AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Is a Helicopter a Rotary-Wing Aircraft?

When discussing the various types of aircraft that are used across industries, all tend to fall into one of two groups, those being fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Fixed-wing aircraft feature rigid aerofoil structures that generate lift as they move through the air at high speeds, while rotary-wing aircraft rely on rotor blades that spin rapidly to produce the lift and thrust necessary for flight. With this basic difference, one can determine that helicopters belong to the family of rotary-wing aircraft with their blade sets that rotate around a central hub.

To understand how a helicopter is set apart from fixed-wing aircraft, it can be useful to have a general understanding of their basic design and overlap with other rotary-wing types. Some of the most frequently used parts and components in helicopters include rotor blades, rotor heads, rotor hubs, swashplates, tail rotors, landing gear, skids, seats, and fuel systems. These parts are crucial for maintaining the safety, performance, and reliability of helicopters and rotary-wing aircraft. While all helicopters are rotary-wing aircraft, it is important to note that not all rotary-wing aircraft are considered helicopters. Rather, other rotary-wing aircraft come in the form of autogyros, tiltrotors, and various types of drones.

An autogyro is a type of rotary-wing aircraft that uses an unpowered rotor to provide lift as it moves through the air. Unlike a helicopter, an autogyro's rotor blades are not powered, and the aircraft moves forward with the use of a propeller. A tiltrotor is another common type of aircraft that combines the features of a helicopter and an airplane. It has rotors that can tilt to provide vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities like a helicopter, though it also has rigid wings and engines that allow it to fly like an airplane.

Rotary-wing aircraft like helicopters have several advantages over fixed-wing aircraft, such as the ability to take off and land vertically, hover in one place, and fly at lower speeds. These advantages make helicopters and similar aircraft types well-suited for a wide range of applications, their use ranging from military and emergency services to aerial photography and transport operations.

Internet of Hardware is a top supplier of different parts and components for helicopters and other rotary-wing aircraft, our inventory featuring basic hardware and fasteners, avionics, hydraulics, engines, transmissions, and so much more. We also offer a range of support service information, including resources for technical assistance, repair and overhaul services, and logistical support. Submit a RFQ form for items of interest and get a customized response from a team member within 15 minutes of us receiving and reviewing a completed request.


December 4, 2022
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