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MAIN ROTOR HUB

TECHNOLOGY

By Philippe LEGENDRE
1

ENSEMBLES MECANIQUES DU SUPER-PUMA

Rotor principal

Rotor arrire

Transmission arrire

B.T.A

B.T.I

Moteur 1

Moteur 2

B.T.P
2

HISTOIRE DE L HELICOPTERE
1. LES PIONNIERS

Paul CORNU (1907)

ELLEHAMMER (1912)

BREGUET et RICHET (1907)


3

HISTOIRE DE L HELICOPTERE
2. LES PRECURSEURS

Etienne OEHMICHEN (1924)


(1 km en circuit ferm)

R.P. PESCARRA (1924)


(Commandes de pas cyclique et collectif)

HISTOIRE DE L HELICOPTERE
3. L AGE D OR DE L AUTOGYRE

CIERVA C30
(1re voilure tournante construite en srie)

CIERVA C 8L
(1re traverse de la Manche par
une voilure tournante en 1928)

HISTOIRE DE L HELICOPTERE
4. VERS LA MATURITE

BREGUET-DORANDGyroplane Laboratoire(1935)

FOCKE ACHGELIS FA 61 (1936)

SIKORSKY VS300 (1939)


6

LES DIFFERENTS GIRAVIONS


FN

FN

rotor
Rotor
FA

TF
TH

TF

Aile
mg
mg

L HELICOPTERE

LE COMBINE
TH

FN
FN

TH

rotor

Rotor basculant

FA

mg

TF

Aile

FA
TF

TH

TF

mg
mg

L AUTOGYRE

mg

LE CONVERTIBLE
7

LES AUTOGYRES

CIERVA C30
(Observation du champs de bataille
vers la fin des annes 1930)

Autogyre WALLIS WA116


(Utilisation sports aeriens)
8

LES COMBINES

PROPULSION PAR REACTEUR


LOCKHEED XH 51

PROPULSION PAR HELICE


LOCKHEED AH 56 Cheyenne

LES DEUX TYPES DE CONVERTIBLES:


RYAN XC 142

LE TILT-ROTOR
(Concept sur base hlicoptre)

LE TILT-WING
(Concept sur base avion)

BELL-BOEING V22 Osprey


10

ROTOR ENTRAINE PAR REACTION


1. jection de gaz comprim en bout de pales

Air pur (Hautepression)

Gaz chauds (Basse pression)

SNCASO SO 1221 Djinn

11

ROTOR ENTRAINE PAR REACTION


2. Moteur raction install en bout de pales

HILLER Hornet
Fuses

Stato-racteurs

Pulso-racteurs

Turbo-racteurs

HILLER YH18
12

ROTOR ENTRAINE PAR REACTION


3. Combustion en bout de pales
HUGHES XH17 Flying Crane
(Le plus grand rotor jamais construit : ~40m)

Systme mixte-(Haute pression)


13

HELICOPTERES

Bi-rotors en tandem ( VERTOL H21)

Bi-rotors latraux (MIL V12)

BI-ROTORS

Bi-rotors co-axiaux ( KAMOV Ka25)

Bi-rotors engrenants (KAMAN

h43)
14

HELICOPTERES

MULTI-ROTORS
BENSEN Flying carpet

3 ROTORS...
CIERVA W11 Airhorse

4 ROTORS...
CURTISS-WRIGHT WZ 7

10 ROTORS !!!
15

COMBIEN DE PALES AU ROTOR PRINCIPAL?


