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Some Approximations to the Flapping Stability of Helicopter Rotors

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The flapping equation for a helicopter in forward flight has coefficients which are periodic in time, and this effect complicates the calculation of stability. This paper presents a constant coefficient approximation which will allow the use of all the well known methods for analyzing constant coefficient equations. The flapping equation is first transformed into the nonrotating coordinate frame, where some of the periodic coefficients are transformed into constant terms. The constant coefficient approximation is then made by using time averaged coefficients in the nonrotating frame. Stability calculations based on the approximation are compared to results from a theory which correctly includes all of the periodicity. The comparison indicates that the approximation is reasonably accurate at advance ratios up to 0.5.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Ames Research Center, NASA, Moffett Field, California 94035

Publication date: 1974-10-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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