Minimum weight design of helicopter rotor blades with frequency constraints

Aditi Chattopadhyay, Joanne L. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The minimum weight design of helicopter rotor blades subject to constraints on fundamental coupled flap-lag natural frequencies has been studied in this paper. A constraint has also been imposed on the minimum value of the blade autorotational inertia to ensure that the blade has sufficient inertia to antorotatc in case of an engine failure. The program CAMKAU has been used for the blade modal analysis and the program CONMIN has been used for the optimization. In addition, a linear approximation analysis involving Taylor series expansion has been used to reduce the analysis effort. The procedure contains a sensitivity analysis which consists of analytical derivatives of the objective function and the autorotational inertia constraint and central Unite difference derivatives of the frequency constraints. Optimum designs have been obtained for blades in vacuum with both rectangular and tapered box beam structures. Design variables include taper ratio, nonstructural segment weights and box beam dimensions. The paper shows that even when starting with an acceptable baseline design, a significant amount of weight reduction is possible while satisfying all the constraints for blades with rectangular and tapered box beams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Helicopter Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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