Essay: The Swash Plate Assembly

Essay: The Swash Plate Assembly
April 14, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: The Swash Plate Assembly Academic Papers on Engineering,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

In an RC helicopter, the movement of the rotors’ pitch is controlled through the Swash Plate Assembly. The Swash Plate Assembly is placed on the main motor shafts beneath the head of the helicopter, and comprises of an upper rotating and a lower non-rotating disc. The lower disk is connected directly to the cyclic and collective controls which are controlled through a number of servo motors linked the control and communication circuitry on the helicopter, responsible for the receiving the input from the remote controller unit. The lower disk is also attached through the bearing to the upper rotating disc, which is then linked to the main rotor blade pitch horns. The Swash Plate Assembly can be made to tilt in any direction through cyclic controls, while it can also be moved up or down to change the pitch of the rotor with the help of collective control. This allows the operator of the RC helicopter to control the aircraft in a 3D space (Morita, 2009).

The vertical movement of the Swash Plate assembly is controlled by the collective control. In an RC helicopter, the collective control is attached to a servo motor which work according to the inputs they receive from the control circuitry. The movement of the servo motor makes the collective control change the position of the swash plate. Raising the swash plate results in the increase in the angle of attack of the pitch, causing the helicopter to attain high altitudes, while the lowering of the Swash plate, also results in lowering of pitch causing the loss of helicopter altitude. Since the change in pitch occurs for all rotors simultaneously, the change in lift remains constant throughout the full rotation of the blades (RC HeliSite 2008).

On the other hand, the horizontal movement of the Swash plate is controlled by the cyclic control. It works by tilting the plate sideways in any direction which causes the pitch angle of rotor blades to change on individual basis, as they revolve. This can create a situation where the pitch angle of the rotor blades on the helicopter is greater than those on the other side. The change in pitch induced through cyclic control, also changes the lift generated by each blade, which causes the helicopter to tip toward the side where the lift is lower. This allows the helicopter to move in any direction around a 360-degree circle. For example, a forward movement of cyclic control results in the forward tilting of Swash plate tilts forwards, which increases the pitch of the rotor causing the helicopter to move forward.  Because of the cyclic and collective pitch controls of the main rotor blades and the pitch control of the tail rotor, the speed of the main rotor blades can be kept at the constant speed which increasing the maneuverability response time (RC HeliSite 2008).

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