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Tail Rotor Design

Part I: Aerodynamics
R. R. Lynn
Chief of Research and Development

F. D. Robinson
Senior Research and Development Engineer*

N. N. Batra
Research and Development Engineer

J. M. Duhon
Group Engineer. Aerodynamics
Bell Helicopter Company
Fort Worth, Texas

El
This paper discusses the various aerodynamic conside~.ationr
involved in tail rotor design. Sizing criteria aye given, and the
contribution of gyroscopic precession in cawing blade st,nll during f a d turns is explained. The stall boundariex for severnl Bell
helicnpters are shown as a function of yaw rate and acceleration.
These acceleration and rate values are suggested ns n minimum
reqniremont for future designs.
The effects of fin inlerferencc for both the Lrectur and p11sI1c1.
configurations are disc~lssedand t,he apparent effects of direction
of rotation are noted. Considerat,ions ~ 1 . cdiscussed which involve selecting a tail rotor's d h c loading, tip speed, airfoil s e e
tion, and design torque. Iueh~dedare noise, efficiency, and str11r:tural loading.
The directional conLrn1 requirements of n. helicopter and simplified equations for yaw and gust sensitivity, and yam damping a1.e
discussed. Some of the directional control prohlems encountered
by the indmtry a1.e descrihed along with steps taken to col~eet
them.

NOTATION

=
=

b
C
c
cl

=
=

=
=

lift curve slope (a = 5.73/wdian)


tip loss factor; blade elements outboard of
radius BR are assumed to have profile
drag but no lift,
number of blades
damping coefficient, ( - M / $ ) ft-lb/rad/scc
blade chord, ft
section lift coefficient

CT/a =

Fti,
I,

=
=

I,,

R
S/A
T
T,

=
=

=
=
=

=
-y

63

=
=

$
3;

=
=

average lift coefficient of rotor aftefter trip loss


correction (h = fiT/bp~(BR)~n~)
thrust coefficient/solidit,y (C,/v = T/bpcR3n2)
fin force, lb
polar moment of inertia (per blade for :I. t.ail
rotor), slug ft2
helicopter yaw moment of inertia, slug ft.2
moment, Ib-ft
rotor radius, f t
ratio of bloclced disc area t,o t,otal disc area
tail rotor thrust, lb
tail rotor thrust requircd t,o compeusate for
main rotor torque, lb
velocity, fps
distance bet.nreen maiu rotor axis and tail
rotor, ft
first harmonic flappiug (augle bet,ween t,he
rotor disc and the control plane), radians
Lock number; ratio of air forccs to mass forces
(Y = pR4ac/I,)
pitch-flap coupling (positive a3 produccs nosedown pitch with up flapping)
blade pitch, rad
air density, slugs/fta3
yaw rate, rad/sec
yaw acceleration, rad/sec2
rotor speed, rad/sec

Direction of rotation-Main rotor direction of rotal'rcsenre,l HL tlra '25th A n n ~ t t lNutiamal lic~r11111


of ~ I I B
A~~~rriviklt
Ilclicoptcr Sorietv, A l ~ I'IRO
s
t.ion is assumed to be counterclockwise when viewed
N o w Senior Stnif I.:ncito*!er, Huaht\i 'l'ool Cnm,ral.s, Aircrtxft
from above.
Division, Culver City, Caiifornis

OCTOBER

1970

TAIL ROTOR DESIGN PART I :

THE LOW DISC loading tail rotor is by far the most,


efficient approach t,o torque compensatio~land directional control for the single rotor helicopter. Experience
on a wide vaxiety of helicopters has shown that it is
far from a simple task t o develop a tail rotor installation
t,liat has completely acceptable co~itrol,stability, and
structural characteristics. In view of the tail rotor's
know11 advautages as a coutml and alltitorque device,
it is considered highly desirable t.o develop it thorougll
uuderstanding of its operating e~lviroilmetitand tlie
important co~~sidcratiotis
for its design. This kuowledgc
is essential if successful, long life tail rotors are to be
designed wit.h conlideoce for future high performance
helicopters.
A tail rotor is often thought of, incorrectly, as a
propeller or a small main rotor. Unlike a propeller, t,he
tail rotor must produce thrust with t,he free air corniug
from all directions. Unlilce a main rotor, a tail rotor is
not trimmed for wind or flight velocities with cyclic
pitch. It operates in an extremely adverse aerodynamic
aud dynamic environme~it and must produce hot11
positive and negative t,l~rust.Despite the difficulty of
tlie design task, tail rotors have operated successfully
for the most part, which at,tests to the fact that they
are very "forgiving." However, as wit11 the design of
all mechanical equipment, concentrated effort and
attention can produce an improved product, aud it is t,o
t,hat,eud that this two-part paper is dedicated.
111 tlie succeeding Part I1 of this paper, the structural dynamics aspects of stiff-inplane tail rotor designs are co~widered.I11 this Part I, the major aerodynamic aspect,sof tail rotor design are discussed.
DEfiIGN CRITERIA

Critical Ambient Co?iditio?~


A tail rotor should be desigried for one of the following ambient conditions: (a) the aircraft's critical
hovering altitude and temperature, or (b) the engi~lc
critical altitude. Usually the most severe of those
c~ndit~ions
should be used; however, in certai~icases
where the rotorcraft has extreme altitude capability,
such as a crane-type machine at light gross weight, a
less severe hovering altitude-temperahre design condit,ion \r.ould be adequate.
The use of eugine crit,ical altitude as the tail rotor
design condition covers the normal situation for rotorcraft wit,h supercharged or flat-rated engines. Tlie
use of tlie aircraft's critical liover condition provides
for the spccial cases noted above and for rotorcraft
designed with sea level engines.
Tlie first step in designiiig a tail rotor is to establish
t,he required t,hrust and the conditions under which it
must be generated. In all fliglit regimes, the tail rotor

