Dynamic extendable chord for improved helicopter rotor performance

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Han, D.
Yang, K.
Barakos, G.N.
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Extendable blade sections are investigated as a method for reducing rotor power and improving helicopter performance. A validated helicopter power prediction method, based on an elastic beam model is utilized. The static extendable chord can deliver a rather small power reduction in hover, and significant power savings at high speed flight, however, the cruise power is increased. In hover, the active chord is best deployed in the middle part of the blade, and just inboard of the tip at high speed flight. The increase in chord length can leads to power savings at high speed flight but the benefits decrease in other speeds. The 1/rev dynamically extendable chord can lead to an overall power reduction over the speed range of a helicopter. The best deployment location is the blade tip, which is different from the statically extendable chord. It is best extended out in the retreating side and retract back in the advancing. The power reduction by the 1/rev dynamically extendable chord increases with the increase in the length of the chord extension and take-off weight of the helicopter. Generally, a lower harmonic extendable chord can save more power than one actuated at higher harmonics. The dynamic chord can reduce more power than the corresponding static chord.