Helicopter Turning Flight

in Aerodynamics of Flight

In forward flight, the rotor disk is tilted forward, which also tilts the total lift-thrust force of the rotor disk forward. When the helicopter is banked, the rotor disk is tilted sideward resulting in lift being separated into two components. Lift acting upward and opposing weight is called the vertical component of lift. Lift acting horizontally and opposing
inertia (centrifugal force) is the horizontal component of lift (centripetal force). [Figure 2-44]

Figure 2-44. Forces acting on the helicopter during turning flight.

Figure 2-44. Forces acting on the helicopter during turning flight.

As the angle of bank increases, the total lift force is tilted more toward the horizontal, thus causing the rate of turn to increase because more lift is acting horizontally. Since the resultant lifting force acts more horizontally, the effect of lift acting vertically is decreased. To compensate for this decreased vertical lift, the AOA of the rotor blades must be increased in order to maintain altitude. The steeper the angle of bank is, the greater the AOA of the rotor blades required to maintain altitude. Thus, with an increase in bank and a greater AOA, the resultant lifting force increases and the rate of turn is higher. Simply put, collective pitch must be increased in order to maintain altitude and airspeed while turning. Collective pitch controls the angle of incidence and along with other factors, determines the overall AOA in the rotor system.


51l0aN891BL._SX396_BO1,204,203,200_Are you ready to start your journey learning to fly helicopters? Learning to Fly Helicopters, Second Edition, provides details on the technical and practical aspects of rotarywing flight. Written in a conversational style, the book demystifies the art and science of helicopter flying.


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