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Helicopter Performance

• Performance
– Estimation of the installed engine power require for a
given flight operation
– Determination of the maximum level flight speed
– Estimation of the endurance/range
– Since the ability of the helicopter is to hover, this
operation is more important than all the other factors
• Maximum altitude it can hover (in or out of ground effect)

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 1


Helicopter Performance
• Economic Performance
– Operation cost (hourly based)
• Fuel consumed
• Parts worn
• Maintenance cost
– Payload

– For military machines economics may not be the


overriding concern

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 2


Helicopter Performance
• Tactical performance (Manoeuvrability)

– Maximum load factor


– Tail rotor power
• Yawing ability
• Crosswind ability
– Range of CM positions
– Underslung weight

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 3


Helicopter Performance
• Safety
– Operating the helicopter outside its designed
performance envelope may result in excessive
stresses.
– The limits of the performance envelope must then be
established and made available to the operator
– Safety under abnormal situations is also important:
• Autorotation performance (engine power loss)
• Twin engine operation with one engine inoperative
• Operations under icing conditions

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 4


Hover Performance
• In hover T=W and the power estimation is:

• Notes:
– Valid for rectangular blade
– Hover power is a function of:
• Helicopter weight
• Air density

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 5


Hover Performance
• To standardise the air density (ICAO/ICAN):

• Values for a standard day:


– Temperature 15º C
– Barometric pressure 1013.3milibar (=101.3N/m2)
– Density 1.225Kg/m3

• Now we need the variation of these parameters


with height (h)

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 6


Hover Performance
• In the lower atmosphere where helicopters
normally fly (below 6000m) the standard value of
the air density can be closely approximated by
the equation:

• With h expressed in meters and ρ0=1.225kg/m3.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 7


Hover Performance
• Up to 11km the pressure p and temperature T´ are
related by:

• Where a standard lapse rate dT´/dh is 6.51º per


km of altitude. R* is the Universal Gas Constant.
• The temperature in the standard atmosphere is a
linearly decreasing function of altitude and can
be expressed by:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 8


Hover Performance
• Integrating the previous differential equation
gives the relation between temperature and
pressure :

– With
• hp (pressure altitude) in meters
• 0 indicating sea level

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 9


Hover Performance
• The relation between altitude and density is given
by:

• With
– hρ (density altitude) in meters
– 0 indicating sea level

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 10


Hover Performance
• The previous expressions are obtained with the
temperature varying with altitude according the
expression:

• And therefore the pressure altitude is the same as


the density altitude

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 11


Hover Performance
• If not then we must correct for the non standard
temperature:

• As a rule of the thumb, density altitude exceeds


pressure altitude by 9.14m per ºC that the
temperature exceeds the standard value
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 12
Hover Performance

13% increase

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 13


Hover Performance
• Variation with altitude:
– FM can be considered as non-varying
– k can be considered as non-varying
– Engine power will decrease
• Reciprocating engine: A good approximation of this
variation is

• Turboshaft engine: A more complicated relationship but:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 14


Hover Performance

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 15


Climb Performance
• We have seen that the induced velocity at a climb
velocity of Vc is:

For low rates of climb


• Remembering that:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 16


Climb Performance
• The velocity VC can be obtained from the
relation:

For low rates of climb


• And we can write

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 17


Climb Performance

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 18


Forward Flight Performance
• Forces acting on the helicopter:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 19


Forward Flight Performance
• The power necessary for the helicopter in
forward flight can be written as:

• With:
– Pi the induced power
– P0 the profile power
– Pp the parasite power
– Pc the climb power
• Note that we should also add the Tail Rotor power

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 20


Forward Flight Performance

• Lets consider that the flight path angle θFP is


small: Vc=V∞ θFT
• And the vertical equilibrium:
Tcos(αTPP-θFP)=W ≈T

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 21


Forward Flight Performance
• For the horizontal equilibrium:

Tsin(αTPP-θFP)=DFPcos θFP

• Assuming DFP independent of θFP, the last


equation can be written as:

