Techniques for Counteracting Main Rotor Reactive Torque /25

The reactive torque retards rotation of the main rotor and causes the helicopter to turn in the direction opposite that of the rotor. The turning action of the reactive torque is counteracted in various ways. On single­rotor helicopters the reactive torque is balanced by the tail rotor thrust moment (Figure 20).

Since the helicopter turns about its center of gravity, the tail rotor thrust moment is defined relative to the vertical axis of the helicopter.

The helicopter will not turn about the vertical axis if the reactive torque equals the tail rotor thrust moment, which is defined by the formula where Ъ is the distance from the helicopter center of gravity to the tail rotor.

From the formula N = M w we can determine the magnitude of the main req p b

rotor reactive torque and the equal tail rotor thrust moment


req _






Techniques for Counteracting Main Rotor Reactive Torque /25

Techniques for Counteracting Main Rotor Reactive Torque /25

Figure 20. Balancing of main rotor reactive moment on a single-rotor helicopter.


Knowing the distance Ъ, we find the tail rotor thrust


Подпись:Подпись: t.rt. r.

I ‘

Now it is not difficult to explain the purpose of the helicopter tail rotor. The tail rotor of the single-rotor helicopter is intended to create a thrust whose moment balances the main rctcr reactive torque and thereby pre­vents rotation of the helicopter around the vertical axis. Directional control of the helicopter is accomplished by varying the tail rotor thrust and its moment about the helicopter vertical axis.

In helicopters with two main rotors, the turning action of the reactive torques is automatically eliminated — the main rotors turn in opposite directions and their reactive torques balance one another.

Main Rotor

With regard to the technique used to create and transmit torque, modern helicopters can be divided into two groups:

1) those with reactive drive;

2) those with mechanical drive.

In helicopters with reactive drive the engines are located at the tips

Подпись:Подпись:In this case, the torque can be ex – hy the main rotor

V = P Rk.. tor eng

The torque balances directly the moment resisting rotation; therefore, the helicopter will not turn.

Characteristic for the helicopter with reactive drive are simplicity of its construction and low weight. It has no power expenditure to rotate a tail rotor, less vibration, and there is the possibility of obtaining high main rotor thrust with low thrust of the jet engine located at the tip of the blade.

Any type of reactive engine can be used as the reactive engine at the tip of the blade. However, at the present time the so-called compressor drive is most often used, i. e., reaction nozzles are located at the tips of the blades and are supplied with compressed air from a gas turbine engine or a special compressor.

The reaction-driven helicopter is still in the experimental stage. This is a result of difficult technical problems, the primary ones being:

a) reactive drive; b) mechanical drive;

1) engine gearbox; 2) main transmission shaft; 3) main rotor gearbox; 4) tail rotor d. riveshaft; 5) intermediate gearbox; 6) tail rotor gearbox.

high fuel consumption and low efficiency (2-3%) of the reaction drive;

complexity of the construction of the hub and blades, in which plumbing /27 must be provided;

complexity of the design of a reaction engine which will operate reliably when subjected to the high centrifugal force and the varying airstream direction;

deterioration of the aerodynamic characteristics of the main rotor owing to the engines located on the blades.

Helicopters with mechanical drive are those in which the torque trans­mitted from the engine to the main and tail rotors hy means of a special assembly, termed a transmission (Figure 21b).

The transmission includes the following basic units:

Подпись:F. educers;


Shaft supports and connections;

Airframe-mounted engine reducers; Tail rotor reducers.

Подпись: Main rotor reducers; Intermediate reducers;The main rotor reducer is provided to reduce the rotor shaft speed. The need for this reduction was explained above. Characteristic of this reducer is the high reduction ratio — from 1:8 to 1:14. Two-stage simple reducers are used on light helicopters; usually two-stage planetary reducers are used on the intermediate and heavy helicopters. The torque to the tail rotor is transmitted through the main rotor reducer. When the main rotor turns, the tail rotor is also automatically rotated. Thus, the main and tail rotors always constitute a single system and cannot rotate separately.

The intermediate reducers are installed in order to change the transmission direction (for example, at the juncture of the tail boom and the aft vertical fin). These reducers do not change the rpm., and consist of two conical gears.

The airframe-mounted engine reducers are used to transmit the torque from the horizontal engine shaft to the vertical transmission shaft. They are located in the engine case, and are used when the engine shaft axis is horizontal.

The tail rotor reducers are provided to transmit torque to the tail rotor /28 shaft and to reduce tail rotor shaft rpm. The mechanism for controlling the tail rotor is located in its reducer.

The torque is transmitted by the transmission shafts. The transmission of a single-rotor helicopter includes:

Main transmission shaft;

Tail rotor driveshaft.

The main transmission shaft transmits the torque from the engine to the main rotor reducer.

