Project Title

Compliant Swashplate Design for Model Helicopters

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

SPCEET - Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ayse Tekes

Additional Faculty

Adeel Khalid, Aerospace Engineering, akhalid2@kennesaw.edu

Disciplines

Acoustics, Dynamics, and Controls | Applied Mechanics | Computer-Aided Engineering and Design | Structures and Materials

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The swashplate of a model helicopter consists of stationary and the rotating plates separated by ball bearings. This mechanism enables the swashplate to tilt in all directions and move vertically as one unit. The lower stationary plate is mounted on the main rotor mast and connected to the cyclic and collective controls by a series of pushrods. There are similar pushrods known as pitch links connected to the upper rotating plate. These pitch links are connected to the pitch horns and control the pitch of individual blades. In this study, the pitch links of the model helicopter are replaced by the semi compliant mechanism. This mechanism is directly connected to the pitch horns to control the pitch of the individual blades. The actuation of the bars can be achieved by using high torque stepper or servo motors. These precise low and high amplitude outputs are specifically required for the cyclic and collective controls of the helicopter swashplate. The compliant swashplate mechanism can be fabricated as a single piece using an injection molding technique or by 3D printing. The mechanism is modeled by two similar vector loops in two different planes. The mathematical model of the plate motion and the forces on the mechanism links are developed and simulated using MATLAB and Simulink, and the results are discussed in this paper. This mechanism would be applied to the helicopter directional control where the plate in the pitch-roll mechanism would serve as the swash plate of the helicopter.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Compliant Swashplate Design for Model Helicopters

The swashplate of a model helicopter consists of stationary and the rotating plates separated by ball bearings. This mechanism enables the swashplate to tilt in all directions and move vertically as one unit. The lower stationary plate is mounted on the main rotor mast and connected to the cyclic and collective controls by a series of pushrods. There are similar pushrods known as pitch links connected to the upper rotating plate. These pitch links are connected to the pitch horns and control the pitch of individual blades. In this study, the pitch links of the model helicopter are replaced by the semi compliant mechanism. This mechanism is directly connected to the pitch horns to control the pitch of the individual blades. The actuation of the bars can be achieved by using high torque stepper or servo motors. These precise low and high amplitude outputs are specifically required for the cyclic and collective controls of the helicopter swashplate. The compliant swashplate mechanism can be fabricated as a single piece using an injection molding technique or by 3D printing. The mechanism is modeled by two similar vector loops in two different planes. The mathematical model of the plate motion and the forces on the mechanism links are developed and simulated using MATLAB and Simulink, and the results are discussed in this paper. This mechanism would be applied to the helicopter directional control where the plate in the pitch-roll mechanism would serve as the swash plate of the helicopter.