T(αTPP-θFP)=Df or

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 22


Forward Flight Performance
• The power necessary to perform this manoeuvre:

• WVC is the Climb power PC


– And we can write:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 23


Forward Flight Performance
• DfV∞ is the parasite power Pp
– And we can write:
• Sref is a reference area
• CDf is the fuselage drag coefficient based on Sref
• Therefore:

• Since Defining

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 24


Forward Flight Performance
• f is the “equivalent wetted area” or “equivalent
flat plate area”
• We can then write

• Typical values of f :
– Small helicopters 0.93m2
– Large utility helicopters 4.65m2

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 25


Forward Flight Performance
• We have already seen that for sufficiently high
forward velocity µ>0.1 the induced velocity can
be approximated by the asymptotic result:

• Also remember that

Large µ
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 26
Forward Flight Performance
• Using the BET the profile power can be
calculated using:

• If the radial component is taken into account:

• And CP0 can be obtained by numerical methods.


• Neglecting the radial component of U

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 27


Forward Flight Performance
• An analytical expression of CP0 can be obtained

• The results from Glauert and Bennet show that


the following approximation can be made:

• Where K varies from 4.5 at hover to 5 at µ=0.5.


In practice a single average value is used (4.6-
4.7)
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 28
Forward Flight Performance
• These results underpredicts the experimental
values because several assumptions were made.

• Among them:

– No compressibility effects were introduced

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 29


Forward Flight Performance
• Drag Divergence at a fixed alpha or Cl
Cd

Drag Divergence Mach No, Mdd

• Drag rise due to formation of shock waves on the


advancing side, near the tip.
• Mdd: Mach number at which drag rises at the rate of 0.1
per unit Mach number. Curve slope=0.1.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 30
Forward Flight Performance
• The compressibility effects can be introduced
using the following estimation (Gessow and
Crim):

• Mdd is the drag divergence Mach number

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 31


Forward Flight Performance
• Another approach is suggested by Harris for
blades with different thickness-to-chord ratio:

• With

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 32


Forward Flight Performance
• With the introduction of these models the profile power
is overpredicted:
• This is essentially because there is a relaxation of the
compressibility effects at the edge of a lifting surface of
finite span.
– Approximations for the effect can be developed based on
transonic similarity rules
• The effect was first noticed in experiments on
propellers, which showed that losses in propulsion
efficiency did not occur until the tip Mach number well
exceeded the estimated 2D drag divergence number.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 33
Forward Flight Performance
• Tip relief effects can be accounted for in the BET using
a effective local Mach number at each blade element in
the tip region that exceeds the drag divergence number:

• With:
– Mdd2 is the 2D drag divergence Mach number
– Mdd3 is the 3D drag divergence Mach number (with tip relief
that exceeds Mdd2 by 10-15%)
– ARblade is blade aspect ratio (R/c)

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 34


Forward Flight Performance
• Never the less there were still several
simplification introduced. Among them:
– Does do take into account the reverse flow region
• Remember the example in BET theory:

– Cd0 is constant along the blade


• Not valid in separated region of the return blade. Assuming
double Cd0 in the reverse flow region

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 35


Forward Flight Performance
• Never the less there were still several
simplification introduced. Among them:
– No radial flow is included
• Including (numerically) can be approximated to:

– We could include reverse flow and radial flow

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 36


Forward Flight Performance
• Finally we can estimate the tail rotor power:

• The thrust can be smaller if the vertical tail


surface is used to create a side force.
• The interference between the main rotor and the
tail rotor can be accounted for using a induced
power factor kTR.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 37


Forward Flight Performance
• Having calculate the necessary tail rotor thrust
the same procedure established for the main rotor
can be used for the tail rotor.

