helicopter blade material

We have researched the Helicopter Blade Material. This is why we are sharing this post on how to make helicopter rotor blades at home. Suppose you want to know how to make helicopter rotor blades, then reading this post will help.

A helicopter’s power comes from either a piston engine or a gas turbine (recently, the latter has predominated), which moves the rotor shaft, causing the rotor to turn. While a standard plane generates thrust by pushing air behind its wing as it moves forward, the helicopter’s rotor achieves lift by pushing the air beneath it downward as it spins. Lift is proportional to the change in the air’s momentum (its mass times its velocity): the greater the momentum, the greater the lift.

how to make helicopter rotor blades at home

Helicopter Blade Material

Helicopter rotor systems consist of between two and six blades attached to a central hub. Usually long and narrow, the blades turn relatively slowly, because this minimizes the amount of power necessary to achieve and maintain lift, and also because it makes controlling the vehicle easier. While light-weight, general-purpose helicopters often have a two-bladed main rotor, heavier craft may use a four-blade design or two separate main rotors to accommodate heavy loads.

To steer a helicopter, the pilot must adjust the pitch of the blades, which can be set three ways. In the collective system, the pitch of all the blades attached to the rotor is identical; in the cyclic system, the pitch of each blade is designed to fluctuate as the rotor revolves, and the third system uses a combination of the first two. To move the helicopter in any direction, the pilot moves the lever that adjusts collective pitch and/or the stick that adjusts cyclic pitch; it may also be necessary to increase or reduce speed.

Unlike airplanes, which are designed to minimize bulk and protuberances that would weigh the craft down and impede airflow around it, helicopters have unavoidably high drag. Thus, designers have not utilized the sort of retractable landing gear familiar to people who have watched planes taking off or landing—the aerodynamic gains of such a system would be proportionally insignificant for a helicopter. In general, helicopter landing gear is much simpler than that of airplanes. Whereas the latter require long runways on which to reduce forward velocity, helicopters have to reduce only vertical lift, which they can do by hovering prior to landing. Thus, they don’t even require shock absorbers: their landing gear usually comprises only wheels or skids, or both.

One problem associated with helicopter rotor blades occurs because airflow along the length of each blade differs widely. This means that lift and drag fluctuate for each blade throughout the rotational cycle, thereby exerting an unsteadying influence upon the helicopter. A related problem occurs because, as the helicopter moves forward, the lift beneath the blades that enter the airstream first is high, but that beneath the blades on the opposite side of the rotor is low. The net effect of these problems is to destabilize the helicopter. Typically, the means of compensating for these unpredictable variations in lift and drag is to manufacture flexible blades connected to the rotor by a hinge. This design allows each blade to shift up or down, adjusting to changes in lift and drag.

Torque, another problem associated with the physics of a rotating wing, causes the helicopter fuselage (cabin) to rotate in the opposite direction from the rotor, especially when the helicopter is moving at low speeds or hovering. To offset this reaction, many helicopters use a tail rotor, an exposed blade or ducted fan mounted on the end of the tail boom typically seen on these craft. Another means of counteracting torque entails installing two rotors, attached to the same engine but rotating in opposite directions, while a third, more space-efficient design features twin rotors that are enmeshed, something like an egg beater. Additional alternatives have been researched, and at least one NOTAR (no tail rotor) design has been introduced.

Raw Materials

The airframe, or fundamental structure, of a helicopter can be made of either metal or organic composite materials, or some combination of the two. Higher performance requirements will incline the designer to favor composites with higher strength-to-weight ratio, often epoxy (a resin) reinforced with glass, aramid (a strong, flexible nylon fiber), or carbon fiber. Typically, a composite component consists of many layers of fiber-impregnated resins, bonded to form a smooth panel. Tubular and sheet metal substructures are usually made of aluminum, though stainless steel or titanium are sometimes used in areas subject to higher stress or heat. To facilitate bending during the manufacturing process, the structural tubing is often filled with molten sodium silicate. A helicopter’s rotary wing blades are usually made of fiber-reinforced resin, which may be adhesively bonded with an external sheet metal layer to protect edges. The helicopter’s windscreen and windows are formed of polycarbonate sheeting.