9EROOYNhMlCS

must produce sufficient net thrust to couuteract residual


main rotor torque and simultaneously maneuver the
aircraft in yaw and/or correct for disturbances. The
term net thrust is used to account for the effect of fintail rot,or and other such interferences which are discussed in a later section. Residual main rotor torque is
used because of the ~iowcommon practice to unload the
tail rotor io forward flight with a cambered or canted
fin. Also, in sideward flight, static stability of t,he airframe affects the tail rotor thrust required.
There are no special high-speed tail rotor thrust
requirements. Experience lias shown that if the lomspeed trailrotor thrust rcquirements discussed below are
met, the forward flight requiremeuts will be satisfied.
The tail rotor t,lirust capability should be checked,
however, for various forward flight maneuvers. This is
especially so when higli advance ratios or high ivlacl~
numbers are used.
In liover aud low-speed flight there are two condit.ions which need to be evaluated to establish the maximum required tail rotor thrust. These are: 1) thc critical
maximum sideward flight velocity, and 2) near zero
velocity yawing maneuvers. It is one of these conditions in combination with maximum maiu rotor torque
that results in the maximum required tail rotor thrust.
I n all cases investigated, the yawiug maneuver requirement lias been found to be critical.
During a low-speed yawing maneuver, tail rotor
thrust capability is required to: 1) compensate for main
rotor torque, 2) accelerate the aircraft in yaw, and 3)
accommodate tail rotor precession effects at the yawing rate of the aircraft. For most tail rotors, these requirements are of comparable magnitude. The first
two are usually well understood; the third requirement is not, and its origiu is explained in the following
section.
effects of Precession. A tail rotor is a gyroscope
which must be precessed wlie~leverthe helicopter has a
yawing rate. The moment required to precess a gyroscope is equal to I,$ and is applied 90" ahead of the
direction of precession. For a fan or propeller this
moment is carried structurally, but for a flapping tail
rotor it must be produced aerodynamically. As the aircraft yaws, the tail rotor tip path plane axis lags the
tail rotor mast or co~ltrolaxis. This produces an equivalerlt cyclic feathering or differential blade angle of
:l,t,taclc from one side of tlie rotor to the other. As IL
couscquence, olie side of the disc will be loaded more
highly than the other. If stall is encountered, tlie addit,ioual precessional moment must be produced by t,lie
u~wtalledside of the disc \vIiere it subtracts from the
basic thrust.. This significa~ltly reduces the thrust
capability of the tail rotor.
After subt,racting the tail rotor thrust required for
main rotor torque compensation, tlie stall boundary of
the tail rotor call be plotted as a function of yaw ac-

I,YNN,

ROBINSON, BATItll A N 0 DUHOS

YAW RATE

- YAW

RATE

Tr~oun~
1. Tail rotor stall hountla13,in a ho~cl.ingt u ~ n

celeration and yaw rate as sliomn in Fig. 1. The limiting


rate and acceleration values indicated on Fig. 1 are derived in tlie appendix.
When stall due to precession is encou~ltered,large
flapping angles occur as the unstallcd side of tlie disc
attempts t,o create all of the required precessional
moment. This pl~euomenonis the principal reason for
the excessive hover and high speed maneuver flapping
mliich has been encountered during the development of
many helicopters.
Stall due to precession is most likely to occur whenever there is a combinatio~lof high tail rotor thrust and
high yaw rate. This occurs when stopping a uoseright hovering turn. The trail rotor thrust required for
main rotor torque compensat,ionis cssent,ially the same
in steady turns to the riglit or left as it. is in steady
hover. Therefore, changes in tail rotor thrust are primarily dependent, on wliet,her or not the aircraft is being
accelerated in yaw. A nose-left yaw acceleration increases the tail rotor thrust rcquired and occurs either
at the beginning of a lcft turn or when stopping a rigbt
tunl. Thus, stall is most liicely to occur in stopping :I
right turn when bot.11 t,he t,lirust,and yaw rate are maximum.
In forvard flight, thc situation is somewhat altered.
Although yam rates are generally lower than in liovering maneuvers, the effect of precession is to increase thc
angle of attacli of the tail rotor's ret,reating blade when
the aircraft is turning lcft. This is dependent on tlie

J O U R N A L 01' THE A M E R I C A N HELICOPTER SOCIETY

main rotor's direction of rotation and is independent of


the direction of rotmationof the t,ail rotor. Consequently,
in fol'~vard flight, helicopters with main rotors that
rotat,e counterclocliwise when viewed from above will
be susceptible to precessional stall of t.he tail rotor when
turning or yawing left.
Precessional stall can be delayed by increasing the
airfoil el,,,,, the blade Lock number, or the tail rotor
tip speed. Pitch-flap coupling, fig, does not affect stall
due to precession. It only increases the amount of
equivalent cyclic feathering produced by the blade
flapping, and thereby changes the magnitude and aeimuth of the resultant blade flapping.
Suggesled Criteria. Figure 2 shows the tail rotor
st,all boundaries for tl~reeBell helicopters calculated a8
indicated in the appendix. I n each case, the boundarjz
was determined for the critical altitude condition
noted. Two-dimensional NACA airfoil data were used
to determine el,.,,
and t.he tip loss factorB mas assumed
to be (1-c/2R).
The st.all boundary sllown for the UH-1D is believed
to represent an acceptable minimum for future designs.
Based on the UH-1D capability, the follomi~~g
criteria
are suggested: A rotorcraft should be able to perform
the following maneuvers at its critical ambient design
condition: (1) Start a left hovering turn wit11 an
initial yaw acceleration of 1.0 rad/sec2, (2) Stop a right
hovering turn ratmeof 0.75 md/sec with an initial
deceleration of 0.4 rad/sec2.
The first of the above maneuvers is critical from tbc
thrust standpoint. The second is critical due to tbe
gyroscopic moment, required for high inertia, low 1,ock
number blades.
In the next seet,ion the major considerations involved
in designing a,tail rotor to meet these requirements a.re
discussed.

AT OGE HOVER CEILINGS OR


ENGINE CRITICAL ALTITUDE

2900 LB
UH-LD @ 8500 LB
47-G-38 @ 10,000 FT
206A @

.5
YAW

RATE,

*,

1.0
RAD/SEC

F I O U ~2.~Typical
E
caleulat~dstall boundaries at nltitudc

OCTOBER

1070

, T A I L ROT011 OESlGN PART I:

.4El<OOTXA31ICS

PRINCIPAL DESIGIN CONSIDERATIONS

Vwtical Pin. Aerodynamic interact.ions betweell


t,he tail rotor and vertical fin can impact, significant.1~
on the aircraft's low speed yaw characteristics; consequently, they must he considered in definiug maximum thrust requirements. These iuterferences depcud
on thc size, shape, and position of tlie vertical fin with
respect to the t.ail rotor. They are sensitive to flight or
mind velocit,y and are believed to be affected by the
main rot,orwake.
Bell's illvestigat,ions of these effects have included
both the tractor and pusher co~lfigurations.For the
tractor, the )>overing tail rotor walce st,rikes tlie fin.
For the pusher, it does not. The related intcrfereuces
are discussed below. The dat,a shown in Figs. 3 and 5
are from B/lI1-scalemodel tests.
Tvaclov. The fin sideload caused by tlie \\ralce from a
t,ract,or tail rotor subt.racts from t,he t,ail rotor t,lrrust.
Model tests indicate that the ratio of fill sideload to
rotor thrust is approximat~ely0.75 S/A. (S/A is the
ratio of disc area blockcd by the fin to tot#aldisc area.)
Similar t,est,results lvere reported in Ref. 1. Thus,
I'igure 3 sliows the measured effect of fin intcrfcrence
the tail rotor performance of two Bell llelicopters.
As sho\vn, thc ilet thrust of the AH-1G helicopter is
reduced by about 20% at maximum design torque due
to fin i~lt,erference.This call reduce its yaw acceleration
capability by nearly GO% based 011 t,he design criteria
suggested ill a previous sect,ioil.
OII

.I

.4

TORQUE C O E F F I C I E N T

.a

- CQ

.Lo
x

lo3

F l a u n ~3. EKect of sidelontl on tractor tail rotor perforlnnnce in


hover.