• Since the tail rotor requirements are relatively


low on a first estimation we can used that the
power for the tail rotor is a fraction of the main
rotor (typically 5 to 10%)

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 38


Forward Flight Performance
• The total power for the main rotor is therefore:

• Or for large values of µ:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 39


Forward Flight Performance

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 40


Forward Flight Performance
Possible airspeeds

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 41


Forward Flight Performance
• We have seen that the necessary power is a
function of the helicopter gross weight:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 42


Forward Flight Performance
• We also have seen that the necessary power is a
function of the air density (altitude):

Reduction of the power


available due to altitude

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 43


Lift to Drag ratio
• Remember that the rotor generates lift and
propulsion. The lift is:
L=TcosαTPP
• The effective drag can be calculated from the
power expended:
D=P/V∞
– If the calculation is for the rotor alone P=Pi+P0
– If the calculation is for the complete helicopter
P=Pi+P0+Pp+PTR

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 44


Lift to Drag ratio
• The Lift to Drag ratio can then be calculated:
– For the case of the rotor alone:

– For the case of the complete helicopter:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 45


Forward Flight Performance

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 46


Climb Performance
• Rearranging the terms in the power equation we
can obtain:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 47


Climb Performance
• It is realistic to assume that that for low rates of
climb (or descent) the rotor induced power, Pi,
the profile power P0, and the airframe drag D
remain nominally constant:

• Where Plevel is the power to maintain the same


situation without climb, that is at level flight.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 48


Climb Performance
• To calculate the maximum climb velocity we just
have to substitute, in the last expression, P with
Pa which is the available power at that height

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 49


Climb Performance

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 50


Climb Performance

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 51


Important Forward Speeds

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 52


Speed for minimum power
• The maximum possible rate of climb is obtained
at the speed of minimum power in level flight.
– This is the Vmp velocity
• We have already established that:

• At lower airspeeds CP0 is sufficiently small to be


neglected. Also consider that we have a level
flight. Then
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 53
Speed for minimum power
• To obtain the minimum power we differentiate
the previous expression in respect to µ:

• So the non-dimensional forward speed for


minimum power is:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 54


Speed for minimum power
• Recalling that :
• We can write

• The Vmp velocity is :

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 55


Speed for minimum power
• Vmp is higher for:
– Higher W
– Lower ρ
• Higher Altitudes
• Higher Temperatures

• Vmp is also the speed at which the endurance is


higher
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 56
Endurance
• Generally it is sufficient accurate to estimate the
endurance by dividing the usable fuel on board
by the average fuel flow rate.
• A more precise estimation can be found using
(McCormick 1950):

• We will see the explanation of this equation


when we study the helicopter range:
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 57
Speed for maximum range
• Range: The distance an aircraft can fly for a
given takeoff weight and for a given amount of
fuel.
• This is obtained when the aircraft is operating at
the minimum P/V.
• Or it can be consider that it must operate a the
maximum V/P that is a the maximum L/D ratio
• This speed is called Vmr.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 58


Important Forward Speeds

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 59


Speed for maximum range
• The ratio P/V can be approximated by CP/µ so
that:

• Differentiating to obtain the minimum:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 60


Speed for maximum range
• Which gives:
• Or the velocity for maximum range Vmr:

• Vmr is higher for:


– Higher W
– Lower ρ
• Higher Altitudes
• Higher Temperatures

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 61


Range
• McCormick establish the basic analysis for an
aircraft, and this can be adapted for the
helicopter:
– The fuel flow rate in relation to the travelled distance
R´ is:

– Where :
• P is the power
• V the velocity
• SFC is the specific fuel consumption

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 62


Range
• The power required varies with gross weight and
density
• The SFC varies with the power and density
• The following considerations have to be made:
– The Helicopter burns fuel during take-off, climb,
descent and landing
– It must have a mandate fuel reserve
– As the fuel is burned the weight decreases
• For these reasons the previous expression must
be integrated numerically to get the range
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 63
Range
• However the equation can be realistically
evaluated at a point in the cruise where the
helicopter weight is equal to the helicopter gross
take-off weight minus half of the initial fuel
weight. Therefore:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 64


Range

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 65


Maximum forward velocity
• The maximum forward velocity will depend on:

– Installed engine power


– Gearbox (transmission) torque limits
– Rotor Stall
– Compressibility effects
– Aeroelastic and structural constrains

