Complete Guide to Parts of Helicopter: Names, Functions & Diagram

Overview of Helicopter Parts

A helicopter is a remarkable aircraft that utilizes horizontally spinning rotors to generate lift and thrust. The unique design of a helicopter enables it to perform impressive feats such as vertical takeoffs and landings, hovering in mid-air, and flying in any direction – forwards, backward, and laterally. It showcases our understanding of aerodynamics. Its ability to ascend into the sky and hover weightlessly is truly mesmerizing, demonstrating our mastery over gravity. The intricate design of every parts of a helicopter is a testament to its outstanding capabilities. Despite its complexity, the anatomy of a helicopter reflects human ingenuity and represents a significant accomplishment in modern engineering. It opens up a world of transportation, rescue operations, and exploration possibilities. The helicopter’s versatility and agility make it a symbol of human innovation and a source of inspiration for future generations.

Parts of a Helicopter Diagram

Parts of a Helicopter, Names, Functions & Diagram

Helicopter Parts Names

  • Main Rotor
  • Tail Rotor
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Cockpit
  • Fuselage
  • Landing Gear
  • Avionics
  • Fuel System
  • Electrical System
  • Stabilizers
  • Swashplate
  • Hydraulic System
  • Cooling System
  • Rotor Brake
  • Emergency Systems
  • Communication Systems
  • Fire Suppression Systems
  • Navigation Systems
  • Airframe
  • Instrumentation
  • Seats
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Exhaust System
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Flight Controls
  • Lighting Systems
  • Emergency Systems

Parts of a Helicopter: Names & Functions

Main Rotor

The rotor system of a part of a helicopter that spins to make it fly. It has three main parts: the mast, hub, and blades.

The mast is like a metal pole that sticks up from the helicopter and is turned by the engine. At the top of the mast is the hub, where the blades are attached.

The blades are the big, flat pieces that spin around. They can be connected to the hub in different ways.

Rotor systems can be grouped into three types:

  1. Semirigid: Blades are somewhat flexible.
  2. Rigid: Blades are stiff and don’t flex much.
  3. Fully articulated: Blades can move in various directions.

Some newer rotor systems combine these types for better performance.

Tail Rotor

The tail rotor of a helicopter is at the back and stops the helicopter from spinning around wildly because of the main rotor.

It is not as complicated as the main rotor. It just needs its blades to change the angle to control how much thrust it gives. Pilots use pedals to control it and also to steer the helicopter.

The tail rotor gets its power from the main transmission through a shaft. At the end of the tail, there is a gearbox to make sure the rotor spins at the right speed. In bigger helicopters, there are extra gearboxes to change the shaft’s direction.

Except for balancing, the tail rotor helps keep the helicopter stable during flight. It can even give some anti-spin power if the main system fails. But it does use about 10% of the engine’s power.

Engine

Helicopter engines are lightweight and small while supplying the rotational force required for the rotor systems.

Interestingly, the pilots adjust the pitch angle of the rotor blades to regulate lift and direction while maintaining the helicopter engines at a constant high speed. In contrast, a fixed-wing aircraft uses the power of its engine to propel the craft forward.

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Transmission

In a helicopter, the gearbox system is essential for moving power from the engine to the rotor systems. However, its design varies as per the helicopter type. Some use gears, and others use belts or chains.

Several modern helicopters use cutting-edge gearbox technology called the “integrated gearbox” system. This ground-breaking design combines the engine, transmission, and rotor systems into one compact unit, which increases efficiency and lowers weight.

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Cockpit

The helicopter’s cockpit acts as the pilot’s workspace and the control hub for the craft. Modern helicopters include cutting-edge avionics and control technologies in the cockpit, enabling pilots to fly safely and accurately.

Fuselage

The helicopter’s body, or fuselage, is essential to the craft’s performance, stability, and safety. Creating lighter, more resilient, and more effective fuselages has recently been a focus for helicopter producers.

One original method is making the fuselage is by using biodegradable materials, such as bioplastics or composites based on mushrooms. These substances provide a potential alternative for helicopter design in the future since they are sustainable and good for the environment.

Landing Gear

The helicopter can safely take off and land due to the landing gear. The landing gear is as wheels or skids fastened to the underside of the fuselage.

Avionics

The term “avionics” refers to the electronic devices and machinery utilized by the helicopter, such as the navigation, communication, and monitoring systems.

The functioning of these systems is crucial for guaranteeing the safety and effectiveness of the helicopter. Thus, manufacturers are continually looking into new technologies.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can be utilized to create intelligent helicopter systems.

These systems can use data from sensors and cameras to analyze and detect possible safety issues by giving pilots immediate feedback, improving safety, and lightening their burden.

Fuel System

It supplies the engine with gasoline from the gasoline tanks that have a capacity of several hundred gallons.

The fuel lines transport the valuable gasoline from the tank to the engine. The fuel pump pumps fuel to the engine at the proper flow rate and pressure, ensuring smooth and effective operation of the engine.

Electrical System

It provides the initial spark to turn on the engine, and the battery functions as the brain. On the other hand, the generator generates energy to operate its systems.

The electrical wiring transmits messages throughout it. It enables the pilot to operate precisely and monitor the helicopter’s systems.

Stabilizers

The stabilizers are in charge of preserving stability while in flight. The horizontal stabilizer prevents up-and-down pitching.

The vertical stabilizer prevents the helicopter from yawing or rolling. Together, they keep the helicopter steady and secure while in flight.

