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Arizona Army National Guard

Aviation Support Facility #1



AERODYNAMICS
FM 1-203, Fundamentals of flight
TC 1-212, Aircrew Training Manual

REFERENCES
Learning Objectives
Applied and simplified
understanding of
helicopter
aerodynamic
characteristics
Correlate relationships
between these
characteristics

Rotary Wing Aerodynamic
Subject Areas
Aerodynamic Factors
Relative Wind
Induced Flow Production
Resultant Relative Wind
Angle of Attack / Angle of Incidence
Total Aerodynamic Force
Lift
Drag
Airflow During a Hover

Rotary Wing Aerodynamics
Subject Areas (Cont)
Translating Tendency
Mechanical and Pilot
Inputs
Dissymmetry of Lift
Blade Flapping
Blade Lead and Lag
Cyclic Feathering
Rotary Wing Aerodynamic
Subject Areas (Cont)
Retreating Blade Stall
Compressibility
Settling with Power
Off Set Hinges
Dynamic Rollover



Relative Wind
Relative wind is defined
as the airflow relative to an
airfoil
Relative wind is created
by movement of an airfoil
through the air
Induced Flow Production
This figure illustrates
how still air is changed
to a column of
descending air by rotor
blade action
Resultant Relative Wind
Angle of attack is
reduced by induced flow,
causing the airfoil to
produce less lift
Airflow from rotation,
modified by induced flow,
produces the Resultant
Relative Wind
Angle of Attack
Angle of Attack (AOA) (4) is
the angle between the airfoil chord
line and its direction of motion
relative to the air (the Resultant
Relative Wind)
Angle of Incidence
Angle of Incidence (or AOI) is
the angle between the blade chord
line and the plane of rotation of the
rotor system.
Total Aerodynamic Force
A Total Aerodynamic Force (3)
is generated when a stream of air
flows over and under an airfoil that
is moving through the air
Total Aerodynamic Force
Total aerodynamic force may be divided
into two components called lift and drag
Lift acts on the airfoil in a direction
perpendicular to the relative wind
Drag acts on the airfoil in a direction
parallel to the relative wind and is the
force that opposes the motion of the
airfoil through the air

Airflow at a Hover (IGE)
Lift needed to sustain an
IGE Hover can be produced
with a reduced angle of
attack and less power
because of the more vertical
lift vector


This is due to the ground
interrupting the airflow under
the helicopter thereby
reducing downward velocity
of the induced flow


Airflow at a Hover (OGE)
Downward airflow alters the relative wind and
changes the angle of attack so less aerodynamic
force is produced
Increase collective pitch is required to produce
enough aerodynamic force to sustain an OGE
Hover
Rotor Tip Vortexes (IGE/OGE)
Rotor Tip Vortexes Effects
At a hover, the Rotor Tip Vortex reduces
the effectiveness of the outer blade
portions
When operating at an IGE Hover, the
downward and outward airflow pattern
tends to restrict vortex generation
Rotor efficiency is increased by ground
effect up to a height of about one rotor
diameter for most helicopters
Translating Tendency
The tendency for a
single rotor helicopter to
drift laterally, due to tail
rotor thrust
Dissymmetry of Lift
Definition
Compensation
Blade Flapping
Cyclic Feathering
Blade Lead and Lag
Dissymmetry of Lift Definition
Dissymmetry of Lift is the
difference in lift that exists between
the advancing half of the rotor disk
and the retreating half
Blade Flapping
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.
Blade Flapping
Cyclic Feathering
These changes
in blade pitch are
introduced either
through the blade
feathering
mechanism or
blade flapping.

When made
with the blade
feathering
mechanism, the
changes are
called Cyclic
Feathering.