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 66


Maximum forward velocity

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 67


Co-Axial rotors
• Payne (1959) established a simple momentum study of
the co-axial helicopter:
• First assumption:
– Each rotor produces an equal amount of thrust, therefore the
total thrust is 2T

• Induced velocity:

• Induced power:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 68


Co-Axial rotors
• If we take each rotor separately the induced
power for each rotor is Tvi and the sum of the two
is:

• Calculating the interference-induced power


factor:

• Increase of 41% in the induced power


Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 69
Performance
of coaxial helicopter

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 70


Tandem Rotors

T1
T2
m(T1+T2)
• T1≠T2
• The induced power for each area is:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 71


Tandem Rotors
• The total induced power for the tandem rotor is:

• The total induced power for two independent


rotors is:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 72


Tandem Rotor
• Harris suggest an approximation:

• Note that:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 73


Tandem Rotor

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 74


Tandem Rotor
• It can be seen that even if the two rotors are
separated the power required for the rear rotor is
higher than the power required for the front rotor.
• This is caused by the fact that the rear rotor
operates at the slipstream of the front rotor.
• The total induced power can be calculated using:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 75


Autorotation
• Definition:
– Self sustained rotation of the rotor without the
application of any shaft torque.
• The power to drive the rotor comes from the
relative airstream that passes through the rotor as
the helicopter descends.
• There is an energy balance between the decrease
of potential energy per unit time and the power
required to sustain the rotor speed.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 76


Autorotation
• The pilot gives up altitude in a controlled manner
in return for energy necessary to turn the rotor
and produce thrust.

• The autorotation in low forward speeds takes


place in the turbulent wake state.
• At higher forward speeds the flow through the
rotor tends to be smoother in the autorotation
condition.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 77
Autorotation
• Let's consider that there is no forward speed
during the autorotation manoeuvre.
• During autorotation the inflow angle must be
such that there is no in-plane force, and therefore
no contribution to the rotor torque
Therefore

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 78


Autorotation
• If we assume a uniform inflow over the disk:

• Over the inboard section is higher than over the


outboard section.

• So the driving force in the inboard section is


higher than in the outboard section

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 79


Autorotation

Inboard Outboard

Driving force>dD Driving force<dD

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 80


Autorotation

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 81


Autorotation
• The rotor will adjust its velocity (Ω) until the
equilibrium is obtained.
• This equilibrium is stable since:
– Increasing Ω will decrease and the driving region
will decrease inboard which will decrease Ω
– Decreasing Ω will increase and the driving region
will increase outboard which will increase Ω
• The fully established autorotative state is stable
• For a single section in equilibrium:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 82


Autorotation

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 83


Autorotation in forward flight

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Autorotation in forward flight
• In autorotation CQ=0
• As a first approximation:

• Solving for λc

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 85


Autorotation in forward flight

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 86


Autorotative index
• The autorotative performance depends on several
factors:
– Disk Loading
– Stored kinetic energy
– Subjected assessments by pilots

• To help select the rotor diameter during pre-


design studies an “Autorotative Index” is often
used

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 87


Autorotative index
• The Autorotative index is basically an energy
factor:
– Bell used the ratio of kinetic energy to the aircraft
gross weight:

– Sikorsky used an alternative index

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 88


Autorotative index
• The absolute value of the AI is of no significance
• The relative values enables the comparison
between a new project and an existing helicopter
with acceptable autorotative performance
• Acceptable AI for a single engine helicopter is 20
• Acceptable AI for a multi engine helicopter is 10
• For pilots the Autorotative characteristics are
normally expressed in “Equivalent hover time”.
– The design goal is 1.5 s
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 89
Height-Velocity Curve

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 90


Height-Velocity Curve
• The power curve crosses the ideal autorotation
line at:

• For an ideal rotor κ=1, Vc/vh=-1.75


• In practice the value will be higher than this due
to the fact that beside the induced losses we also
have to overcome the profile losses

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 91


Height-Velocity Curve
• The climb (descent) velocity is

• T/A is then the primary factor influencing the


autorotative rate of descent and therefore the HV
curve
• The number of engines will also affect the HV
curve

