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Rotary Wing AERODYNAMICS

Aerodynamics

Airfoil Force Vectors

Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic Terms
Rotational Relative Wind
Opposes Direction of Blade Rotation in Tip Path Plane

Induced Flow
Vertical Component of Airflow Drawn Through the Rotor System

Resultant Relative Wind


Actual Wind that Acts on the Airfoil (Vector Sum of Rotational Relative Wind & Induced Flow)

Angle of Incidence
Angle Between Chord Line & Rotational Relative Wind (Tip Path Plane)
Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic Terms (Cont)


Angle of Attack
Angle Between Chord Line & Resultant Relative Wind

Lift
Acts Perpendicular to Resultant Relative Wind

Drag
Acts Parallel & Opposite to Resultant Relative Wind

Total Aerodynamic Force


Vector Sum of Airfoil Lift & Drag

Aerodynamics

Lift
Pressure Differential
Between Upper & Lower Airfoil Surfaces Creates Lift

Lift Equation

L 2 V 2 SC L
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Cambered Airfoil in Positive Lift

Aerodynamics

Drag
Types of Drag
Induced: Caused by the Production of Lift Parasite: All Drag Not Caused by Lift
Profile: Parasitic Drag of Rotor Blades Passing Through the Air

Drag Equation

D 2 V 2 SC D
1

Largest Contributor to Total Drag


Low Speed: Induced Drag High Speed: Parasite/Profile Drag

Aerodynamics

Helicopter Drag vs. Airspeed

Aerodynamics

Airflow At A Hover - OGE

Aerodynamics

Airflow At A Hover - IGE

Aerodynamics

Translating Tendency
Tendency of Aircraft to Drift In the Direction of Tail Rotor Thrust at a Hover

Compensated for by Mixing Unit & Pilot Input

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Dissymmetry of Lift
Difference in Lift Associated with the Advancing & Retreating Sides of the Rotor System

Compensated for by Blade Flapping & Cyclic Feathering

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Blade Flapping
Up/Down Movement of the Rotor Blade About A Flapping Hinge

Causes Blowback (Rearward Tilt of Rotor Disk)

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Blade Lead & Lag (Hunting)


Fore & Aft Movement of the Blade in Tip Path Plane Due to Changes in Blade Speed

Coriolis Effect
Angular Velocity Changes with Blade CG

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Retreating Blade Stall


Outboard Section of Retreating Blade Stalls at High Forward Airspeed

Causes
Blade Flapping & Cyclic Feathering that Exceed Critical Angle

Aircraft Pitches Up & Rolls Left

Conditions Conducive to Retreating Blade Stall


- High GWT - High DA - Turbulent Air
Aerodynamics

- Low Rotor RPM - High G Maneuvers

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Retreating Blade Stall

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Compressibility
Outboard Section of Advancing Blade Exceeds the Speed of Sound at High Airspeed

Aerodynamic Center Moves Aft


Large Down Pitching Moment at Outboard Tip Will Cause Structural Failure of Blade

Aircraft Pitches Down Conditions Conducive to Compressibility


- High Airspeed - High GWT - Low Temperature
Aerodynamics

- High Rotor RPM - High DA - Turbulent Air


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Settling with Power


(Vortex Ring State)
Formation of an Inner Vortex on the Blade Causes Substantial Loss of Lift Increased Collective Results in Larger Vortex Rings & Higher Rates of Descent Conditions Conducive to Settling with Power
Very Low Forward Airspeed 20-100% of Available Power Applied 300 ft/min Rate of Descent or Greater

Recover by Establishing Directional Flight


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Vortex Ring State


Induced Flow Before Vortex Ring State

Vortex Ring State

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Offset Hinges

Tends to Align the Helicopter with the Rotor Tip Path Plane Offset Creates a Hub Moment
Larger the Offset, Higher the Hub Moment

Results in Greater Maneuverability & Faster Aircraft Response

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Dynamic Rollover
Aircraft Exceeds Critical Rollover Angle with a Rolling Moment

Dynamic Rollover Criteria


Pivot Point Rolling Moment Lift Component and/or Hub Moment

Tail Rotor Contribution Collective is Most Effective Control


Cyclic is also Effective Due to Offset Hinges
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Fuselage Hovering Attitude


Nose High
Forward Tilt of Main Transmission Aircraft CG Aft of Main Rotor Mast

Left Side Low


Left Cyclic Compensating for Translating Tendency

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