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I have always been fascinated with the swash plate used to control the rotor on a helicopter and have even built several in my machine shop. But I continue to be a bit mystified by just how it is they operate with the various actions they perform without those actions interfering with one another. I am trying to obtain a clearer picture of how a teetering rotor works with both cyclic and collective action on the swash plate and rotor. I have been to many sites on the Internet but have never come across a full explanation with diagrams as to how the whole process works. Can anyone out there give me a hand?


I'm definately not the expert here (fixed wing boy due to financial constraints ). My understanding is that the collective lifts the entire assy, so that the angle of attack (AOA) increases on all blades equally. The cyclic movement is mirrored in the swash plate, so that AOA is increased toward the rear for forward flight and to the left/right for banking.

The only complication is the gyro-comp system, which on a HUEY (say) acts above the swash plate. Basically the rotating masses are lever reduced so that the blade angle actually follows the plane of the mass "flywheel". This means that the blade aerodynamic forces correct for the gyroscopic coriollis forces, i.e. as aircraft banks left front AOA increses while rear AOA decreses. The swash plate is one lever input, while the gyro-comp is the other. This keeps the blades ~even, usefull to avoid cutting off one's own tail!


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