As a rule, the tail rotor driveshaft consists of several sections and transmits the torque from the main rotor reducer to the tail rotor reducer and Its length is 8-10 m. This shaft is a source of additional vibration of the helicopter.

Подпись: N req Подпись: = M ш, tor Подпись: then M tor Подпись: N rec . 0)

All the transmission shafts rotate at high angular speed. Increase of the angular speed reduces the loading on the shaft for transmission of the same power.

The shaft supports prevent deflection and bending vibrations (whipping) of t. he long shafts. Ball bearings with elastic spacers are used as the supports. The shafts are connected with one another and with the other parts of the transmission by means of universals and flexible couplings; in addition to the interconnecting couplings there, are starting, engaging, and freewheeling clutches.

On some helicopters all three of these clutches are combined into a single, unit, located in the engine case together with the reducer. The free­wheeling clutch is most frequently made in the form cf a separate unit. The starting clutch is a unit of the friction type and is intended for smooth connection of the transmission shaft with the engine shaft. When this type of connection is used, there is slippage of one shaft relative to the ether until the speeds of the driving and driven shafts become the same. This clutch transmits the small torque from the engine to the transmission when the engine is operating at low speed. The starting clutch provides smooth rotation of the main and tail rotors without jerking. When the transmission is engaged, the main clutch (most often of the dog type) is activated and connects the engine and transmission shafts rigidly together. The total torque is transmitted from the engine to the main and tail rotors through this

clutch. The freewheeling clutch is designed to transmit torque in one direc­tion only — in the direction of rotation of the rotor. It provides automatic disconnect of the engine from the transmission if there is a reduction of the engine rpm. This is necessary in the main rotor autorotation regime if there is an engine failure in flight. Moreover, the presence of the freewheeling clutch leads to reduction of the inertial loads on the main rotor shaft when there is a change of engine operation. As a rule, the freewheeling clutch is located in the main rotor reducer case, between the main transmission shaft /29

and the reducer shaft. The main rotor brake is designed for rapid deceleration of the transmission after shutting down the engine on the ground.

The helicopter transmission is quite heavy, and therefore reduction of the weight of its individual components is of primary importance.

Vortex Ring Regime

During helicopter vertical descent the air flow accelerated downward by the rotor increases its velocity from V_^ to 2V^ at a distance from the main rotor equal to about 2R. With further distance from the main rotor the flow decreases its velocity to as a result of "friction" with the opposing air (Figure 58a).

If the flow velocity V3 equals the helicopter vertical descent velocity

V, , the velocity of the flow accelerated by the rotor V„ = 0, i. e., the /86

des 3

rotor essentially "catches" the air which it has accelerated. As a result of inflow above the rotor there will be an "interface" where the rotor essentially "runs away" from the inflowing air with the same velocity. This means that two interfaces are formed: below and above the rotor. At these

surfaces the flow leaving the rotor turns and forms closed vortices, which have nearly no effect on thrust formation, since they are far from the rotor.

As the vertical descent velocity is increased, the interfaces where Vg = approach the main rotor. The vortices become more intense and

unstable. The rotor expends the power obtained from the engine on rotation of these vortices. The main rotor thrust decreases sharply, since air is not ejected from the closed vortex system (Figure 58b). The vertical descent velocity increases still further. The helicopter begins to toss from side to side, control of the helicopter becomes difficult, and heavy buffeting appears. This flight state corresponds to the developed vortex ring regime.

The vortex ring regime occurs with vertical descent at a velocity more than 2-3 m/sec with the engine operating.

The most effective technique for recovery from the vortex ring state is to transition the main rotor into the autorotation regime along an inclined trajectory. But this requires considerable altitude and the absence of obstacles, therefore, the vortex ring regime is dangerous and must be avoided.

What determines the blade element autorotation conditions?

Answer 1. The blade element autorotation conditions are determined by the inclination of the elemental aerodynamic force relative to the main rotor hub axis. If the force is directed parallel to the hub axis, its projection on the plane of rotation equals zero, and the autorotation will be steady-state.

If the force vector AR is inclined forward relative to the hub axis by the angle y, the autorotation will be accelerated. If the force vector AR is inclined aft by the angle y, the autorotation will be decelerated. The inclina­tion of the vector AR depends on the blade element pitcn and angle of attack increment (Да = arc tg /u) . The lower the pitch and the larger Act, the larger the forward tilt of the vector AR.

Answer 2. The blade element autorotation conditions are determined by the aerodynamic efficiency К = Y/X. The higher the aerodynamic efficiency, the smaller the aerodynamic efficiency angle 0^, the larger the forward tilt of the force vector AR, and the higher the main rotor rpm will be. Since the

aerodynamic efficiency and the efficiency angle depend on the angle of attack, the autorotation conditions are determined by the angle of attack. At the optimal angle of attack, the force vector AR has the maximal forward tilt, therefore, the autorotative regime will be accelerated. At angles of attack greater than and less than the optimal value, the blade element autorotation will be decelerated.

