Stalling of helicopter blades

Gustafson, F B Myers, G C , Jr

Theoretical studies have predicted that operation of helicopter rotor beyond certain combinations of thrust, forward speed, and rotational speed might be prevented by rapidly increasing stalling of the retreating blade. The same studies also indicate that the efficiency of the rotor will increase until these limits are reached or closely approached, so that it is desirable to design helicopter rotors for operation close to the limits imposed by blade stalling. Inasmuch as the theoretical predictions of blade stalling involve numerous approximations and assumptions, an experimental investigation was needed to determine whether, in actual practice, the stall did occur and spread as predicted and to establish the amount of stalling that could be present without severe vibration or control difficulties being introduced. This report presents the results of such an investigation.

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