The Manufacturing
Process

In 1939, a Russian emigre to the United States tested what was to become a prominent prototype for later helicopters. Already a prosperous aircraft manufacturer in his native land, Igor Sikorsky fled the 1917 revolution, drawn to the United States by stories of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Sikorsky soon became a successful aircraft manufacturer in his adopted homeland. But his dream was vertical take-off, rotary wing flight. He experimented for more than twenty years and finally, in 1939, flew his first flight in a craft dubbed the VS 300. Tethered to the ground with long ropes, his craft flew no higher than 50 feet off the ground on its first several flights. Even then, there were problems: the craft flew up, down, and sideways, but not forward. However, helicopter technology developed so rapidly that some were actually put into use by U.S. troops during World War II.

The helicopter contributed directly to at least one revolutionary production technology. As helicopters grew larger and more powerful, the precision calculations needed for engineering the blades, which had exacting requirements, increased exponentially. In 1947, John C. Parsons of Traverse City, Michigan, began looking for ways to speed the engineering of blades produced by his company. Parsons contacted the International Business Machine Corp. and asked to try one of their new main frame office computers. By 1951, Parsons was experimenting with having the computer’s calculations actually guide the machine tool. His ideas were ultimately developed into the computer-numerical-control (CNC) machine tool industry that has revolutionized modern production methods.

Airframe: Preparing the tubing

  • 1 Each individual tubular part is cut by a tube cutting machine that can be quickly set to produce different, precise lengths and specified batch quantities. Tubing requiring angular bends is shaped to the proper angle in a bending machine that utilizes interchangeable tools for different diameters and sizes. For other than minor bends, tubes are filled with molten sodium silicate that hardens and eliminates kinking by causing the tube to bend as a solid bar. The so-called water glass is then removed by placing thebent tube in boiling water, which melts the inner material. Tubing that must be curved to match fuselage contours is fitted over a stretch forming machine, which stretches the metal to a precisely contoured shape. Next, the tubular details are delivered to the machine shop where they are held in clamps so that their ends can be machined to the required angle and shape. The tubes are then deburred (a process in which any ridges or fins that remain after preliminary machining are ground off) and inspected for cracks.
  • 2 Gussets (reinforcing plates or brackets) and other reinforcing details of metal are machined from plate, angle, or extruded profile stock by routing, shearing, blanking, or sawing. Some critical or complex details may be forged or investment cast. The latter process entails injecting wax or an alloy with a low melting point into a mold or die. When the template has been formed, it is dipped in molten metal as many times as necessary to achieve the thickness desired. When the part has dried, it is heated so that the wax or alloy will melt and can be poured out. Heated to a higher temperature to purify it and placed in a mold box where it is supported by sand, the mold is then ready to shape molten metal into reinforcement parts. After removal and cooling, these parts are then finish-machined by standard methods before being deburred once again.
  • 3 The tubes are chemically cleaned, fitted into a subassembly fixture, and MIG (metal-arc inert gas) welded. In this process, a small electrode wire is fed through a welding torch, and an inert, shielding gas (usually argon or helium) is passed through a nozzle around it; the tubes are joined by the melting of the wire. After welding, the subassembly is stress relieved—heated to a low temperature so that the metal can recover any elasticity it has lost during the shaping process. Finally, the welds are inspected for flaws.

Forming sheet metal details

  • 4 Sheet metal, which makes up other parts of the airframe, is first cut into blanks (pieces cut to predetermined size in preparation for subsequent work) by abrasive water-jet, blanking dies, or routing. Aluminum blanks are heat-treated to anneal them (give them a uniform, strain-free structure that will increase their malleability). The blanks are then refrigerated until they are placed in dies where they will be pressed into the proper shape. After forming, the sheet metal details are aged to full strength and trimmed by routing to final shape and size.
  • 5 Sheet metal parts are cleaned before being assembled by riveting or adhesive bonding. Aluminum parts and welded subassemblies may be anodized (treated to thicken the protective oxide film on the surface of the aluminum), which increases corrosion resistance. All metal parts are chemically cleaned and primer-painted, and most receive finish paint by spraying with epoxy or other durable coating.