Answer 3. The blade element autorotative conditions are determined by the tilt of the elemental resultant aerodynamic force R relative to the main rotor hub axis. If this force vector is tilted forward, the blade element will have accelerated autorotation; if it is tilted aft the autorotation will be decelerated. If the direction of AR is parallel to the hub axis, the autorota­tion is steady-state. The tilt of the force AR depends on the angle of attack increment Да formed as a result of the vertical rate of descent (Да = arc tg ^des^Ur0" .The higher the vertical rate of descent, the larger Да, the larger the tilt of the force AR, and the higher the main rotor rpm.

The Helicopter and its Basic Components

Principles of Flight

A helicopter is a heavier than air flying machine that has a lifting force created by a main rotor according to aerodynamic principles.

The basic components of a helicopter are as follows:

Main rotor. Put in motion by the power plant (engine).

Fuselage. Intended for accomodation of crew, passengers, equipment and cargo.

Landing gear, that is, arrangement intended for movement over the ground J6_ or for parking.

Tail rotor. Provides directional equilibrium and directional control of the helicopter.

Propulsion system which sets in motion the lifting and tail rotors and auxiliary systems.

Transmission transfers the torque from the power plant to the main and tail rotors.

All components of the helicopter are attached to the fuselage or are set in it.

Flight is possible for a flying machine if there is a lifting force counterbalancing its weight. The lifting force of the helicopter originates at the main rotor. By the rotation of the main rotor in the air a thrust force is developed perpendicular to the plane of rotor rotation. If the main rotor rotates in the horizontal plane, then its thrust force T is directed vertically upwards (Figure 4a), that is, vertical flight is possible. The characteristics of the flight depend on the correlation between the thrust force of the main rotor and the weight of the helicopter. If the thrust force equals the weight of the helicopter, then it will remain motionless in the air. If, though, the thrust force is greater than the weight, then the helicopter will pass from being motionless into a vertical climb. If the thrust force is less than the weight, a vertical descent will result.

The plane of rotation of the main rotor with respect to the ground can be inclined in any direction (Figure 4b, c). In this case the rotor will fulfill a two-fold function; its vertical component Y will be the lift force and the horizontal component P — the propulsive force. Under the influence of

The Helicopter and its Basic Components

Figure 4. Principle of flight controls of a helicopter, a – vertical flight; b – horizontal flight forwards; c – horizontal flight backwards.

this force the helicopter moves forward in flight. JJ_

If the plane of the main rotor is inclined backwards, the helicopter will move backwards. (Figure 4c). The inclination of the plane of rotation to the right or to the left causes motion of the helicopter in the corresponding direction.

Classification of Helicopters

The basic classification of helicopter types is that of the number of main rotors and their disposition. According to the number of main rotors, it is possible to classify helicopters as single rotor, dual rotor and multi­rotor types.

Single rotor helicopters appear in many varieties. Helicopters of the single rotor scheme have a main rotor, mounted on the main fuselage and a tail rotor mounted on the tail structure (see Figure 3). This arrangement, which

was developed Ъу B. N. Yur’yev in 1911, provides a name for one classification.

The basic merit of single rotor helicopters is the simplicity of con­struction and the control system. The class of single rotor helicopters includes the very light helicopters (flight weight about 500 kgf), and very heavy helicopters (flight weight greater than 40 tons). Some of the deficien­cies of the single rotor helicopter are:

Large fuselage length;

A significant loss of power due to the tail rotor drive train (7 – 10% of the full power of the engine);

A limited range of permissible centering;

A higher level of vibration (the long transmission shafts, extending into the tail structure, are additional sources of spring oscillations).

Dual rotor helicopters appear in several arrangements.

Rotors arranged in tandem; this is the most prevalent arrangement (Figure 5a)

Rotors in a transverse arrangement (Figure 5b);

A cross connected rotor scheme (Figure 5c);

A coaxial rotor arrangement (Figure 5d).

The basic merits of helicopters with a tandem rotor arrangement are:

Wider range of permissible centering;

Large fuselage volume; which allows it to contain large-sized loads;

Increased longitudinal stability;

Large weight coefficient.

Helicopters with a tandem arrangement of rotors can have one or two engines, which are located in the forward or aft parts of the fuselage. These helicopters have the following serious deficiencies:

Classification of Helicopters

Figure 5. Dual rotor helicopters.

A complicated system of transmission and control; /8

Adverse mutual interaction between the main rotors which causes, in addition, a loss of power;

Complicated landing techniques are required in the autorotation regime of main rotors.