MIL Mi 26

BOLKOW BO103

8 pales

BELL 206 Jetranger

2 pales
1 pale!!.
16

HUB TECHNOLOGY

1) TWO-BLADE HUBS

2) MULTI-BLADE HUBS

Trend towards greater simplicity:


By the use of new concepts and new materials
By enhanced integration of functions and
components

Articulated hubs on bearding


Spheriflex-type hubs
bearingless main rotors (BMR)

Coupled with efforts:


To reduce weight and costs
To decrease the maintenance
requirements

17

Rotors Technologies
World Firsts
1955

- Gas-turbine helicopter, jointly with Turbomeca

1967

- Rigid rotor hub, composite main rotor blades

1968

- "Fenestron" tail rotor

1974

- Composite "Starflex" hub

1984

- DGAC / FAA certification for limitation-free


flight in icing conditions

1988

- Bearingless Main Rotor (BMR)

1989

- Spheriflex Main and Tail Rotors

1991

- FEL Rigid main Rotor - Spheriflex tail Rotor

1997

- Spheriblex Main and Tail Rotors

2001

- Significant noise level reduction


18

THE MAIN ROTOR HUB


MAIN FUNCTIONS
To support the blades when spinning and not spinning
To provide the blades with the required degrees of freedom in:
Flapping / Lead lag / pitch
To provide the pitch or angle of attack variations:
Collective pitch variation / Cyclic pitch variation
To transmit the MGB power to the rotor

RELATED FUNCTIONS
To fix the blade frequencies (especially lead lag)
To provide lead lag damping
To provide blade coning stop and droop restrainer
To fold the blades (manual or automatic)
To de-ice the blades

19

TWO--BLADED ROTORS
TWO
THE FIRST TWO-BLADE ROTORS
BELL

gimbaled to decrease the lead lag moment


liable to weaving
gyroscopic stabilizer

HILLER

same type of rotor


gyroscopic stabilizer operated by aerodynamic flaps

BOTH TYPES

very soft suspension with long,braced rotor mast

DEVELOPMENTS IN TWO-BLADE DESIGN


Elimination of the gimbal and gyroscopic stabilizer (Jet ranger)
Introduction of coning flexibility (B.212)
Problems with large rotors = lead lag stiffness
Vibration problems: introduction of resonance reduction concepts (nodamagic)
DEVELOPMENTS IN TWO-BLADE DESIGN
DISCONTINUATION OF THE TWO-BLADE DESIGN: On new BELL helicopters
Though this concept is still in use ultra light helicopters (Robinson)

20

TWO--BLADED ROTOR
TWO

21

22

INTRODUCTION

Designing new rotor concepts with a view to reduce


weight, cost and maintenance burden, while improving
safety and reliability has always been one of the major
objectives of Eurocopter.
Different rotor heads have been developped: starflex,
spheriflex, bearingless, bmr, fenestron, btr

EC135 BMR

This stems from a long evolution on the last 40 years


through the main significant steps:
A feasibility phase,
A safety improvement phase,
A cost reduction phase.

EC120 FENESTRON
23

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY


ARTICULATED HUBS
HINGED ROTOR HUBS ON BEARINGS:

TECHNOLOGIES USED
- Pitch change hinge on battery of ball bearings.
- Flapping-lead lag hinges : needle bearing, tapper roller bearing.

THE PROBLEMS
Lubrification
Oil

Grease

Leakages
Flaking

Maintenance
Potential

False brinell effed

Frequently lubrificated
Ceramic balls
24

ALOUETTE MAIN ROTOR HUB

25

GAZELLE MAIN ROTOR HUB

26

BK 117
MAIN ROTOR HUB

Main rotor System


Assembly

27

BK 117
MAIN ROTOR HUB

Assembly of Inner Sleeve


and Control Lever

28

BK 117
MAIN ROTOR HUB

Rotor Head witrh Innr


Sleeve Installed

29

332 MK I MAIN ROTOR HUB

30

332 MK I MAIN ROTOR HUB

31

MRP AH 64

32

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY


HINGE ON ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS:

TECHNOLOGY USED

Spherical thrust-bearing: retaking of the centrifugal force and

pitch charge, flapping and lead lag hinges ensured by a single


component.

