1924. An Aerodynamic and Design Analysis of the Human Powered Helicopter


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S Mourtisen: 1924. An Aerodynamic and Design Analysis of the Human Powered Helicopter. 1990.



This paper outlines some of the considerations and difficulties involved with designing a human powered helicopter (HPH). A discussion of the math models from momentum theory to a lifting line model is given. Physiological considerations such as the relationship between pilot power available and pilot weight are also addressed. Based upon a statistical survey and preliminary computations, it was shown that the best possible design for the HPH satisfying the weight requirements was a biplane rotor system. Assuming the typical design weight for the HPH to be 200 lb. and the power available to be .6 hp, it is shown that the resulting rotor radius is about 75 feet. Assuming a 130 lb. pilot, the empty weight- would be 70 lb. The question is, is it possible to build a 70 lb. empty weight, 75 foot radius helicopter? The conclusion is that by looking at historical data points, a deviation from conventional design is necessary in order to win the AHS contest. The design process reduces to the ability to predict performance and weight accurately. The procedures discussed in the paper culminate in an overall sizing plot for rotor radius which simultaneously predicts feasibility.


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