# Blade Thrust and Its

Azimuthal Variation

During rotation of the main rotor in the forward flight regime, there is continuous variation of the blade position relative to the flight velocity vector or the velocity vector of the undisturbed flow approaching the main rotor. This situation in­fluences the nature of the flow over the blade and the forces which arise, the reason for many phenomena which special concept is introduced to

The azimuth, or the angle of the azimuthal position of the blade, is the angle between a reference line and the blade longitudinal axis at a given moment of time (Figure 29).

It is customary to take as the reference line the blade longitudinal axis when the blade is positioned directly aft of the main rotor hub.

The azimuth is reckoned from 0 to 360° in the direction of rotation of the main rotor and is represented by the letter p. The blade traveling from /44 from the 0° azimuth to the 180° azimuth is called the advancing blade. The blade travelling from the 180° azimuth to the 360° azimuth is called the retreating blade. The concepts of "advancing" and "retreating" blades are associated with the variation of the direction of the undisturbed stream approaching the blade.

In the case of the advancing blade, the undisturbed flow created by helicopter flight is directed at some angle to the blade leading edge, while

in the case of the retreating blade, this flow is directed at the trailing edge, increases the vibration of the main rotor and the variation of the blade thrust as a function of azimuth, and reduces the main rotor thrust in the forward flight regime. The main rotor blade has a section of the lifting surface removed in the root region in order to reduce these undesirable phenomena (Figure 30). Increase of the cutout reduces the influence of reverse flow, but increases the root losses and, consequently, the magnitude of the thrust in the forward flight regime. An optimal size of the root cutouts is established for each main rotor.

The thrust of an individual blade can be found from the same formula used to obtain wing lift

rb = S5b^TF2’

where C is the blade thrust coefficient;

Tb

S, is the blade planform area; b

W is the resultant blade tip velocity.

The blade thrust coefficient depends on its shape and incidence angle;

consequently, for a fixed pitch ф the quantities C and S are constants.

b

Then for constant air density the blade thrust will vary similarly to the variation of the resultant velocity over the blade.

In the forward flight regime the blade thrust reaches its maximal value at the 90° azimuth, since in this case the resultant velocity over the blade is maximal. Conversely, at ф = 270° the blade thrust is minimal, since the resultant velocity is least at this azimuth (see Figure 31c).