Helicopter – What’s special about blades spinning on top of a tank?

 Tracing back history of helicopters

 There is a story of Chinese children playing with bamboo flying toys. The year told is about 400 BC that is a long long time..  Certain designs similar to renaissance paintings were found in the renaissance paintings too. Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1480s described vertical flight using an aerial screw. As time went by many inventors laid their hand on the invention on the helicopter, right from a small toy to a stable hover flight! What’s fascinating about the helicopter that made all these people obsessed, let’s dig in!

Hovering above our heads

The first thing we recollect about the helicopter is the sound that it produces when it crosses the landscape we live in. Being considered the most challenging part, the helicopter generates its gusty air while in a hover. This acts against the fuselage and control of the flight surfaces. The control inputs of the hover are simple.

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Forward into the sky

 The principle works on the fact that a rotating foil also called the rotor, provides the lifting force. When compared to the other winged aircraft, helicopters have a longer tail which is fixed with a rotor. The rotor foils of the helicopter are symmetric while for the rest it isn’t.  Interesting, isn’t it? The sound produced along with the wind as we usually see in the typical heroic entries is due to the relative combination of the wind from the rotor blade rotation and the hovering of the helicopter. 

Does the helicopter have control?

How many controls do a helicopter have?  Let’s find out by imagining ourselves in the pilot seat.  

1. Collective pitch control

This control found at the pilot’s left hand is a lever that changes the rotor blade’s pitch angle.  An increase in pitch increases the angle of attack increasing lift and drag( do not hesitate to check Lift and drag in aerodynamics) and vice versa.

2. Throttle control

The throttle control is used along with the collective pitch control in conjunction, to increase the rpm of the rotor inboard and to decrease the rpm of the rotor outboard. This can be compared to thrust, learn more about it here.

3. Anti torque control

My dear co-pilot, do not press any pedals near your foot, that might be the anti-torque controls that are linked to change the mechanism of the rotor tail gearbox. With the change in torque,  the pedal position should be changed accordingly. 

4. Cyclic pitch control

Do u wanna take a left or a u-turn? Don’t worry while cyclic pitch is in control. This control is used for changing the sequential way the pitch of every blade is changed to change directions.

Let’s play spot differences! If I ask you to tell the first difference between helicopters and airplanes, the most visual difference and the immediate answer would be the wing of the aircraft. Helicopters have rotors instead of wings. The features of the helicopter make it costlier yet efficient in medical evacuation,  cargo, and military, agricultural, and much more. Found this helicopter ride interesting? Do not forget to check out our latest blogs on Aviation on our page. Until we meet next time, Bye crewmate!

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