Tnet =

T-Fin

*filFfi"
PIN LOOKING AFT

FIGURE4 . P L I S ~tail
I C rotor-fin
~
interference,

Pusher. Although a high velocity wake does liot


st&e the fin in the case of the pusher, more subtle
thrust and efficiency losses exist. Thcse effects, mhich
liave only been defined experimentally, are shown by
Fig. 4.
A pusher tail rotor when producing thrust causes air
to flow along tlie surface of the fin, creatilig negative
pressures on thc fin and tail boom on the side adjacent
to tlie rotor. The negative pressures iutegrated over
t,he area affected must be subtracted from the tail
rotor thrust to obtain the net thrust. In addit.ion, a tail
rotor efficiency loss is experienced duo to fin blocl<agein
frout of the rotor. The fin force is a function of thrust,
fin size, sliape, and separation dista~icebetween the
fin aud rotor. It is sensitive to wind velocity and main
rotor walce.
1Figure 5 shows the effects of fin-tail mtor separatioli
distalme for both tlie tractor and pusher coufiguratio~ls
for three helicopters of different fin-tail rotor area
ratios. Unlike the tractor, the separation distance is a
major parameter for the pusher configoratio~i.For the
pusher, beyond a distance of six-tenths rotor radius,
the fin force is negligible, irrespective of fin size.
Experimental flight tests with the UH-1C co~~liguration, where the pusher separation distauce ratio was
increased from 0.21R to 0.42R, shoxvcd results similar
to the model data. For that case, the fin force/tlirust
rat.io mas reduced about 5%.
Flight testa with the pusher configuratio~ihave also
sllolvn a sensitivity of the fin force t o vvind direction.
With a steady mind from the left, the fin force, as defilled by prcssurcs measured on the fin surfaces, showed

(5

LYNN, ROBINSONJ, BATRA AND OUHON

AH- 1G
S/A=.264
!

UH- 1C

AH- 1G

15

10

TRACTOR

PUSHER

P I G ~5 .EENerl of fin-tail rotor sel~nmtion

a significant increase in comparison to tlic model and


zero wind flight dat.a. Furthermore, the adverse
pressures extended over a la,rgcr portiou of the tail
boom. Thus, wit,li an aft and left wind, a higher t,ail
rot,or tlirust is required to overcome the larger adverse
fin and boom forces. This increase in tail rotor tlirust
required can become significant under crit~icaloperating condit,ions.
It is believed that tlic wind effect on the pusher fin
intcrference is related to the main rotor malce. Although tlie exact mechanism has not becn dcfined,
model t,ests show that. when a tail rotor is operat,ing,
t,hc main rot,or wvalce is drawn toward the t.ail mtor and
fin. Thus, t,he main rotor walce affects the fin and tail
boom pressures. The changes duc to wind direct,ionseen
in tlic flight data suggest tallatthe effect,s of main rotor
wake are sensitive to the wind. In addition, the main
rot,or flow field may determine tlie best tail rotor direction of rot,at.ion as discussed later. The individual
effect,sof fin-tail rotor, and maill rotor male-tail rotor,
are extremely difficult to isolatc.
The UH-1C pusher flight tests, with the longer t,ail
rotor mast mentioncd earlier, shon, that the wind sensitivity effect persists even when the fin-tail rot,or separation distance is doubled. This gives rise to t,lie possibility that tlie principal wind effect is related to the
main rotor wake and tail rotor's direction of mtat.ion
since thc effccts have not beenseparated. For reference,
t,he rotation of the UH-1C trail rotor is blade forward
nt t.he top of tlie disc. This mill be disc~ascdlater.

JOURNAL O F THE AAIERICAN HElrlCOPTEH SOCIETY

Because of this uncert,ainty, t,he puslrer should be approached ~vit,hcaut.ion.


The tractor configuration with the hladc moving aft,
has becn sho~vnto be free from t,he adverse wind effects,
so it, can be used wwrith confidcncc. Thc inhcrent high fin
sidcload losses associated ~w~it~l~
the t.ract,or are severe,
and efforts t o eliminate t,hc pushcr problems could well
be worthwhile.
Engine Ezlraust. It has bccn theorized t8hatin hover
and low-speed flight,, condit.ions might exist where tlie
hot exhaust from the powcr plant can flow through the
tail rotor, reducing the air density and thus the tail
rotor thrust. This possibility was invest,igated with a
UH-1 helicopter instrumented wit11 thermocouples ontlie
fin, boom, and tail rotor blade. It was found t,hat hot
gases from the engine are indecd in tlic vicinity of thc
tail rotor and pass through it. under certain conditions
while tlre aircraft is tied down. However, in 1'1 hover
or lowv-speed flight conditions invehgated, including a
long interval IGE, t,ail rotor blade and fin temperat,ures did not rise appreciably above ambient,. Thus, for
t,his aircraft t.he exhaust gases do not pass through the
tail rot,or or affect its performance for t.lie crit,ical levspeed maneuvers. i\lot.ion pict,ures of a hovering UH-1
\vit,h a tail pipe smol\-egenerator, shown by the photograph in Fig. 6, confirm this. I n high-spccd flight, exhaust. gas impingement on the tail rotor has been ellcountcred and is belicved to hnve caused mild yaw
oscillat,ions~vliichwere corrected by a tail pipe changc.
Whether or not the engine exhaust effects on the
UH-1 t,ailrot,or represent the general case is not lcnown.
It is believed that tlie abovc theorized low-speed
phenomenon could occur and that it call be investigated qualitatively by smolce flow &dies of models.
Sucli t,ests, and tlle provisio~ifor exhaust angle change
by t,ail pipe design, are recommended approxches to
avoid possible interference due to enginc exhaust,.

