RE Museum - HOW HELICOPTER BLADES CREATE LIFT

The blades of a helicopter are like the aerofoil shape of aircraft wings. When they spin and their pitch is gradually increased, air pressure decreases above them and increases underneath - giving the helicopter lift.

Blade The blades' pitch can be changed all together by the collective pitch lever or individually by the cyclic pitch column, causing the whole rotor to tilt - propelling the craft in that direction.

  • Aerofoil shape - As each blade's pitch is raised it gives more lift.
  • Swashplate - A hinged socket called a swashplate allows the rotor to tilt in any direction.
  • Tail rotor - A small, vertical tail rotor stops the helicopter's body from spinning.
  • Controls -  Two foot pedals control the tail rotor. One lever governs collective pitch, and a second controls cyclic pitch.

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