In an aircraft or its engine, when a component’s job is to rotate, it is going to generate a measurable amount of noise and vibration as a result. Helicopter rotors are no exception. While there are other components that are key to a helicopter’s operation, the rotor system is the most important. Even though some vibration is normal, a damaged, worn, or improperly balanced rotor will create excessive levels. This can affect the flight crew and make the aircraft unsafe in addition to shortening the service life of the rotor and other parts of the assembly.
Types of Vibration Caused by Balance and Track
There are two primary types of vibration that affect rotors: vertical and lateral. Vertical vibration often happens when the rotor blades are unable to provide equal lift. Lateral vibration can be caused by unbalanced mass distribution or misalignment of the rotor system.
Why Rotor Tracking and Balancing is Important
Rotor blades travel at near supersonic speeds around a fixed point. During flight especially, they are susceptible to damage and wear as they are pitched at varying angles to direct the aircraft and provide lift. When they are first manufactured, they are grouped into matched sets. They should perform smoothly throughout their lifespan. But over time, the blades can erode, wear down, or sustain minor damage – all of which can cause the rotor to become unbalanced. Rotor Tracking and Balancing helps to reduce vibration caused by rotational movement. It also ensures that a vital component operates at the correct level and under optimal conditions.
The ACES Edge
ACES analyzers provide an unbeatable combination of versatility and power, offering not just Rotor Track and Balance testing, but vibration analysis, dynamic propeller balance, and fan trim balance testing as well. Whether your aircraft operates best with identically balanced rotors or on a split track, the Cobra II Analyzer is agile enough to deliver the precise results you need. Dual channel, simultaneous inputs are complemented by programmable propeller balance influences and a sharp graphic spectral display that includes expanded views and backlighting.
The compact, portable form factor of our analyzers are a huge bonus in a camped aircraft cabin, where quick and accurate testing is a must. Both the Cobra II and Viper II analyzers feature internal batteries and minimal cabling, which makes them easy to use in almost any environment.