Blade Lead and Lag
Blade Lead / Lag Each rotor
blade is attached to the hub by a
vertical hinge (3) that permits each
blade, independently of the others,
to move back and forth in the
rotational plane of the rotor disk
thereby introducing cyclic feathering.
Retreating Blade Stall
A tendency for the
retreating blade to stall
in forward flight is
inherent in all present
day helicopters and is
a major factor in
limiting their forward
speed
Retreating Blade Stall
Lift at a Hover
Retreating Blade Stall
Lift at Cruise
Retreating Blade Stall
Lift at Stall Airspeed
Retreating Blade Stall
Causes
When operating at high forward airspeeds,
the following conditions are most likely to
produce blade stall:
High Blade Loading (high gross weight)
Low Rotor RPM
High Density Altitude
Steep or Abrupt Turns
Turbulent Air

Retreating Blade Stall
Indications
The major warnings of approaching
retreating blade stall conditions are:
Abnormal Vibration
Nose Pitch-up
The Helicopter Will Roll Into The Stalled Side

Retreating Blade Stall
Corrective Actions
When the pilot suspects blade stall, he can
possibly prevent it from occurring by
sequentially:
Reducing Power (collective pitch)
Reducing Airspeed
Reducing "G" Loads During Maneuvering
Increasing Rotor RPM to Max Allowable Limit
Checking Pedal Trim
Compressibility
Compressibility
What Happens?
Rotor blades moving through the air below
approximately Mach 0.7 cause the air in front of
the blade to move away before compression can
take place.
Above speeds of approximately Mach 0.7 the air
flowing over the blade accelerates above the
speed of sound, causing a shock wave (also
known as a sonic boom) as the blade compresses
air molecules faster than they can move away
from the blade.
The danger of this shock wave (Compressibility)
is its effect on aircraft control and fragile rotor
blade membranes.
Compressibility
Causes
Conditions conducive to Compressibility
High Airspeed
High Rotor RPM
High Gross Weight
High Density Altitude
Low Temperature
Turbulent Air
Compressibility
Indications
As Compressibility
approaches:
Power Required
Increase as Lift
Decreases and
Drag Increases
Vibrations Become
More Severe
Shock Wave Forms
(Sonic Boom)
Nose Pitches Down

Compressibility
Corrective Actions
When the pilot suspects Compressibility, he
can possibly prevent it from occurring by:
Slowing Down the Aircraft
Decreasing Pitch Angle (Reduce Collective)
Minimizing G Loading
Decreasing Rotor RPM
Settling with Power
Settling With Power is a condition of powered
flight where the helicopter settles into its own
downwash.
It is also known as Vortex Ring State
Settling with Power
Cause
Increase in induced flow results in reduction of angle of
attack and increase in drag
This creates a demand for excessive power and creates
greater sink rate
Where the demand for power meets power available the
aircraft will no longer sustain flight and will descend
Settling With Power
Conditions
Conditions required for Settling with power
are:
300-1000 FPM Rate of Descent
Power Applied (> than 20% Available Power)
Near Zero Airspeed (Loss of ETL)
Can occur during:
Downwind Approaches.
Formation Approaches and Takeoffs.
Steep Approaches.
NOE Flight.
Mask/Unmask Operations.
Hover OGE.
Settling With Power
Indications
Symptoms of Settling with Power:
A high rate of descent
High power consumption
Loss of collective pitch effectiveness
Vibrations
Settling With Power
Corrective Actions
When Settling with
Power is suspected:
Establish directional
flight.
Lower collective
pitch.
Increase RPM if
decayed.
Apply right pedal.

Off Set Hinges
The Offset Hinge is
located outboard from the
hub and uses centrifugal
force to produce
substantial forces that act
on the hub itself.
One important advantage
of offset hinges is the
presence of control
regardless of lift condition,
since centrifugal force is
independent of lift.
Dynamic Rollover
With a rolling
moment and a pivot
point if the helicopter
exceeds a critical
angle it will roll over.

Dynamic Rollover
The critical rollover
angle is further
reduced under the
following conditions:
Right Side Skid Down
Condition
Crosswinds
Lateral Center Of
Gravity (CG) Offset
Main Rotor Thrust
Almost Equal to Weight
Left Yaw Inputs
Dynamic Rollover
Pilot Technique
When landing or taking off,
with thrust (lift) approximately
equal to the weight (light on
the skids or wheels), the pilot
should keep the helicopter
cyclic trimmed (force
trim/gradient) and prevent
excessive helicopter pitch and
roll movement rates. The pilot
should fly the helicopter
smoothly off (or onto) the
ground, vertically, carefully
maintaining proper cyclic trim.
Summary
Websites containing additional and more
detailed information on Helicopter
Aerodynamics:
http://www.dynamicflight.com/aerodynamics/
http://www.copters.com/helo_aero.html
http://www.helicopterpage.com/html/forces.html



Websites checked
as of 9 JUN 05
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