OCTOBER

1970

-TAIL ROTOR DESIGN Pf LRT I:

Rotor Pa7.aateters
Diameter and Disc Loading. Principal considerations in establishing the tail rotor diameter, moment
arm, and disc loading are: 1) the overall size of the aircraft as limited by such requiremeuts a9 air transportability or carrier operation; 2) ground clearance,
particularly for rotorcraft with low-mounted tail rotors;
and 3) t.he effect of tail rotor power required and weight
(including balance) on tlie overall performance of the
helicopter.
To make t,he tradeoffs suggested by item 3, it is
necessary to estimate the weiglit changes in the airframe, drive syst.em, and tail rotor, as the tail rotor diameter is varied. Both weight and power required can
be expressed in terms of payload to find the optimum
diameter (or disc loading) for a give11 design. I11 such a
study the tail rotor power considered should be bascd
on the critical hovering condition for the aircraft.
System weight should be based on tail rotor thrust and
torque resulting from the most critical paw strwt.ura1
requirement.
The t,rade study suggested here has often been
neglected because tlie effects are small. Under certain
critical hover condit,ions,ho~vever,small changes in t,otal
power required, which might be obt,ained with proper
attention given t,o the tail rot,or, can result in significant
payload increments. For example, the UH-1H at GOO0
ft, 95'F day, has a payload of 767 lb. If tlie total power
required were reduced by 2%, tlle payload would increase to 887 Ib, or 14.7%. In many cases a 2% total
power reduct,io~lmay be obt,ained by careful at,tent.ion
to the tail rotor design.
The performance aspects of such an approach are
easily shown by considering disc loading. Typical tail
rotor disc loadings for present-day helicopters are
G to 12 psf for main rotor torque compensation. Tliesc
values can easily double momeut,arily during a critical
maneuver. Fig. 7 shows the effect of disc loading 011 t,he
rot,or power, expressed in terms of percent total power
required.
Tip Speed; N ~ n b e rof Blatles. Factors which must,
be considered in select,ing t,lie t,ail rotor t,ip speed include noise, profile power, blade stall at high advance
ratio, drive system torque, weight, and control forces.
I n comparison to a low-tip-speed design, biglier-tipspeed tail rotors are relatively light, permit a lomertorque drive system, are less suscept,ible to blade stall
at high advance ratio and yawing maneuvers, and are
less sensitive to gusts. However, higher t,ip speeds
result in illcreased profile power, compreesibility
effects, and noise. In the past, noise was [lot considered
of primary importauce. This is no longer true.
For nearly all flight condit,ions, t,he tail rotor is the
predominant noise source for single rotor iielicopters.
Tlle perceived noise occurs at discrete harmonics which
are multiples of the blade passnge frequency. The

AERODYNiIAIICS

TAIL ROTOR D I S C LOADING (PSP)

FIGURE
7. Effect, of tail rotor disc loading an nntitorque powcr
required.

sound pressure energy levels of a tail rotor are usually


slightly lower t,hau those of a main rotor; however, due
to their frequencies being more within the audible
range, they sound louder to the observer.
Tail rotor rotational uoise is a funct,ion of t,he total
aerodynamic forces acti~igon the blades, the number
of blades, and the tip speed. Of these, tip speed is t.he
most important. Lower thrust, per blade reduces noise,
and this is frequently the primary aerodynamic consideration in selecting the number of blades. Compressibility increases the noise directly by its effect on the
related forces, and indirectly by increasing the more
easily perceived Irigher frequency components.
A great deal of effort is being made to reduce rotor
noise. Recent i~~vestigations
by Bell and o t l ~ e r shave
~,~
shown that significant reductions are possible (4 t.o 8
db) by altering the blade tip loading and/or by reduciug the compressibility effects. In any eveut, future
rotorcraft designed with noise as a primary consideration will probably feat,ure mult,ibladed designs 1vit11
tip speeds b e b e e n 575 and 650 fps.
Some degradation of performance will have to be
accepted to achieve a significant reduction in noise
level. Since there is a laclc of valid noise criteria, or even
definition, it is hoped that both the customer and the
regulatory agencies mill exercise caution in est,ablishing
rest,rictive noise limitations.
I',tuist. Negative values of blade twist have been
used for the tail rotor, as for the main rotor, to improve
the spanmise load distribution. In hover and low specd
flight, twist is helpful in reducing the tail rot,or torque
required at. lhigh t,hrusts. I n high-speed flight, the inflow can be from either side of the disc so negative twist
is not advautageous. This is especially true when the
tail rotor is unloaded by a fixed surface. Increases in
oscillatory blade moments have bee11 observed ~vhich
were attributed to increased twist,. However, for lowspeed lielicopt,ers, t~vistsliould be considered because
of t,he higlrcr hovcring efficiency.

JOURNAL O F THE AMERICAN HELICOPTER SOCIETY

T I G I ~8.~1Jppel.
E
sul.face of IJH-l tail rotor

a 1 high tl>l.,nst in

flight.

Airfoil Section. A primary parametcr in tail rotor


design is the blade airfoil section. This is generally
realized, but has often bccn neglected due to conccnt,ration in other areas. Many t,imes airfoil shape has beell
i~ducnced sig11ificant.ly by structural, dynamic, or
manufacturing considerat,ions. A good airfoil section
has often been degraded acrodynamicallg by a thick
abrasion &rip placed around the leading edge. Such
to deconsiderations am important,, but tlic solutio~~s
sign problems should not violate the basic aerodynamic
requirements. Airfoil selection is important because the
blade airfoil section is one of only three means available
to the designer to minimize the adverse characteristics
of a tail rotor that is designed for high thrust (i.e.,
increased gust sensitivity, high design torque, added
weight). The other two means available to the designer
are to make the blade as light as possible (delays precessional stall) and to increase the tip speed.
The principal feature desired of a tail rotor blade
airfoil section is a high maximum lift coefficient at t11e
operating Mach and Reynolds numbers. Low minimum
drag cocfficients are desircd but. are secondary in importance to t,he stalling characteristics. Zero or Ion.
pitching moment,s in thc past have been tliougl~tdcsirable; ho~vever,i t is believed that the design can be
such that section pitching moments are not a problem.

Compressibilit,y effects, of course, me significant for


all of the parameters associated witah the airfoil. For
example, the cl,., of an NACA 0015 airfoil at a Mach
number of 0.6 is only about 2/s of its CI,,,, at low Mach
numbers.TTs effect, plus the fact that inflo!!, reduces
the angle of attack at the tip less than it does inboard,
makes the typical untwisted tail rotor quit,e suscept,ible
to tip st,all. The i d i g h t photograph in Fig. 8 sho~vs1'1
examplc of this. Radial locations for the calculated
critical, drag divergence, and shock stall R4acb numbers are indicated. Compressibility also produces
pitching moments and t,orquc increases due to drag
divergence.
It is expccted that a great dcal more attenti011will be
givcn tail rotor airfoil selection in the future and optimum airfoils, including those nrit,h camber, will be
used. The results of recent BHC experiment,alwork~vith
tail rot,or airfoil sect,ionssupport this. Recent,l.v, a lavge
increase in maximum thrust was achieved by adding
leading edge camber to a symmetric~lsect.ion and
eliminatting t,he abrasion strip discontinuit,y. For this
case, the helicopter flight envelope and t,ai1 rotor t,ip
speed allowed the use of a large amount of f o ~ ~ v a r d
camber. Figure 9 illustrates the combined effect. of
droop and elimination of the abrasion strip.
C h o ~ d . Wit11 the other dcsign parameters defined,
the blade chord required can bc calculated using the
following expressioli which is derived in t.he appendix :

To satisfy the maneuver criteria suggest,ed in n previous section, 6 = 0.75 and II: = 0.4 can be substituted
into the above for the critical ambient condition. For
helicopters with large fins, an additional margin should
be allowed for interfercnce.
In deriving the foregoing expression, and in t,I~efolIonring control section, linear theory has been employed for clarity and simplicity. In somc cases, more
det,a.iledanalyses would be appropriate.

