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Old 07-31-2007   #5
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It depends on how much involved you are in the designing. The rotor blade would be an interesting example. During one rotation, the blade will be moving (let us say the tip is over the tail boom and rotating CCW)First 180 degrees (till the tip is directly ahead of the helo) it will have the combined speed of the helo's forward motion and its own rotational velocity. In the next 180 degrees it is the rotational speed minus the aircraft's forward velocity (as the blade is moving in the direction opposit that of the helo). So if the blade has same angle of attack, the lift it produces will be different in these two halfs. You will need serious math to calculate these forces and to correct the blade angles so that the net lift acts through the rotor shaft.You bet all that you can think of will be used if you go to such design depths. Academics is a measure, but aptitude and correct applications can balance academic shortcomings.So the answers, math is involved. Algebra and calculus are most probably required and you need not be an A-student for all that. Orville or Wilbur never were ....