Fuselage & Skid
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The primary function of the fuselage (also called the airframe or hull) is to hold all of a helicopter’s components in place. It also: transfers the forces of the rotors, undercarriage,
and payload; protects the occupants from the elements; and contributes
to the aerodynamic behaviour of the helicopter, although
this is often compromised by
The construction of the fuselage resembles that of airplanes, and the same techniques
are used. It is often built around a frame of welded tubes, with the skin
structure attached to it. The undercarriage, transmission and engine regularly share
the same framework so that the other parts of the fuselage are not unduly stressed
on landing. Commonly used materials are steel (framework), aluminium for the seats and cabin
floor, plastics for the windows,
and fibre glass for the cabin’s skin. However, both the construction and materials
utilised are subject to a great deal of change as a result of ongoing research.
Indeed, composite materials are frequently used in the design of helicopters these
days as they are
less dense than metals and are inherently well damped. Moreover,
they do not suffer from
The skid gives the helicopter the ability to land on a surface, and
bears the helicopter’s weight on the ground. Skids are mainly used on light helicopters;
heavier models use wheels because skids are impractical when it comes to manoeuvring
the helicopter during ground operations. An important aspect of the skid is its
ability to absorb kinethic energy; firstly, to provide for a smooth touch-down when
landing, and secondly to absorb energy in the case of ground resonance. For these
reasons, oleo-pneumatic struts (oleos for short) are often used in skid design.
Next topic > Main Rotors & Rotorhead
Cyclic & Collective
- The title of this book leads me to wonder what more it will teach me in addition to its content about these two, most frequently used, helicopter input controls. As it turns out, the answer is: a lot more. Of course, all of the obligatory subjects like basic physics, rotor aerodynamics and helicopter performance are dealt with as well, as are piston engine and basic helicopter manoeuvres. Yet the scope of this book is actually much wider than one might initially think.
Firstly, it is divided into a 'beginners’ and an 'advanced’ section. This means that the book can treat more complex concepts in depth, even though the focus in the first section is directed more towards newcomers to the field.
Secondly, subjects like turbine engines, multi-engine helicopters and autopilots are also examined. This is particularly helpful, since these topics are not usually covered in the majority of helicopter books aimed at this target audience.
Thirdly, the book deals with many things that you will not normally find in a text book: helicopter related experiences and a great deal of interesting detail. This is the sort of information that can only be provided if you have flown a lot of different helicopters and have been working in this industry for some time. What’s more, this tone is amplified by the consistently narrative style of the book.
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together and apply your knowledge to a rotating system consisting of a number of rotor blades. This is a demanding task and requires
some very hard work. It is, undoubtedly, worth the effort though, and will help you to become a better pilot. There are many books out
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populist and taking a rather simplistic approach, or highly technical and assuming the reader has a degree in mathematics.
This book is different, because it clearly explains the principles of flight in a step by step way that is easy for most
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