled
in a helicopter

The Civil Market Disappointments

 The helicopter has failed, so far, to live up to the early vision in two areas:
 Personel transportation.
 Intercity airline operation.
 Why arent personel helicopters in widespread use?

Too expensive to buy and maintain.

Reliability inadequate.
Few suitable engines.
Too hard to fly.
Safety concerns.
Fatigue failures.
Autorotation entry on engine failure.
Too noisy-inside and outside.
City and town ordinances.
Too easy to get lost.
Air-to-air collision concerns.

World Records


World Records


World Records


MV-22 Range Comparison

MV-22 805 nm
CH-46E 136 nm
CH-47D 230 nm

World Records
 Heaviest : Mil Mi-12 (103.3 ton)
Body L.:67m, Span:37m, 4 Engine

 Endurance : Bell B-Model (50 hr 50 s), 1989

 Highest Landing : 7,000 m (Mt. Everest), 1971

Helicopters tend to grow in size..

Boeing AH-64 Apache


58.17 ft (17.73 m)

Hover In-Ground Effect (MRP)

15,895 ft (4845 m)


15.24 ft (4.64 m)

Hover Out-of-Ground Effect (MRP)

12,685 ft (3866 m)

17.15 ft (5.227 m)

Vertical Rate of Climb (MRP)

2,175 fpm
(663 mpm)

15,075 lb (6838 kg)

11,800 pounds Empty

Maximum Rate of Climb (IRP)

2,915 fpm
(889 mpm)

Maximum Level Flight Speed

150 kt (279 kph)

Cruise Speed (MCP)

150 kt (279 kph)

Wing Span
Primary Mission
Gross Weight

(Sea Level Standard Day)

Guinness World Records 2013

Smallest Helicopter
In terms of rotor length, the
smallest helicopter is the GEN
H-4 made by Gen Corporation
(Japan) with a rotor length of
only 4 m (13 ft), a weight of
only 70 kg (154.32 lbs), and
consisting of one seat, one
landing gear and one power
Unlike more traditional
helicopters, it has two sets of
coaxial contra-rotating rotors
which eliminate the need for a
tail rotor for balancing.

Photo: Shinsuke Kamioka

Landing on a ship
Flying a helicopter has often been
compared to balancing on one foot
while standing on a beach balland
thats just over land.
Now imagine balancing on a beach ball
thats on a funhouse floor in the middle
of a noreaster.
Thats what a landing at sea can be like.

The pilot must put the craft down on a ship thats

rising and falling with the swell of the sea, while
being buffeted by the turbulence created by their
machines rotors, other helicopters, the weather, and
the ships air wake.

Features of a ship airwake

(Tucson, Arizona, USA)

T ATA Team members are on duty, April 2011.

A: The CH-54 was one of the

first modular aircraft. The
cabin section, drive train and
fuselage were
interchangeable units, which
could be replaced with little
effort in the field.

B: The Tarhe had two engines

that drove the main rotor
through a central gearbox. The
power from either engine
could keep the CH-54 aloft in
an emergency, but not while
carrying a load.

C: Since the CH-54's job was to lift heavy

loads rather than fly fast or fight, much of
the rotor system was left uncovered,
making maintenance easier.

D: Designated S-64 Sikorsky,

the Tarhe used a modified
version of the S-61 Sea King
front end mated to a "flying
crane" type fuselage.

E: As well as conventional
forward-facing positions, the
cockpit of the Tarhe also had a
station with a large glazed area
that faced toward the rear.

F: The undercarriage legs were made very

wide and tall so the Tarhe could straddle
most loads. Attachment points on the
central fuselage could hold pods
designed specially for the Tarhe or slung
loads carried on straps and cables.

Flight time: 2 h
Range: 200 km
Take-off weight: 90 kg
Payload weight: 25 kg
Length: 4 m
Height: 1 m
Ceiling altitude: 3000 m