FORWARD
CAMBER

SYMMETRICAL WITH
ABRASION S T R I P

COLLECTIVE PITCH (DEG)

FIGURE
9. Effect of leading edge camber and abrasion strip elimination.

OCTOBER

1970

,TAIL HOTOR DESIGN PART I:

Pitcl~.Range. Select,ion of the correct t,a.ilrotor pitch


range as controlled by the rudder pedals has impo~-tant
effects on directional handling qualities. Maximum
posit,ive tail rotor collective pitch is required at the
maximum right sideward flight speed for the critical
combination of power, design altitude, and temperature. This condition requires the higllest pitch travel
due primarily to the inflow velocity in sideward flight,.
The maximum negat,ive pitch is usually based on the
negative t,hrust required to trim and maneuver the
rotorcraft in autorotation. This requiremeut is strongly
influenced by a canted or cambercd fin uscd to unload
the tail rotor in forwad flight. I n certain cascs, sideward fliglit to the left may define this value.
Convelitio~lal
are applicable in estimat.ing the required tail rotor collective pitch values.
Some of the problems and peculiarities associated with
tail rotor control in sideward flight are discussed in a
later sect,ion.
I'atu Acceleration Se~rsitiuitu. Reference 7 defines
the acceptable pedal travel for aircraft design as 1 3 in.
Wit,h the control travel fixed at the cockpit and a t the
tail rotor, the pitch change per inch of pedal travel is
established. With t,he tail rotor sized to prevent blade
~
stall, t,his determines the minimum y a acceleration
per inch of pedal travel. Neglecting the change in illduced velocity, and letting (Acl)/in. = a(AO)/in., the
instanta~ieousy a acceleration
~
sensitivit,y ($/in.) of t,he
aircraft is:
M,,,/in.

(e)
);.(

1
abcp(BRJ3S12
6
m.

= -

I,,

Actually, the change in induced velocity is not negligible. For severe maneuvers, it can reduce the yaw acceleration per inch by 50% or more. Therefore, the
preceding expression should be used for comparat,ive
purposes only and not to correlate with flight test data.
I'azu Dampiny; Rate Sensitivity. When a rotorcraft
has a yaw rate, the airflow through the tail rotor changes
the elemental angle of attack on the blades. This alters
the tail rotor thrust so as to oppose the yax7 rate.
Neglecting the change in induced velocity and 1ett.ing:
1 b~p(rSl)~(AC~)cZr,
atl = $ X a and AT = J1.n
2
-

an approximate expression for tail rotor damping, referenced to the aircraft's yaw inertia, is:

As with the y a acceleration


~
sensitivity, meeting the
maneuver criteria tends to establish the minimum yaw
damping for a given design. For small and medium size

AERODYNAMICS

Froun~10. Typical test vnlucs of yaw dnmping, acceleration.


and rate sensitivities.

helicopters, the valuc of the inherent damping will only


be about one-half that required by Rcf. 8.
By combining the damping expressioll rnit.11 that. for
control se~isitivityfrom t,he preceding paragraph, the
steady (final) rate of yaw per inch of pedal call be expressed as:

It can be sho~vnthat about 2/3 of this rate is obtained


after a time equal to I,,/C, following an abrupt pedal
displacement. Figure 10 gives typical flight test values
of yaw damping, acceleration sensitivity, and rate
sensitivity for several helicopters.
The pitch change per inch of pedal is dictated by the
sideward flight and human factors requirements; the
tail arm, X, by geometric considerations; and the tip
speed by the considerations listed earlier. Therefore,
the designer is not left with a great deal of freedom to
alter the yaw rate sensitivity.
Gust Response. I n the expression for yaw damping,
$S is the sideward velocity of the tail rotor due to a
given yaw rate. If the velocity of a side gust, V...,, is
substituted into the expression in place of $ S , the
following expression for gust response is obtained:

This means that there are no basic parameters, other


than tail length, which the designer can usc to change
the ratio of the gust. response to yaw damping. This
ratio, which is important mith respect t o the aircraft's

10

LYNN,

ROBINSON, BATHA AND DUHON

JOURNAL O F THE AnIERICAN HELICOPTER SOCIETY

Sideward Flight
WITH VORTEX
RING EFFECTS

WINDMILL
BRAKE
STATE

LEFT

RIGHT

SIDEWARD FLIGHT VEIDCITY


FIGURE
11. Tail rotor pitch in sideward flight.

flying qualities, can only be varied for a given machine


by adding artificial damping.
Tho consequences of t,his are that as the inherent
damping (C/I,,) of the tail rotor is increased, the machine will become more susceptible to gusts. Increasing the inherent damping of tlie tail rotor will improve a helicopter's "no mind" handling characteristics
in a hovcr, but it will make it more gust sensitive and
less accept,able to the pilot.
Thc consequences of a gust are largely dcpcndent on
tlie reaction timc available to the pilot for corrective
action. This can be altered favorably if the damping,
and therefore the gust sensitivit,~,cnn be reduced for a
given maximum thrust capability. The lower the gust
sensit,ivit,y,the slower and less severe will be the yaw
resulting from a gust,. The gust response is redefined
below in terms of the maneuver thrust requirement and
related parameters:

It is seen that the gust response can be reduced by increasing the tip speed or maximum lift coefficient of the
blade or by lowering the maximum tbrust/inertia ratio.
To explain this physically, increasing the cl,.., or
lowering the maximum thrust/inertia ratio allows the
required maximum thrust to be produced with less
blade area. Thus, a given gust will produce the same
change in blade anglc of attack but less change in
thrust. Increasing the tip speed also reduces gust response, but not by its reduction in blade area required,
since this is accompanied by a corresponding increase in
dynamic pressure. For this case a given gust velocity
combined with the higher t.angentia1velocity produces
a smaller change in thc blade angle of attack and hence,
less change in tlirust.
For a given configuration, with a required maneuver
capability and normal restrictions on tip speed, the
only variable left that will reduce gust response is an
increase in CI,.
Yaw gust response effccts are also
discussed in Ref. 9.