Swashplate

The swashplate guides the rotor blades to provide the appropriate lift and enable a variety of maneuvers for the helicopter.

The swashplate system consists of a revolving swashplate and a fixed ring. It transfers the pilot’s commands to the rotor blades, which control the aircraft’s flight.

Hydraulic System

This system transfers power from the main engine to the rotor system via hydraulic fluid for precise control of the helicopter’s motions.

Cooling System

Did you know that helicopters have to work in the most difficult environments, from sweltering deserts to icy mountains?

Because of this, a helicopter’s cooling system is more complex than just a straightforward radiator and fan. Instead, it frequently uses intricate heat exchangers and other technology to keep the engine and other components cool even in harsh environments.

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Rotor Brake

Some helicopters have advanced control systems that automatically turn the rotor brake on. This function helps protect people during crucial procedures by preventing accidents and injuries.

Emergency Systems

Helicopters offer the highest levels of safety and security in an emergency; they include technologies like satellite communications and sophisticated sensors.

Helicopters equipped with the most current emergency systems are capable of completely automated emergency landings.

Communication Systems

Helicopters are constantly in contact with air traffic control, other aircraft, and ground employees because of their many communication devices.

Fire Suppression Systems

Helicopters are made to survive harsh environments, including fire. Helicopter fire suppression systems are so effective that they can create a roaring blaze with only one blast.

Navigation Systems

Helicopters have good navigational systems that make it seem simple. These devices are so precise that they can easily go through even the thickest fog or storm clouds.

Even if you don’t have a map, helicopter navigation systems are so accurate that they can lead you to even the most distant regions of the globe!

Airframe

The backbone of a helicopter is its airframe, built to resist harsh circumstances.

The strongest materials used to construct these airframes include titanium, kevlar, and unobtanium. The airframe is so robust that a meteorite may strike it directly without damaging it!

Instrumentation

The instrument panel of a helicopter has sensors, indicators, and displays that give pilots crucial knowledge about the position, speed, altitude, engine performance, and other vital systems.

The instrumentation suite comprises numerous instruments, such as the altimeter, airspeed indicator, vertical speed indicator, engine, and navigation.

Seats

As seats are so important, manufacturers ensure the seats are safe and comfortable for the passengers. It is vital to build helicopter seats that can survive the severe environments and tremendous maneuvers that passengers experience.

The chairs must offer maximum support, stability, and safety harnesses. When there is turbulence or unexpected movements, they should stop passengers from being thrown out of their seats.

Helicopter seats are frequently built using materials like carbon fibre, titanium, or Kevlar. The chairs are impact-resistant, lightweight, and made of these materials.

Windows

Manufacturers create helicopter windows using tough materials like polycarbonate, acrylic, or glass to survive harsh weather conditions, including high-speed winds, abrupt temperature changes, and vibrations.

They may also apply coatings to increase their resistance to abrasions, impacts, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Experts frequently install special seals on helicopter windows to stop leaks and guarantee airtightness at high altitudes.

Doors

Access to the cabin, assuring passenger safety, and improving aerodynamics are crucial roles doors play in helicopters.

Helicopter doors are typically made of composite materials or lightweight aluminum. Manufacturers equip them with locks, hinges, and emergency release systems to prevent unintentional opening during flight.

Properly constructing helicopter doors is essential to prevent turbulence, as it can destabilize the helicopter. The air intake is an inlet outside the helicopter that lets air into the engine for combustion.

Exhaust System

People often forget the helicopter’s exhaust system, even though it is essential in ensuring a safe and effective flight.

The aircraft’s exhaust system directs the hot gases created by combustion away from the craft and avoids the accumulation of hazardous exhaust gases. A helicopter’s engine would soon overheat without the exhaust system, which might result in a catastrophic failure.

The exhaust system is essential in decreasing engine noise to prevent the helicopter from disturbing individuals on the ground.

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Fuel Tanks

Gasoline tanks are critical for helicopters because they hold the gasoline needed to operate the engine. Engineers often build these tanks with lightweight materials like aluminum or composites to reduce weight and improve fuel economy.

Engineers must carefully determine where to install the fuel tanks to preserve the helicopter’s balance and stability during flight. It is essential, especially given the fluctuating fuel level.

Additionally, fuel tanks must be designed to endure the harsh circumstances encountered during flight. High heights and turbulence are some of these circumstances.

Flight Controls

The vital systems that provide a pilot control over a helicopter’s motions in the air are called flight controls. The collective, cyclic, and tail rotor pedals are part of it.

The rotor blades’ collective pitch may be changed via collective control, which enables the helicopter to gain or lose height. The helicopter may travel forward, backward, or sideways by separately adjusting the angle of each rotor blade.

The pilot controls the direction of the tail rotor, which is used to offset the torque generated by the main rotor using the tail rotor pedals.

Lighting Systems

Lighting systems are necessary for helicopters to fly at night or in poor light. The lighting system of a helicopter must include lights for navigation, landing, and anti-collision.

Pilots employ navigation lights to communicate where and how their helicopter moves to other aircraft. They turn on anti-collision lights to improve visibility and lessen the chance of collision. They rely on landing lights to give extra illumination during takeoff and landing.

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Emergency Systems

Any helicopter’s emergency systems are essential because they provide a way to flee or rescue. It comprises location transmitters (ELTs), emergency flotation devices, and exits.

In the case of a water landing, emergency floats keep the helicopter afloat, while emergency exits give passengers and crew a way out. In an emergency, ELTs send a distress signal to search and rescue teams, enabling an immediate and effective response.

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