UTME Helicopter

Photo of David Barron, Kevin Miller, Lauren Slattery, Derek Sovern Students: David Barron, Kevin Miller, Lauren Slattery, Derek Sovern

Sponsor: The University of Texas at Austin

Date: Spring 2013

Requirements:
The Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition requires a rotary aircraft to fly continuously for 60 seconds, momentarily reach a height of 3 meters while a non-rotating rider does not drift outside of a 10 meter by 10 meter square. These constraints require minimized weight, maximized lift, balanced angular momentum, and actively controlled drift.

Problem:
Design a rotary helicopter, powered entirely by human passenger(s), which could plausibly satisfy the requirements of the Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition.

Solution:
Four main design decisions are necessary in the design of any helicopter: rotor design, power input, control and steering, and power transmission. Many methods of analysis were used to approach each design task inherent in the challenge of the helicopter, including calculations, extensive CAD work, FEA analysis, and rider position optimization. The results of our analysis led us to design a coaxial, counter-rotating helicopter with mid-mounted blades. The helicopter is powered by a single person in a recumbent bicyclist position, whose power input is split by a differential that drives sprockets attached to the 40 foot radius blades. The helicopter is controlled by a universal joint that is attached to the airframe and the rotors of the blades. References: 1. GrabCAD. (2013) Free 3D Models and Free CAD Models - SolidWorks AutoCAD Inventor - GrabCAD. GrabCAD.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://grabcad.com/

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