The following advantages are attributed to helicopters with a transverse arrangement of rotors:

Convenient utilization of all parts of the fuselage for crew and passengers, since the engines are located outside the fuselage;

Absence of harmful interaction of one rotor with the other;

Higher lateral stability and controllability of the helicopter;

The presence of an auxiliary wing, where the engines and main rotors are located, allows the helicopter to develop a high speed.

Deficiencies of these helicopters are as follows:

A complicated system of control and transmission;

An increase in size and structure weight due to the presence of the auxiliary wing.

Dual rotor helicopters with cross connected rotors have a considerable advantage over helicopters with transverse rotors; they do not have an auxil­iary wing, which reduces the size and structure weight. But, at the same time, with these advantages there is a deficiency, — a complicated transmission /9

and control system.

These helicopters are not produced in the Soviet Union. They are en­countered, on occasion, abroad.

The basic advantage of dual rotor helicopters with coaxial rotors is their small size. Their disadvantages:

Complicated structure;

Deficient directional stability;

Danger of collision of the rotor blades;

Considerable vibration.

In the Soviet Union, there are only light helicopters with this rotor arrangement.

Multi-rotor helicopters are not widely used in view of their complex construction.

In all dual-rotor helicopters, the main rotors rotate in opposite direc­tions. In this way the mutual reactive moments are balanced, and the necessity of having a tail rotor is eliminated. Thus the power loss from the engine is reduced.


§ 1. Brief IWstory of Helicopter Development


The idea of creating a flying apparatus with an aerial screw, which ]_3

created a lifting force, was suggested for the first time in 1475 by Leonardo de Vinci. This idea was too premature owing to the impossibility of technical realization of the project and opposition by religious opinions. The idea was buried in the archives. A sketch and description of this flying apparatus was displayed in the Milan library and published at the end of the 19^ century.

In 1754, M. V. Lomonosov substantiated the possibility of creating a heavier than air flying apparatus and built a model of a dual rotor helicopter with the rotors arranged coaxially.

In the 19^ century many Russian scientists and engineers developed projects for flying machines with main rotors. In 1869, electrical engineer A. N. Lodygin proposed a projected helicopter powered by an electric motor.

In 1870 the well known scientist M. A. Rykachev was engaged in the develop­ment of propellers.

Metallurgist-scientist D. K. Chernov devised a helicopter scheme with longitudinal, transverse, and coaxially arranged rotors.

Numbers in the margin indicate pagination in the original foreign text.

At the end of the 19^ century, the development of flying machines engaged the attention of the distinguished Russian scientists D. I. Mendeleyev, К. E. Tsiolkovskiy, N. Ye. Zhukovskiy and S. A. Chaplygin. A period of indepth scientific substantiation of the idea of flight with heavier than air flying machines began.

A close associate of N. Ye. Zhukovskiy, B. N. Yur’yev, in 1911 proposed a well-developed single rotor helicopter project with a propeller for direc­tional control and also a fundamental arrangement for helicopter control, that of automatically warping the main rotor. After the Great October Socialist Revolution, when our country began to develop its own aviation industry, work on the creation of a helicopter was continued.

In 1925, in TSAGI, an experimental group for special constructions was organized under the leadership of B. N. Yur’yev This group was engaged in the development of a helicopter.

In 1930 the first Soviet helicopter was built, the TSAGI 1-EA (Figure 1). LA This helicopter was tested by the engineer responsible for its construction, Aleksey Mikhaylovich Cheremyukhin. Cheremyukhin set a world record altitude of 605 m in this helicopter.



Figure 1. TSAGI 1-EA Helicopter.

In 1948 the single rotor helicopters Mi-1 and Yak-100 were built. As a result of the State trials, the helicopter Mi-1 proved to have the most satis­factory characteristics and it was accepted for mass production.

In 1952 the helicopter Mi-4 was built, which, for that time, had a very large useful load. The same year saw the completion and first flight of the tandem arrangement dual rotor helicopter, the Yak-24, "Flying Wagon" designed by A. S. Yakovlev (Figure 2).


In 1958 the heavy helicopter Mi-6 was constructed which, up to the J_5_

present time, has no equal abroad.

In 1961 the helicopters Mi-2 and Mi-8 (Figure 3), which have gas turbine engines, were built. At the present time they are in mass production and they will gradually replace the Mi-1 and Mi-4 helicopters.

The ability of a helicopter to fly vertically, and the possibility of motion in every direction, makes the helicopter a very maneuverable flying machine, and since it can operate independent of airfields its boundaries of utilization are considerably widened.


Figure 3. Mi-8 single rotor helicopter.

At the present time helicopters are found in more and more wider applica­tion in the national economy. They appear as a basic means of conveyance in locations where it is impossible to utilize ground transport or fixed wing airplanes. Helicopters are utilized in civil construction work and to rescue people and property at times of various natural calamities. Lately helicopters are being widely used in the rural economy. From the examples given, it can be seen that the possibilities of utilizing helicopters as flying machines are far from exhausted.