Helicopter Rotor Lift Equation

  1. Hello!

    I am creating, or at least attempting to create, a human-powered helicopter. I need an equation to figure out the lift from the rotors. I plan to use four counter-rotating rotors, three blades each, and each blade made of foam, with aluminum ribbing. The blades will be six feet each. Any other general information that might help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mech_Engineer

    Mech_Engineer 2,356
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You're going to need to know the airfoil profile to calculate an estimate of the expected lift:

  4. The problem is that the "airfoil's " of a helicopter aka the propellor blades' motion through the air actually changes the air pressure by an amount not described anywhere that I can personally find on the internet, yet.

    I have the same question as the OP.
  5. Bobbywhy

    Bobbywhy 1,864
    Gold Member

    Whenever I find someone trying to design and test an experimental system I immediately search for examples of others who have already worked on the same type of system. By studying their work and results the repetition of many of their trials and errors can be avoided. And the successful schemes they discovered may be adopted to your new project. In case you have not yet done so please see:


    “The current world record for human-powered helicopters is held by a craft named Yuri I, built by a team from the Nihon Aero Student Group (NASG).”


    afterthought: By the way, in the helicopter world they are not called "propeller blades". The accepted term is "rotary wing".
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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