Making the cores of composite components

  • 6 Cores, the central parts of the composite components, are made of Nomex (a brand of aramid produced by Du Pont) or aluminum “honeycomb,” which is cut to size by bandsaw or reciprocating knife. If necessary, the cores then have their edges trimmed and beveled by a machine tool similar to a pizza cutter or meat slicing blade. The material with which each component is built up from its cores (each component may use multiple cores) is called pre-preg ply. The plies are layers of oriented fibers, usually epoxy or polyimide, that have been impregnated with resin. Following written instructions from the designers, workers create highly contoured skin panels by setting individual plies on bond mold tools and sandwiching cores between additional plies as directed.
  • 7 Completed layups, as the layers of prepreg affixed to the mold are called, are then transported to an autoclave for curing. An autoclave is a machine that laminates plastics by exposing them to pressurized steam, and “curing” is the hardening that occurs as the resin layers “cook” in the autoclave.
  • 8 Visible trim lines are molded into the panels by scribe lines present in the bond mold tools. Excess material around the edges is then removed by bandsawing. Large panels may be trimmed by an abrasive water-jet manipulated by a robot. After inspection, trimmed panels and other composite details are cleaned and painted by normal spray methods. Surfaces must be well sealed by paint to prevent metal corrosion or water absorption.

Making the fuselage

  • 9 Canopies or windscreens and passenger compartment windows are generally made of polycarbonate sheet. Front panels Most of the crucial components in a helicopter are made of metal and are formed using the usual metal-forming processes: shearing, blanking, forging, cutting, routing, and investment casting. The polycarbonate windscreen and windows are made by laying the sheet over a mold, heating it, and forming it with air pressure in a process called ‘freeblowing,” in which no tool ever touches the part.subject to bird strike or other impact may be laminated of two sheets for greater thickness. All such parts are made by placing an oversized blank on a fixture, heating it, and then forming it to the required curvature by use of air pressure in a freeblowing process. In this method, no tool surface touches the optical surfaces to cause defects.

Installing the engine, transmission,
and rotors

  • 10 Modern helicopter engines are turbine rather than piston type and are purchased from an engine supplier. The helicopter manufacturer may purchase or produce the transmission assembly, which transfers power to the rotor assembly. Transmission cases are made of aluminum or magnesium alloy.
  • 11 As with the above, the main and tail rotor assemblies are machined from specially selected high-strength metals but are produced by typical machine shop methods. The rotor blades themselves are machined from composite layup shapes. Main rotor blades may have a sheet metal layer adhesively bonded to protect the leading edges.

Systems and controls

  • 12 Wiring harnesses are produced by laying out the required wires on special boards that serve as templates to define the length and path to connectors. Looms, or knitted protective covers, are placed on the wire bundles, and the purchased connectors are soldered in place by hand. Hydraulic tubing is either hand-cut to length and hand-formed by craftsmen, or measured, formned, and cut by tube-bending machines. Ends are flared, and tubes are inspected for dimensional accuracy and to ensure that no cracks are present. Hydraulic pumps and actuators, instrumentation, and electrical devices are typically purchased to specification rather than produced by the helicopter manufacturer.

Final assembly

  • 13 Finished and inspected detail airframe parts, including sheet metal, tubular, and machined and welded items, are delivered to subassembly jigs (fixtures that clamp parts being assembled). Central parts are located in each jig, and associated details are either bolted in place or, where rivets are to be used, match-drilled using pneumatically powered drills to drill and ream each rivet hole. For aerodynamic smoothness on sheet metal or composite skin panels, holes are countersunk so that the heads of flat-headed screws won’t protrude. All holes are deburred and rivets applied. A sealant is often applied in each rivet hole as the rivet is inserted. For some situations, semi-automated machines may be used for moving from one hole location to the next, drilling, reaming, sealing, and installing the rivets under operator control.
  • 14 After each subassembly is accepted by an inspector, it typically moves to another jig to be further combined with other small subassemblies and details such as brackets. Inspected “top level” subassemblies are then delivered to final assembly jigs, where the overall helicopter structure is integrated.Upon completion of the structure, the propulsion components are added, and wiring and hydraulics are installed and tested. Canopy, windows, doors, instruments, and interior elements are then added to complete the vehicle. Finish-painting and trimming are completed at appropriate points during this process.
  • 15 After all systems are inspected in final form, along with physical assemblies and appearance aspects, the complete documentation of materials, processes, inspection, and rework effort for each vehicle is checked and filed for reference. The helicopter propulsion system is tested, and the aircraft is flight-tested.

how to make helicopter rotor blades

Top 10 Luxury Helicopters in the World

Most people have heard of personal and charter jets, but luxury helicopters are the genuine gems. Not only are these aircraft comparatively less expensive, but helicopters can approach places that bulky jets can’t. Having a private or commercial helicopter is expedient, more environment friendly, and a symbol of status. Celebrities including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Donald Trump own a luxury helicopter, and this slot market has grown considerably in recent years due to demand from the rich.