33

STARFLEX: THE FIRST STEP IN


THE COST REDUCTION PHASE
The famous STARFLEX fully composite
rotor hub marked the first step in cost
reduction compared to the previous
technology:
Reduction by 3 of the number of
parts,

AS350 STARFLEX MAIN ROTOR

Reduction of 65% of the production


cost,
Fail safe design for safety
improvement.
This semi-rigid hub equips cureuil and
dauphin families.
AS365 STARFLEX MAIN ROTOR
34

ECUREUIL STARFLEX MAIN ROTOR HUB

M.R.P. COMPONENTS
350/355

35

MRP AGUSTA
AG 129

36

MRP BELL 406

37

BELL 406

38

UH 60 A - BLACK HAWWK
Main rotor hub

39

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY

Spherical thrust-bearing + flat bearing: pitch change hinge ensured


by the flat bearing, flapping and lead lag hinges realised by the spherical trust
bearing.

40

S 76

41

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY

Tapered bearing + cylindrical bearing: suppression of the lead lag


hinge wich is ensured by the blade cuff flexibility.

42

TIGRE

43

TIGRE

44

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY


HINGE ON ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS (following):

THE ADVANTAGES / BEARINGS


On condition maintenance: no moreTBO = suppresion of heavy maintenance
practises.
The elastomeric components are removed to the reach of remoral criterion.

ETABLISHMENT OF THE REMORIAL CRITERON


Fatigue test at bench, under the flight loads (2 to 4parts).
First phase: estimation of the MTBR (reliability) and etablishment of the removal
criterion.
Second phase: justification of the inspection interval.

45

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY


HINGE ON ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS (following):
PROBLEMS PRESENTED BY THE ELASTOMERS
LOW TEMPERATURES (-40 C / -45 C):
Starting:

Oligocyclic fatigue on level of the adherisation.

In flight:

State deformations / contraints different of qualification test one (+ 15 C).


Increase of propagation speed.

HIGHT TEMPERATURES (+50 C):


State deformation/contraints different of qualification test one (+ 15 C).
Increase of propagation speed.
Behaviour of adherisation under the effect of the heating induced by the thermal
discipation (damping).

46

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY


HINGE ON ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS (following):
PROBLEMS PRESENTED BY THE ELASTOMERS (following):
LOW TEMPERATURES (-40 C / -45 C):
Starting procedure ==> Reduction of stiffness according to the functioning time.
HIGHT TEMPERATURES (+50 C):
Fatigue tests on samples or on actual parts to determinate the propagation
speed.
AGEING (BLACK RUBBER):
Fatigue tests on samples for determination of the evolution of the fatigue
strength: law time / temperature.
OZONE ATTACK
TEST ON SAMPLES AFTER EXPOSITION IN OZONE CHAMBER
47

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY


HINGE ON ELASTOMERIC BEARINGS (following):

PROBLEMS PRESENTED BY THE ELASTOMERS (following)


AGEING (BLACK RUBBER):
Reduction of the fatigue strength ==> Increasing of the crack growth speed.
Increasing of stiffness = => Constraints in the armatures and surrounding parts.

OZONE EFFECT:
Multiple surface crack favoured by static constraints state.

48

49

What is a spheriflex?

FLAPPING STOP

HUB CUP

The spheriflex is a development of the


famous starflex, on which the arms were
removed.

FAIRIN
G

The
spheriflex
follows
the
general
guidelines of simplicity and reduction of
operational costs.

FLAPPING
STOP

SLEEVE

SLEEV
E
DROOP
RESTRAINER

DROOP RESTRAINER

HUB
DAMPER

AXE PA LE JAU NE

FR

AN

CE

UR

OC

OP

T ER

HUB

PITCH HORN

TI

ON

OT

EN

DAMPER

SPHERICAL THRUST BEARING


PITCH HORN
50

332 MK II MAIN ROTOR HUB

51

SPHERIFLEX MRH
332 MK II

CONVENTIONAL HUB
359 PARTS

SPHERIFLEX HUB
122 PARTS
No bearing,
No lurification,
Fail-Safe hub plate (Kevlar Strip)
52

