Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 88, Issue 4, pp 2933–2946 | Cite as

Helicopter flap/lag energy exchange study

  • S. Castillo-Rivera
  • M. Tomas-Rodriguez
Original Paper


This paper presents a study on the energy exchange taking place on articulated helicopter main rotor blades. The blades are hinged, and the flap/lag modes are highly coupled. These dynamical couplings existing between the two degrees of freedom are clearly identifiable as the nonlinear terms that appear in the equations of motion are key to understand the energy exchange process. The work here conducted is carried out using VehicleSim, a multibody software specialized in modelling mechanical systems composed by rigid bodies. A spring pendulum system is also studied in order to examine its nonlinear behaviour and to establish existing analogies with the rotor blade nonlinear dynamics. The nonlinear couplings of both systems are compared to each other, and commensurability condition is analysed by means of short-time Fourier transform methods as well as the flap and lag amplitudes spectrum. Simulations are carried out, and the obtained results show clear analogies in the energy exchange process taking place in both systems. The stability of these modes is also studied using Poincare’ map method.


Flap Lag Nonlinear Commensurability Energy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics, Computer Science and EngineeringCity University of LondonLondonUK

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