The major aerodynamic tail rotor problems encountered have occurred in left, sideward flight. As
noted earlicr, thc problems generally relat,e primarily to
the aircraft's yaw control charact,eristics. In the
following paragraphs, the principal peculiarities associated with sideward flight are discussed.
T'ortex Ring Slate. Tlic Bell i\~Iodel47 and many
ot,her helicopters experieiice a not.iceable difficulty in
establishing pedal trim in left sideward flight from 5
to 15 knots. Trim pedal posit,ion vs sideward flight
speed is extremely difficult to define in flight test. The
pedal-speed gradient appears to be flat or with a slight
reversal. When flight under these conditions must be
maintained, the characteristic is annoying; if possible,
pilots change heading t,o avoid it,. This is caused by
operation in the vortex ring state.
I11 sideward flight to the left, the vortex ring state is
entered at 5-10 knots and extends up to 15-35 knots
depending on tail rotor disc loading. This flow state
produces strong vortex formations which increase t.he
rotor power and effective induced velocity at. the rotor
plane and produce nonuniform flow through tlie rotor
disc. I n the higher speed range of the vortex ring state
to be unstable as tlie
there is a tendency for the f l o ~
voltices are carried away from the blades.
References 10 and 11, for example, give experimeutal
data ~ h i c hcan be used in calculating the steady state
power and control angles throughout the sideward
flight speed range, including the vortex ring state. This
has been done for several cases for a free tail rotor and
tlie effects of t,he vortex ring statc are illustrated in
Fig. 11. Test data for the Bell Model 47 and other
helicopters substant,iate these trends.
The vortex ring state causes a reversal tendency in
the steady-statc tail rotor blade pitch vs sideward
flight velocit,y plot. For higher thrust,s and disc loadings, the vortex ring state, and consequently the reversal, occurs at a higher speed due to the increase in
tail rotor induced velocity.
Main. Rotor Torque T'ariation. When in ground
effect during steady-st,ate sideward flight, just as the

LEFT

RIGHT

SIDEWARD FLIGHT VELOCITY

FIGURE
12. Effcct of main rotor torque (Q,,,,)variation.

helicopter "loses its ground cusl~ion," tllcrc is an increase in main rotor power required. This requires
addit,ional t,ail rotor thrust,, and hence, more left pedal.
This effect increases t.lie pedal reversal in left sideward
flight as shown by Fig. 12, which is based on Model 47
flight data.
Other phenomena affect the pedal reversal ttendency,
but are usually of minor impo~l.ance. Under certain
condit,ions, liowevcr, such effects as t,lie aircraft's
weathervaning characteristics a.nd sideload produced by
the main rotor wake act,ing on t,he boom must be considered in evaluat,ing t,lie pedal reversal.
Stall a71rl Con~bi~ied
qfeets. Any phenomenon that
causes a dissymmetry of angle of attack across the tail
rotor disc reduces the maximum thrust capabilit,~of
the rotor. The vortex ring state a ~ i dfin and main rotor
\ralce interferences are examples.
If a tail rotor is operated at its maximum thrust
capability a ~ i dthen subjected to one of the above, its
thrust \\rill be reduced due to the stall produced by the
dissymmet,ry. Under such a condition, t,lie application of additional pitch will aggravate the situation.
3Ianifestations of this t,ype of plienome~lonare loss of
control, high torque, and reduced thrust. Also, n.lien
operat,io~~
is at full engine power available, the increment in t,ail rotor power can cause loss of Rlt,it,udeor
"settling."
A similar situat.ion might occur mit,liout t,he stall and
h i ~ l itorque if the phenomenon produci~igt,he dissymmet,ry were more effect,iveiii reducing t,ail rotor t,hrust
t,han the pitcli is in increasing it,. hIai11rot,or wake and
vortex effects may be t,11ispowerful.
When problems such as described here occur, usually
they result fromacombinat,ion of effects. It is not surprising to find many explanations as to the cause. In t,he
follo~vingparagraphs, several problems of this t,ypc are
recorded.
Pavtict~lav Pvobleins E'ncout~tererl. During informal
discussions with representatives of several helicopter
manufacturcrs from this connt,~yand abroad, a problem
in left sideward flight was noted. As far as can be detcrmincd, all aircraft, were of the pusher tail rotor configuration with tlie direction of the tail rot,or rotat,ion
such that tlie blades moved forward at the top of tlie
disc.
With each of the aircraft, yaw control cliaracterist,ics
became unsatisfactory to the pilot in low spccd, left,
sideward flight. Some describe tlie phenomenon as a
static instability, where the ship feels to the pilot as
thougli the tail rotor were "falling in a hole to the left!'
Others emphasize the inability to stabilize or control
t,he heading, more like an accentuat,ion of t,he yaw trim
difficult,^ experienced by the 3Iodcl 47. I n one case,
the control difficult,^, mas rcpoitcd as follows: "At a
speed range between 8 and 18 knots when passing

tlirough the vortex ring st,at,eof tlie tail rot,or, t,l~erewas


a dist,inct shudder of the tail, causi~igviolent reaction of
the pilot's pedal movement^." For one of the aircraft,
it is stated that t,he problem occurred only in t,rue left
side~va,rdflight. I t disappeared when a small component
of forward or aft speed was present. Details are missing;
however, it is uilderstood that tlie instability was not
accompa.nied by excessive flapping or tail rot,or ttorqne.
Comments mit,h respect t,o t,he cause indicate that the
Row aroillid the hi1 fin or pylon, t,he t.ail rotor speed,
and the direction of tail rotor rotation were significant.
In most cases, multiple changes to t,he aircraft were
made simultaneously in an cffol-t to correct t,he problem.
However, in three cases t,he reversal of direction of rot,ation of the tail rotor (from moving formard to aft at
tlie top of the disc) is credited with changing the unacceptable characterist.ics to a~cept~able,
even though
ot,her changes were made at tlie same timc. I n tlie fourth
case, the problem is said t o have been eliminated by
only the clii~ngein direction of rotation.
A similar problem was e~lcountercdwit.11 t,he AH-1G
Cobra helicopter when configured with a pusher tail
rotor, rotating blade for\va.rd at the top of the disc.
With a118-15 knot,1vi11d coming from the aft left quarter
a left pedal input would have little or no effect,. The
characterist,ics were similar to a static divergence in
yaw to the riglit. The most adverse situatio~iwas when
tlie aircra.ft was heavily loaded, on a hot day or at
alt.itude. Under such conditions, ~vhenleft pcda.1 was
applied to a.rrest a right turn for instance, the ship
somet,imes would swing around to the right momentarily. As left pedal was applied, a rise in tail rotor
torque occnrrcd, sugge~t~ive
of blade stall. 17lapping
cha~igeswere not noted. Tests showed that t,he problem
was diminatfed by repositioning the t,ail rotor to the
opposite side of tho fin (from pusher to t,metor) and
simultaneously, cl~angingthe direction of rot,at,ionof t,he
tail rotor t,o blade t.ip moving aft at the top of the disc.
Diveclio~aof Rolatiot~. The above problems and their
reported solutions have resulted in considerable colijecture as to the combined effects of direction of rotat,ion of the tail rotor, main mtor wake, and ~vind.In
an attempt to define these effects, some simple model
and flight tests were conducted at Bell. To this point,
t,he cause-effect relationships have not been est,ablislied;
l~owever, some pertinent informati011 has been obtained and is reported.
The testsinvolved hoverand sideward flightwith a Bell
47-G. The tests were then repeated with the tail rotor
rotating in the opposite direction. Since this liclicoptcr
1 1 s no fin in t,lie tail rotor flow field, the fill-tail rotor
interference discussed earlier is avoided. The tail rot,or
blade surface was instrumented to mcasure local airflow velocitjr at 86% radius and 37% chord. Additional
qualitative smolte tests of the main rotor flow in t,hc
vicinity of a thrust,ing tail rotor were carried out with a