332 MK II

53

DAMPER

TAIL ROTOR

On SPHERIFLEX tail rotor hub the


design is simplified: the blade is
directly attached on the spherical
thrust bearing

TIGER SPHERIFLEX TAIL ROTOR


54

SHORT DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULE

NH90

04/1993

09/1995

EC120

01/1993

06/1995

03/1997

EC155

MAIDEN FLIGHT CERTIFICATION

12/1996

06/1997

12/1998

EC225

T0

11/1998

11/2000

09/2002

SPHERIFLEX rotor hub is easy to finalyze, because it is possible to modify different


parameters independantly: stiffness, damping, loads...
55

IMPROVEMENT OF THE SPHERIFLEX


The development of the SPHERIFLEX is driven by cost efficiency.

This cost effectiveness is the result of intensive efforts made to


reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs as well as weight,
while maintaining safety at the highest level.
These goals where achieved thanks to:
- Innovative layout,
- Family concept,
- New materials.

56

INNOVATIVE LAYOUT

3 main steps in terms of design simplification can be identified:

Interblade damper for main rotor,


Tilted blade pins for main rotor,
Twin plate hub for tail rotor.

57

INTERBLADE DAMPER
The advantages of this layout are:

Increased lever arm, inducing lower stiffness


requirement
==> simplified damper design,

Easier installation due to more room availability,

EC155 SPHERIFLEX MAIN ROTOR

Simplified hub design: no need for


damper
attachement
==> reduced flapping hinge offset,

Improved cooling, and low static load


==> improved reliability,

Simplified installation of blade locking actuators for


automatic blade folding.

NH90 NFH SPHERIFLEX MAIN ROTOR


58

MANUAL BLADE FOLDING

Manual blade folding is one of the major


design constraints.
Generally to avoid any interference between
the front blades and the rear blades, special
setting of flight controls is necessary, in
addition to the removal of at least one pitch
link.
A rearward tilting of the blade pins ensures
blade folding without any maintenance action
on flight control system.

59

TILTED BLADE PIN

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

VERTICAL BLADE PIN

TILTED BLADE PIN

0
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

Blade pin tilting ensures a progressive and


continuous displacement of the blade.

-0,5

-1

200

TILTED BLADE
PIN

Blade folding duration is shortened and


can be performed with a reduced
maintenance team as demonstrated on
Nh90 and EC225.

-1,5

-2

VERTICAL
BLADE PIN
-2,5

BLADE TIP DESCENT


60

TWINPLATE HUB

Simplification of the design of the blade


root.
Reduced size of the hub:
15% saving on production and
maintenace costs,
12% saving on weight.

61

MATERIAL TREND

Since the seventies the metallic materials have made significant


progress in terms of fatigue behavior:
- Stainless steel,
- New titanium alloys,
- metal matrix composite.
These new matallic alloys allow a second step in the cost reduction
effort: it is possible to produce simple hub with quasi-infinite life.

62

NEW MATERIALS STAINLESS


STEEL AND TITANIUM

Conventional steel is now replaced favorably by stainless steel or


titanium .
This ensures a decisive advantage in terms of damage tolerance.
Cancelation of cadimium plating compensates the slightly higher
blank cost and participates toward a cleaner environment.
Fatigue behavior is equal or greater than that of conventional steel:

35 NCD16

MARVAL
X12

15 5 PH

Ti 10 2 3

TA6V

540 Mpa

570 Mpa

568 Mpa

590 Mpa

400 Mpa

63

NEW MATERIALS
STAINLESS STEEL AND TITANIUM
The Choice Between Stainless Steel and Titanium Is Motivated by the Best
Weight/cost Compromise :

EC225 SPHERIFLEX MAIN


ROTOR:

