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Proceedings Paper

Design, development, and testing of a mini solid state adaptive rotor
Author(s): Ronald M. Barrett; Michael Schliesman; Phillip Frye
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Paper Abstract

The design principles, analytical models, construction methods and test results for a new type of solid state adaptive rotor (SSAR) are presented. A pair of directionally attached piezoelectric (DAP) torque-plates were fabricated and attached to the root of a 23.5' diameter helicopter rotor assembly. The DAP torque-plate tips were joined to a pair of graphite-epoxy servopaddles which were moved in pitch by the action of the torque-plates. The torque-plates were constructed from a single aluminum substrate and PZT-5H DAP elements mounted symmetrically at 45 degrees. Electrical signals were carried to the DAP torque-plates via a shielded brush and rotating contact assembly. A series of non-rotating static tests were conducted on the rotor, demonstrating servopaddle pitch deflections up to plus or minus 5.8 degrees and good correlation with classical laminated plate theory. Non rotating dynamic testing showed a system natural frequency in excess of 2.5/rev and good correlation with inertial models. Because the servopaddles were aeroelastically tailored to balance out propeller moments, deflection degradation with increasing rotor speed was barely noticeable up to plus or minus 1 degree pitch levels. However, as rotor speed increased, total servopaddle deflections in the rotating frame at 1600 rpm (full speed) were degraded, but still operated up to plus or minus 2.7 degrees in pitch. To conclude the study, the rotor was attached to a converted Kyosho Hyperfly electric helicopter. Flight tests demonstrated fundamental controllability. A system-level comparison showed that the SSAR Hyperfly experienced a 40% drop in flight control system weight, an 8% cut in total gross weight, a 26% decrease in parasite drag and a part count reduction from 94 components to 5.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3041, Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (6 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.275649
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald M. Barrett, Auburn Univ. (United States)
Michael Schliesman, Auburn Univ. (United States)
Phillip Frye, Auburn Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3041:
Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Mark E. Regelbrugge, Editor(s)

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