TIYNN, R O B I N S O T

12

VELOCITY

BATRA AN11 DUHOK

90"

FIGURE
13. Airflow rrelocity variation over tail rotor blade

model. Wind-tunnel tests of tlie main and tail rotor


combination are needed.t
Figure 13 shows typical airflow velocity over the
blade as measured during the flight tests. During these
tests the wind velocity was measured at about 4 knots.
The data indicate that tlie local velocity is a function
of tail rotor azimuth, main rotor height above ground,
and tail rotor direction of rotation. These variations of
air-flow velocity are also present, in varying degrees,
during sideward flight, botli in- and out-of-ground
effect. To date the effect of these local flow variations on
tail rotor thrust lias not been show^^ conclusively.
Figure 14 shows a typical model smoke flow test.
Notc thc position of thc main rotor tip vol%ices. Thc
observed patterns of these tip vortices are given by
Fig. 15. They are shown with and without tail rotor
t,lirust and for tlie casc with a ground plane. It is seen
that the main rotor walce is drawn toward the t.lirust,ing
t.ail rotor, and as expected, the main rotor ~valceis
marlccdly altered in thc presence of a ground plane.
Because of this, ground tests are not considered 60 be
conclusive in est~ablishingthe effect of tail rotor direction of rot,ation.
From tlle work to dat,e, many I~ppot,hescsor speculations can be developed to explain tlie observed effccts.
At, this point, it can only be concluded positively that
there are main rotor walce-tail rotor interactions; and,
that t,hey are a function of rotor height above t,hc
ground, t,ail rot,or position, and relative mind.
Work is bcing conti~~ued
to define t,he causal relationships. Until these have been cstablished, it is
t See paper by Huston and Morris in t.hisirw!of the Journal.

J O U H S h I l OF THE AAIEHICAN HElrlCOFTER SOCIETY

suggested, based on the experie~lcesdescribcd in the


prior section, that the direction of t.ail rot,or rot.ation,
blade aft at. the top of t,he disc, be uscd.

A tail rotor drive system is different from most


others becanse there is no rest,riction on the available
po\vcr or torque. It is a demand system in that whatcver
torque it requires mill be supplied by the power plant
or main rotor. As a consequence, either the system
must be designed for the maximum torque that can be
encountered, within reasonable flight restrictions, or
means must be found to limit tlie ability of the pilot or
aircraft, to enter situations wlicre excessive torque can
be obtained.
If tlie approacll is talcen to limit tlie pilot or aircra.ft,
then the design of tlie trailrotor geaxing and antifriction
bearings should be based on fatigue considerations at
the maximum steady state torque. That torque will
usually occur at the maximum sideward fight speed at
the critical ambient design condit,ion. Use of tlie maximum torque is justified since structural loading cycles in
the tail rotor drive build up rapidly. With contemporary
gear design and technology, this approach should result
in gear tooth scuffing and st.at,ictorque limit,s of about
2 or 3 times tlie fatigue design value.
If it is elected t,o design tlie system for the maxinrum
torque that can be encountered, in addition t o the above
fat,igue crit,eria, the
structural loads must
be established and the system designed statically to
t.hat value. Yor aircraft designs using flat-rated engines,
the "static" design condition is the application of full
tail rotor pitch 011the ground or in flight at sea level.
This is justified by the recent experience with botli
the Bell Model 47 and UH-1 helicopters. Flight malleuver and ticdow~static evaluation of tail rotor pomer,
thrust., and blade pitch show that for all practical pur-

F l o m r ~14. Typical n l n i t ~rolol. make in the vicinity of the tml


mlor

(OGE).

OCTOBER

1970

*TAIL HOTOR DESIGN~PART I:

poses, near zero airspeed, maximum tail rotor torque is


defined by the maximum blade pitch.
The impact of the "static" requirement can be quite
adverse from the weight and balance standpoint, not
only for the drive system, but also for the tail boom.
If the pitch is available, homever, it probably mill be
used by the pilot a t some point during the life of the aircraft. Since the consequence of not providing for this
can be static failure, the system must be designed to
withstand full pedal input, or the pedal must be restricted.
Pedal rate limiting has been used but this approach
is not considered satisfactory because with it, the yam
maneuver capability is reduced. Other approaches
should be developed. Presently, altitude-compensated
pedal stops and rate limiting are being investigated.
Plapping
Magnitude. The tail rotor flapping range and boom
clearance are establislied by the detail design of the
rotor and the configuration of the aircraft. Early in the
design, maximum flapping values should be estimated to
assure that tbe flap stops \\,ill not be contacted in flight.
Excessive blade-hub structural loading has occurred due
to bitting the stops in hover and high-speed maneuvers.
If the tail rotor is designed to the maneuver criteria
suggested to prevent stall during hovering turns, then
maximum flapping will most probably occur at high
speed and thrust with a yawing rate to the left. During
structural demonstrations, and also during normal
operation, rapid pedal inputs are occasionally required
at high forward flight speeds. When the helicopter is
turning or yawing in fornrard flight, the precessional
flapping (derived in the appendix) adds to the forward
flight flapping.
Normal flapping does not significantly affect the
pcrfolmance of a tail rotor but it can be an important
parameter in determining structural loads. Fuselage,
fin, engine exhaust, and main rotor effects reduce the
accuracy \\.it11 which flapping can be estimated. Addi-

<

VORTEX
CORES

''/

Z//ab

WITH
T A I L ROTOR
THRUST IGE

WITHOUT T A I L ,
ROTOR THRUST '

