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

Working Principles of Aircraft Rotary Wings

Helicopters are a vital vehicle in many industries because of their ability to take off and land vertically, in addition to hover in the air, maneuvers which are made possible by their use of rotary wings. Also known as helicopter rotors, rotary wings work according to Bernoulli's principle and Newton's third law of motion to generate lift and thrust, both of which detail how helicopters achieve flight in various directions.

Most often, the rotary wing consists of two or more blades, which are attached to a rotor hub. This rotor hub is connected to the main rotor shaft, which is powered by an engine or motor. As the rotor blades spin, they create lift by moving air downwards, similar to the way an airplane wing creates lift by moving air over its surface.

In addition to the rotor system, rotary wing aircraft also require a number of other basic components, such as engines, transmissions, fuel systems, and electrical systems. These systems work together to power the aircraft, provide control inputs, and enable safe and reliable flight.

The Working Principles of Aircraft Rotary Wings

  1. Lift Generation: Similar to the fixed wings of an airplane, rotary wings also work based on Bernoulli's principle. As the rotor blades spin, the air above the blade surface moves faster and creates low pressure, while the air below moves slower and creates high pressure. This pressure difference generates lift, allowing the aircraft to rise off the ground and stay aloft.

  1. Control of Flight: Usually controlled by the pilot in the cockpit, the pitch of the rotor blades can be adjusted to control the direction of the aircraft's movement. By tilting the blades forward or backward, the pilot can make the aircraft move forward or backward. Similarly, tilting the blades to the left or right can make the aircraft turn left or right.

  1. Autorotation: In the event of an engine failure or loss of power, the aircraft rotary wings can still generate lift and provide some control over the aircraft. This is achieved through autorotation, a process where the blades continue to spin due to the aircraft's forward motion, creating lift to slow the descent and provide some control over the aircraft.

  1. Gyroscopic Precession: Another important principle of aircraft rotary wings is gyroscopic precession. As the rotor blades spin, the forces acting on them cause a change in the direction of the applied force. For example, if a force is applied to the top of the rotor blade, the resulting force will be felt 90 degrees later in the direction of rotation. This principle is used in the design of the helicopter's control system, where small movements of the control stick or pedals can cause large changes in the rotor blades' orientation.


Overall, the working principles of aircraft rotary wings involve the use of spinning blades to create lift and thrust, which can be controlled to allow the helicopter to move in different directions and perform a wide range of maneuvers. As a leading distributor, Internet of Hardware maintains an extensive inventory of rotary wing aircraft parts and components, which encompasses everything from rotor blades, transmission systems, and engine components to more specialized parts like avionics, landing gear, and other mission-critical systems. For additional resources, contact us today to learn more!


December 4, 2022
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