1627. A Glance at Soviet Helicopter Weight Trends and a Weight Prediction Method


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R A Shinn: 1627. A Glance at Soviet Helicopter Weight Trends and a Weight Prediction Method. 1984.



Weight aspects used to be the proverbial ‘Achilles Heel’ of Soviet helicopters and their power plants General comparative studies —performed by the coauthor under contract from AVRADCOM clearly indicated the gap existing between Soviet and Western designs regarding relative weight empty, zero-range payload, and engine specific weight. More detailed studies -conducted jointly by both authors – provided further insight into that ‘weight gap’ by showing relative weights (related to flying gross weights) of major helicopter components.
However. Soviet helicopter engineers and planners apparently decided to close the weight gap both in helicopter airframes and powerplants. Indications of an attack in that direction were found in a book by Tishchenko et al (Helicopters-Selection of Design Parameters) where, in the studies of the so-called hypothetical designs of transport helicopters and their powerplants, weights on the Western level, or ever better, were assumed. The unveiling of the Mi.26 and its powerplant (D136) at the Paris Air Show in 1981 clearly demonstrated that those weight targets have been achieved. This evolution n weight trends is discussed in the first part of the paper.
As a corollary to the above review of trends, the general philosophy of a Soviet weight-prediction method for major helicopter components is discussed and compared with some of the Western approaches, while the use of those methods as tools in the structural weight minimization of a transport helicopter is examined. Discussion of the productivity aspects of Soviet vs Western helicopters concludes the paper.


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