The “Whirl Tower” isolated rotor test bed makes it possible to realize tests of helicopter’s or giroplane’s rotors by simulating hovering conditions. Such tests can provide, among other things, valuable information on:
- dynamic equilibrium,
- aeroelastic stability,
- vibration and performance,
- structural integrity of rotors.
The measurement data acquisition system was developed based on National Instruments components and a measurement application developed in the LabView environment. In addition to data recording and visualization from the level of the measurement application, it is also possible to control the overall pitch of the main rotor blades.
The stand is controlled via a control panel independent of the measurement data acquisition system.
The “Dynamic Tracking and Balancing” system is a system used to dynamically track rotor blades. It is based on fast-changing phenomena. It consists of a high-speed ViewWorks camera, Hardware National Instruments and a dedicated measurement application for image recording and analysis written in the LabView environment.
Main parameters of the test bed:
- 315 kW (410 HP) electric motor;
- nominal speed of 750 RPM, torque of 4046 Nm;
- ability to change the rotational speed to a maximum of 2000 RPM (an increase in rotational speed results in a decrease in torque);
- real-time data acquisition and measurement system – basic measured values: torque, power absorbed by the rotor, rotational speed, rotor thrust, vibrations level;
- dynamic blade tracking (ViewWorks high-speed camera system);
- the possibility of changing of the tests heads (we have 2 semi-rigid tests heads with 3 and 2 blades and a pendulum suspension head);
- possibility of adapting of the original hub/head (e.g. helicopter or gyroplane) to the test bed;
- automatic change of the blade root (incidence) angle;
- the use of an electric motor makes it possible to measure, for example, the noise of a main rotor blade tip.