EC120 SPHERIFLEX MAIN ROTOR


Ti 10 2 3 HUB

INTEGRATED 15 5 PH
HUB/MAST

15 5 PH MAST
MMC SLEEVES

EC155 SPHERIFLEX MAIN


ROTOR:
INTEGRATED 15 5 PH
HUB/MAST
MMC SLEEVES

15 5 PH SLEEVES

64

65

4BW Rotor System

4BW Inflight
66

BEARINGLESS ROTOR HEAD OF BELL 680

67

BEARINGLESS ROTOR HEAD OF HUGES HARP

68

MD900 EXPLORER

Rotor Exploded View


69

EC 135

70

EC 135

71

Modularity of the Design

Flexbean

Pitch Case

Blade

Modular Blade Assembly

72

SPHERIFLEX

BMR

Easy adjustment (dynamic)


Concept very tolerant on utilisation
Production cost

ADVANTAGES

Development cost
Blade folding
Large experience

Number of parts

DRAWBACKS

Control power decrease for military


aircraft (combat)
DMC

Control power (=> maneuverability)


Decrease of the number of parts
DMC (to be confirmed with experience
return)

Delicate adjustment
Flexbeam stiffness + adapter stiffness =>
weight on extremty of blade for
Sophisticated suspension system
Number of blades elevated for decrease
exitation level
Not adaped for high speed (aircraft
attitude) (CxS ou )
Production cost
Development cost
Blade folding
Little experience
Weight global (reinforcement,
suspension)

73

FEASIBILITY LIMITS

SPHERIFLEX

BMR

CABRI

<1t

- EC 135

2,5 t

ECUREUIL / A109 /

2 t 2,5 t

- BELL 430 2,5 t

DAUPHIN / S76 / B412

4/5t

- MD 900

2,7 t

SUPER PUMA / NH90 / UH60 / S92

8 / 10 t

- COMMANCHE

4,2 t

MI 38 / E101 ~ 15 t
No limit of employment for EUROCOPTER range

LOW LIMIT ~ 2 t
Suspension
BMR =>

Sas

=> Cost expensive


and complexity

HIGHT LIMIT ~ 5 6 t
Material limit

74

MAIN ROTOR HUB TECHNOLOGY

TILT ROTOR

75

HUB OVERALL ARCHITECTURE

76

77

COMMANDES DE VOL DE L HELICOPTERE

78

LA CHAINE DE COMMANDES DE VOL


La chaine de commandes

Plateau tournant
Plateau non tournant

Rotule
Parties en rotation
Parties mobiles (sans rotation)
B.T.P

Les Plateaux cycliques

79

THE MAIN ROTOR CONTROL COMPONENTS


Pitch control by swashplate
Vertical slide to vary the collective pitch
Tilting to vary the cyclic pitch

Mixed controls

Indepedent controls

COLLECTIVE
and
CYCLIC

ECUREUIL
swashplate
PUMA
swashplate

COLLECTIVE
and
CYCLIC

BELL 47

Pitch control by SPIDER


Spider fitted above the rotor (DJINN)
Spider fitted in the rotor mast (LYNX)

Control link connecting the stick and swashplate


With collective/cyclic pitch mixer
80

SWASHPLATE
Functional diagram

Main rotor shaft

Blade lever
Drive
scissor

Fixed part

Turning
part

Flight
controls

81

SWASHPLATE
Example of construction
Link

Trunnion

Scissor
driver

Rotating

star

Spherical ball
joint

Scissor

Stationary
star

Scissor

82

GUIMBAL SWASH PLATE

83

Pitch control by SPIDER

Collective pitch contol


Cyclic pitch control

84

Laraigne , une variante du systme des


plateaux cycliques

WESTLAND WG13 Lynx

85

COMMANDE DU ROTOR PAR


MOBILES DE PALES

VOLETS

KAMAN SH2 Seasprite

86

COMMANDES DE VOL:
DEPLACEMENT DU CENTRE DE GRAVITE !!!

Solution SEIBEL YH24:


Dplacement du cockpit

Solution HILLER:
La plate-forme
volante
87