Helicopter Conceptual Design


Luis Lucero, Retired, The Boeing Company

Class Description: 

The intent of this class is to provide the student with a basic understanding of the helicopter and how it flies and how to create a weight estimate.

Design of helicopters in the conceptual phase of preliminary design.

Key Topics:

  • Demonstrate steps necessary to arrive at a mission definition.
  • Development of top level requirements to achieve the stated mission.
  • Creation of an initial weight estimate and refining it as the design develops.
  • Discussion of basics for determining power required and how to estimate fuel requirements.
  • Discussion of basic flight controls and performance.

The class is in two parts. The first part in the classroom will consist of about 4 hours of lecture and 2 hours of class participation in developing a conceptual helicopter. The second part will be a "take home" assignment to further develop the conceptual design started in class. The assignment will be to size a rotor, provide an inboard profile sketch and performance estimates. It will be assumed that we are launching a new design to fit a given mission requirement. This is opposed to a scaling or modification of an existing design.

Mr. Luis Lucero has 48 years of engineering experience. Forty-two years of which are in the Weight prediction, Weight analysis and Weight control field. His Mass Properties Experiences are broad, encompassing assignments ranging from Production Weight Control to Advanced Design Mass Properties, Analysis and Prediction.

During his 34 years in the Helicopter Industry, Mr. Lucero made major contributions to the recognition and advancement of the SAWE and the profession of Weight Engineering.

Mr. Lucero is currently retired. His last position was Manager of Weight Management/Mass Properties at Boeing Rotorcraft in Mesa AZ. His Previous assignment as Manager of Advanced Attack Helicopter technology, allowed him to draw upon his many years of engineering experiences, directing all arenas involved with the technical aspects of Helicopter engineering. Disciplines reporting to him were Structural Integrity, Flight Acoustics, Loads & Methods, Rotor Dynamics, Flight Mechanics, Airframe Dynamics, Aerothermal, and Flight Performance.

Mr. Lucero as a consulting professor taught the Weight Control portion of their Graduate course, “An Introduction to Helicopter Engineering”, at Northrop University two years and at California Institute of Technology Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories four years.