Physics research helicopters

1583 Words Feb 12th, 2014 7 Pages
Controlled Assessment – Helicopters

You need to research information (using the internet) that includes answers for the following questions:

1. How the turning rotor makes a helicopter move upwards
2. How the rotor is made to turn in a helicopter and in an autogyro
3. How autorotation is used to help land a helicopter safely if the engine fails
4. Why a helicopter; falling during autorotation, could reach a terminal speed without the pilot changing any controls
5. The effect of the weight of the helicopter on terminal speed

Over the summer you need to carry out your research in preparation for the controlled assessment you will be completing it for Physics in September. You must make sure that you include:
Relevant information
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What is autorotation?
Autorotation is a condition where the main rotor is allowed to spin faster than the engine driving it. How is that achieved? It is actually quite simple.
All helicopters are fitted with a free wheeling unit between the engine and the main rotor, usually in the transmission. This free wheeling unit can come in different forms but one of the most popular is the sprag clutch. The free wheeling unit will allow the engine to drive the rotors but not allow the rotors to turn the engine. When the engine/s fail the main rotor will still have a considerable amount of inertia and will still want to turn under its own force and through the aerodynamic force of the air through which it is flying. The free wheeling unit is designed in such a way to allow the main rotor to now rotate of its own free will regardless of engine speed. This principle is the same reason that if you are in your car and you push your clutch in, or put it into neutral while the car is still moving, the car will coast along under it's own force. This occurs regardless of what you do to the accelerator pedal.

Controlled Descent ? The next question you are probably asking yourself is: "Does the pilot retain control of the helicopter?" The answer is yes. The pilot will still have complete control of his descent and his flight controls. The majority of helicopters are

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