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 92


Height-Velocity Curve
Single engine Helicopter

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 93


Height-Velocity Curve
Multi-engine Helicopter

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 94


Ground effect
• When a helicopter is close to the ground its
performance is going to change.
• The rotor slipstream is going to expand rapidly as
it approaches the ground.
• This alters the:
– Slipstream velocity
– Induced velocity
– Rotor thrust
• Although this is a well known fact the
aerodynamics are still not fully understood.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 95
Ground effect
• Cheesman & Bennet examined this problem
analytically using a image method:

• The ground effect can be seen as an increase of


thrust for the same power:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 96


Ground effect
• Or it can be seen at a reduction of the rotor
induced velocity (for constant thrust)

• Betz suggested:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 97


Ground effect
• Hayden curve fit experimental data and
suggested:

• With A=0.9926 and B=0.0379

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 98


Ground effect

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 99


Forward flight in near the ground

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 100


Forward flight in near the ground

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 101


Forward flight in near the ground

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 102


Forward flight in near the ground

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 103


Performance in manoeuvring Flight
• Manoeuvre requirements will set the ultimate
flight capability for a helicopter
• The prediction of rotor air loads under
manoeuvring conditions forms an essential part
of the overall design process
• This is a difficult task made even more
complicated by:
– The generally non-linear aerodynamics of the rotor.
– Complex rotor/helicopter kinematics

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 104


Performance in manoeuvring Flight
• Manoeuvre issues are of particular importance
for military helicopters:

– High load factor turns and pull-ups


– Steep turns and rollovers
– High rate of descent in combat landing zones
– Quick pop-up-pop-down manoeuvres for battlefield
observation

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 105


Performance in manoeuvring Flight
• The ability of the helicopter to manoeuvre
depends in part on:

– Excess power
– Excess thrust

• The load factor on the rotor, n, can be defined as:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 106


Performance in manoeuvring Flight
• The ability to produce a given load factor on the
rotor depends on:
– The ability of the helicopter to sequence a manoeuvre
using the normal flight controls
– The effective management of potential, kinetic and
rotor kinetic energy by the pilot
– Excess energy or power available at that speed
– Ability of the rotor to actually use the excess power
and produce a load factor without stalling
– Structural strength and aeroelastic margins of the
rotor
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 107
Steady manoeuvres
• For a steady manoeuvre the forces are at
equilibrium
• Let us consider a level banked turn with radius
Rturn
• There is a centripetal acceleration
aCT=V2∞/Rturn
• The centrifugal force will be
FCF=maCT=(W/g)(V2∞/Rturn)

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 108


Steady manoeuvres

• The rotor thrust must overcome both the weight


and the centrifugal force

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 109


Steady manoeuvres
• The load factor n on the rotor is:

• Also from the bank angle φ:

• And therefore

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 110


Steady manoeuvres
• The power required in turning flight bank angle
can be determined using the model based in the
momentum theory

• Note the addition on the tail rotor power (that can


be assumed to be a fraction of the main rotor
power)
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 111
Transient manoeuvres
• The analysis of transient manoeuvres can be
approached by energy methods.

• Potential energy
• Transitional kinetic energy
• Rotational kinetic energy

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 112


Transient manoeuvres
• The time rate of transfer of energy between these
three different energy states is equivalent to the
power required to change the energy level.

• The net excess power can be written as:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 113


Transient manoeuvres
• Let us consider a helicopter undergoing a simple
pull-up manoeuvre

• The potential load factor also depends on the


ability to produce a acceleration through the
application of blade pitch.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 114


Transient manoeuvres
• The excess power ∆P over the power required P
at a given airspeed V∞ is available to produce
extra rotor thrust ∆T and, therefore, to produce an
acceleration

• The helicopter load factor is:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 115


Transient manoeuvres
• The ability to produce this load factor depends on
the stall margin of the rotor, which can be
defined in terms of the value

• If Msm>1 then the rotor stall boundary will be


exceeded before the power limit is reached
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha Helicopter Performance Slide 116