Art of the Helicopter by John Watkinson

By John Watkinson

  • "The thought and dynamics of helicopter flight are advanced and for the uninitiated, tough. yet during this ebook, British helicopter pilot and technical writer John Watkinson units out to simplify the suggestions, and clarify in lay-man's phrases how a helicopter operates. utilizing photos and over four hundred diagrams, all facets of rotary flight are lined together with the heritage of rotor-craft, helicopter dynamics, rotors, tails, energy crops and keep watch over. this is often a superb booklet for any helicopter enthusiast." Airforce, Fall 2004 "...clear and straightforward diagrams that relief verbal reasons of the way helicopters are made." -AOPA, 2004 "The paintings of the Helicopter is designed to de-mystify the complexity because it examines helicopter aerodynamic conception, layout and function. The ebook goals to debate its matters readably, start each one topic from first ideas and construct on these in a "clearly defined logical series utilizing simple English and transparent diagrams, averting pointless mathematics"... - Flight protection Digest, may well 2004


, Pages xi-xii

, Page xiii
1 - advent to rotorcraft

, Pages 1-21
2 - Technical background

, Pages 22-60
3 - advent to helicopter dynamics

, Pages 61-116
4 - Rotors in practice

, Pages 117-165
5 - The tail

, Pages 166-190
6 - Engines and transmissions

, Pages 191-257
7 - Control

, Pages 258-322
8 - Helicopter performance

, Pages 323-346
9 - different different types of rotorcraft

, Pages 347-378

, Pages 379-390

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The atmosphere is the medium in which helicopters fly but it is also one of the fuels for the engine and the occupants breathe it. It is a highly variable medium that is constantly being forced out of equilibrium by heat from the sun and in which the pressure, temperature, and humidity can vary with height and with time and in which winds blow in complex time- and height-variant patterns. The effect of atmospheric conditions on flight is so significant that no pilot can obtain qualifications without demonstrating a working knowledge of these effects.

The amount of rotational energy stored is a function of the distribution of mass with respect to the axis of rotation. This is measured by the moment of inertia (MoI). In a flywheel, as much mass as possible is concentrated at the outside of the rotor to give the greatest MoI. Angular momentum is the product of inertia and the rate of rotation about a given axis. Earlier in this chapter it was seen that a body may be accelerated by changing its speed or its direction. The same is true of a gyroscope.

Sounds below the threshold of pain have such a small pressure variation compared with atmospheric pressure that the effect is negligible and air can be assumed to be linear. However, on any occasion where the pressures are higher, a situation not unknown in aviation, this is not a valid assumption. In such cases the positive half cycle significantly increases local temperature and the speed of sound, whereas the negative half cycle reduces temperature and velocity. 14 shows that this results in significant distortion of a sine wave, ultimately causing a s h o c k wave that can travel faster than the speed of sound until the pressure has dissipated with distance.

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