The Parts of a Helicopter
Newton’s First Law of Motion describes inertia, which is a property of matter.
“An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force, like a physical push or a gravitational pull.”
Four main forces acting upon a moving helicopter: Thrust - Drag - Lift - Gravity
If the forces acting on a helicopter are balanced, the helicopter will continue to fly at the same speed and in the same direction.
If the forces acting on a helicopter are unbalanced, the helicopter will change either speed or direction or both.
The angle or pitch of the Rotor Blades (also known as Angle of Attack) can be changed to make the aircraft go faster (high pitch) or slower (low pitch). Since they are shaped like airplane wings, they are sometimes called Rotor Wings.
How Does a Rotor Blade Create Lift?
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Rotor blade angled up. Air deflected down.
As the rotor blade rotates through the air, the air is pushed down (the action). The opposite reaction is that the rotor blade is pushed up.
Did You Know?
Remember Newton’s Third Law of Motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Well, if the action is the main rotor blades of the helicopter spinning counter-clockwise, the equal and opposite reaction is the helicopter body spinning clockwise (this is called torque). Helicopters have a tail rotor which creates thrust in the opposite direction of the torque so that the helicopter body does not spin.
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