Controlling Airflow Helps Next Generation of High-Speed Helicopters

Image of High-Speed Helicopter

Researchers are testing methods of making helicopters fly faster and more efficiently by controlling the flow and separation of air over the blades including a blade shaped in such a way that it mitigates reverse flow.

Flow conditions during hover and forward motion are different, so changing blade shape to improve one mode will have a negative effect on the other. To solve the problem the team developed an actuation system that will allow for a change in configuration of the blades during operation.