They are well-appointed with all the newest technology, and interior seating marks that are designed in fine Italian leather upholstery.

Therefore the list of top 10 luxury helicopters is given below:

1. Augusta Westland AW119 Ke Koala:

luxury helicopters

The Koala is chiefly used by law enforcement, but it can easily provide accommodation to a group of corporate directors traveling on business. It has a VIP services quite adequately, with premium leather upholstery and seating for about 6 passengers and 2 operators. The Koala reaches a top speed of 166 mph (267 km/h) and a range of 618 miles (995 km). Price ranges from $1.8 to $3 million.

2. Eurocopter Hermès EC 135:

luxury helicopters

Though this brand of luxury helicopters is not suitable for long distant trips, is has a class apart built. The typical EC 135 will cost you a mere $4.2 million, but the one with the interior design from the best in class designer will cost you up to $6 million. The top speed is 178 mph, but the range is just 395 miles.

3. Augusta Westland AW109 Grand Versace VIP:

luxury helicopters

Augusta Westland teamed up with the Italian fashion house Versace to produce a super luxury interior for this fancier version of the AW109. The top speed is about 177 mph and a range of 599 miles. The mere difference is that all 599 of those miles will be more luxurious for the VIP passengers. Hence, will cost you $6.3 million price tag and the helicopter is fully covered in Versace leather, design and exterior.

4. Eurocopter Mercedes-Benz EC 145:

luxury helicopters

If you’re a Mercedes fan, now you can fly your preferred brand helicopter too. A regular EC 145 costs about $5.5 million, so the Mercedes version is going to cost anywhere around $7 million. But it’s totally worth it. No other Mercedes can go 153 mph while flying 17,000 feet above the ground. It has all the luxury of the famous German sports.

5. Eurocopter EC 175:

luxury helicopters

The EC 175 made its wonderful first appearance at the Paris Air Show in 2009. The chief feature of the EC 175 is that it can hold 16 passengers contentedly inside. The top speed reaches 178 mph (286 km/h), with a range of 345 miles (555 km). It costs whooping $7.9 million.

6. Eurocopter EC 155:

luxury helicopters

This is a luxurious chopper. Its top speed is an impressive 200 mph with a range of 533 miles. It can seat as many as 13 passengers; this spacious EC 155 aircraft will cost you $10 million.

7. Sikorsky S-76C:

luxury helicopters

The Sikorsky S-76C is more generally known as Black Hawk. The massive interior is large sufficient to fit up to a dozen passengers, but the seating occupies 4 passengers in Black Hawk model. It reaches a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h) and has a range of 473 miles (761 km). It would cost you a $12.95 million.

8. Augusta Westland AW139:

luxury helicopters

The AW139 is appropriate for law enforcement, armed patrol and firefighters. It has a capacity to seat 8 passengers. The AW139 can reach an unbelievable top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h), with a range of 573 miles (922 km). It carries a beautiful interior costing you a hefty $14.5 million.

9. Bell 525 Relentless:

luxury helicopters

Like the Gulfstream 650 jet, the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter isn’t on the market currently. This chopper is going to cost $15 million. They predicted that the seating will be for 16, a top speed of 162 mph, and a range of 460 miles. This bright yellow Relentless with amazing seating will cost you a fortune.

10. Sikorsky S-92 VIP Configuration:

luxury helicopters

The S-92 can safely accommodate 9 passengers in its extensive interior cabin. The prices vary exponentially if you plan on decking the interiors with gold or crystal. The top speed of the S-92 is around 194 mph (312 km/h), with a range of 594 miles (956 km). The prices range from $17 million to $32 million.
Helicopter charter can be the most stress-free travel familiarity you will ever have. Which includes being able to travel outside of airports to reach vital meetings or even other flights in a different airport. Though rich class can afford these luxury helicopters, they are worth the investment.

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