Principles of Helicopter control

In principle, a helicopter with a common single-lifting rotor and anti-torque rotor is controlled through the manipulation of four interfaces; the collective control, the cyclic control, the anti-torque pedals and the throttle. For the main rotor each blade can be “pitched”, that is, the amount of lift generated can be varied, either for all blades simultaneously (collective control) or dependent on its position in the rotor disc (cyclic control). This allows the pilot to either generate an overall lift to ascend or descend (collective control), or to generate differential lift across the rotor disc (cyclic control). The combination of these controls allows pitch, roll and vertical adjustments.

Adjustment of the anti-torque pedals changes the level of thrust created by the anti-torque device. In the case of a tail rotor type device, this is very similar to the collective control of the main rotor, and allows the yaw adjustment of the aircraft.

The throttle control is utilised to vary the overall power being supplied to the rotors.
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