-ROTOR
I

CONTROL

\,

FIGURE
16. Eff~ctof

PLANE

13

BLADE SPAN
AXIS

on tail mtor flapping

tional work is needed to develop an understanding and


representation of these effects.
Delta Three Efects. Pitch-flap coupling, a8, is used
in many tail rotor designs to reduce the first harmonic
flapping. First harmonic flapping is the tilt of the rotor
plaue relative to the control plane.
Various analytical methods have been used in the
literature to account for the effects of 63 on flapping.
These methods seem unnecessarily complex and unwieldy when trying to visualize or calculate the resulting magnitude and phase lag of forward fight or precessional flapping. It is believed that an easier and more
direct method is to considcr only the maximum equivalent cyclic feathering required, the resultant flapping
produced, and the phase angle between them.
This can be visualized by considering the blades to be
whirling in the rotor plane ~vllilethe ends of their pitch
horns are whirling in the control plane (plane of no
feathering), With first harmonic flapping, the ends of
the pitch horns are moving back and foi-th relative to
the rotor plaue (see Fig. 16) thus producing an equivalent cyclic feathering of the blades. This is true witb or
without a3. (Equivalent cyclic feathering is uscd here to
denote a cyclic change in the blade angle of attack and
not necessarily a rotation of the pitch change bearings.)
The equivalent cyclic feathering produced is maximum
when the end of the pitch born is at that azimuth position ~vherethe separation between the rotor plane and
the control planc is greatest. The relative travel of the
pitch horn end is equal to tho flap angle
times the
arm (y). The equivalent feathering produced is equal to
this travel divided by the pitch horn arm about the
blade span axis (u cos a3). Letting t,he equivalent feathering required equal the flap angle without 83 results in
the following:

WITH TAIL ROTOR


THRUST OGE

F~ouno15. Main rotor make distortion due to thrusting tail


rotor and ground plane.

AERODYNAMICS

Thus, the flap angle with 8a present cquals the flap angle
reauired without 8. multi~liedby cos S3.

14

LYNN,ROBINSON,
BATRA

AND DUAON

Since the maximum feathering occurs when the pitch


horn end is at the 'zimuth positioii where the separation
between the rotor plane and cont,rol plane is greatest,
it then follows that thc phasc augle between maximum
feathering and maximum flapping is tlie angle between
t,he blade span axis and the pitch horn end, or (90 - a3)
degrecs.
The aa shown in Fig. 16 is defiued as positive (up
flapping produces anose down change in angle of attack).
If negative a8 (trailing edge pitch liorns) is used, it can
be seen from the figure that the magnitude of the flapping would still be reduced by cos 8%;ho~vever,the phase
angle between the maximum flapping and the maximum
feathering rvould be (90
J3) degrees.
An interesting difference bet.n.een positive and negac
tive 83is that with positive aa, the addit,ion of flap hinge
offset further reduces first harmoilic flapping. Conversely, with negative & present, the addition of flaplringe offset actually increases flapping.
To visualize this, consider a rotor in forward flight
where the higher relat,ive velocity of the advancing
blade produces a moment on the rotor disc, causing it to
tilt aft, thus producing the necessary feathering for
equilibrium. With positive a3, this tilt of the rotor plane
occurs less than 90" past the advancing side. With flap
hinge offset, the tilt of the rotor plane produces a centrifugal couple on the rotor hub; t,he rotor hub in turn
prnduces an opposite reaction moment on the rotor disc.
Since the reaction moment on the disc is less than 90'
past the advancing side and is in the opposite direction,
it has a component which subtracts from the aerodynamic moment produced by the advancing blade aild
thus, reduces the flapping required. With negative as,
the phase lag is greatcr than 90"; therefore, the offset
hinge reaction moment increases the flapping required.
This is also true for precessional flapping and for hubs
with other types of hinge restraint.
Two-bladed tail rotors frequent.1~have their flap
hinge axes coclced by the same angle as the as of their
pitch liorns. Tliis prevent,^ l/rev cycling of the pitch
change bearings as the tail rotor flaps. Cocking tlie flap
hinge does not affect the pitch-flap coupling described
above, and the S3 angle is still the angle between the end
of the pitch horn and a line normal to tlie blade span
axis. With this arrangement,, t,he angular travel about
the cocked hinge is increased over the t,rue flapping by
l/(cosine of cocked hinge angle). I n flight testing, flapping is usually measured about the coclced hinge; therefore, the correction to obtain true flapping should not be
overlooked.

APPENDIX

Deriwation of Tail Rotor Thrust and Precession Capability


The aerodynamic moment required to precess a tail
rotor during a turn can be derived as follo~vs:

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN HELICOPTER SOCIETY

For any gyroscope, the precessioiial moment equals:


= $01,. For a tiail rotor this becomes:
= $OI,b.
As the tail mtor flaps, an equivalent cyclic feathering
is produced. This provides t,he cliange in lift from one
side of tlie disc to the other required to precess the
rotor.
Letting Acl = ap,, thc aerodynamic moment. produced
equals:

J!I

The '/, in front of thc integral is because a blade is


producing moment only '/, of the t,ime as it rotates.
Setting the aerodynamic momeilt equal to tlic precessional moment, required gives:

The flap a.ugle required to precess the rotor is:

For rotors with by referring to the section on Delta


Three Effects, t,he flap angle required for precessioii is:

To determine the tail rotor's susceptibility to stall


in a hovering tunl, it is necessary to find the maximum
combined c,. The combined cl is the sum of t.he follonring :
AZ, for main rotor torque compensation (TQ)
AZI for yaw acceleration (6)
AZI for precession (4)

Letting the combined CI = c~,., for determining the


stall boundary and noting that:

G, =

GT
andI,,6
b~p(BR)~0~

XT,

the follon~ingexpression is obtained:

To determine and plot the stall boundaiy for a given


tail rotor on a graph of $ vs 6:

OCTORER

1(JTO

T.IIL HOTOR DESIGN PART I :

- YAW RATE

T h c terms can be arranged t o solve directly for t h e


n u n i m u n ~chortl required a t a given $ and $:

REFERENCES

1. McI<ee, J. W., and Naeseth, R. L., Experimental Inuesligation oj'Me Drag of Flat Plates and Cylinders in the Slipstream of a Houering Rotor, NACA T N 4239, April 1958.
2. Spivey, R. F., Blade T i p Aerodynamics-Profilea~bd Planform Effects, presented a t the 24th Arniual National
Forum of the Arnerican Flelicopter Society, May 1968.
3. Schlegel, R., Icing, R., and Mull, H., llelicopter Rotor

AERODYNhlllCS

15

Noise Generation and Propagation, USAAVLABS Teclinical Report 664, Contract DA44-177-AifC-141(T),
Sikorsky Aircraft, October 1966.
4. Nitzberg, G. E., aad Crandall, S., A Study of Flow Changes
Associated with Airfoil Section Drag at Snpercritical
Speeds, NACATN No. 1813, February 1949.
5. Gessom, A. and Rlgers, G. C., Jr., Aerodynamics of the
Helicopter, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York,
Third Printing, 1967.
6. Shapiro, ,I., Principles of IIelicopler Engineering, McGra\~,HillBook Co., Inc., New York, 1955.
7. Anon., Military Standard Aircrew Station Geometry for
Fixed Il'ing, Rotary IPiny, und V / S T O L Aircraft, Proposed MIL-STD-XXX, Sel~teniber1, 1967, Rev. A,
October 1, 1967, Rcv. 13, Fcbroary 29, 1968, Aircraft
Industries Assn. Project.346-3.
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