2023 190 E1

Da Vinci Helicopter Swashplate

By: Karen Sanchez, Sean Coffey, James George

Department: Engineering 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Quintero

The purpose of this project is to recognize the Renaissance designer, Leonardo Da Vinci, who along with others paved the way to modern technologies we have today. Therefore, this project will be a replica of a Renaissance invention that will be upgraded to a “smart,” mechatronic system. Our goal is to reimagine Leonardo Da Vinci’s Helicopter design, as if he had designed it to achieve true controllable flight. His “Aerial Screw” design was a revolutionary rotor idea but did not aim to address things like counter torque of the blades, or pitch control. We hope to create a demonstration model of an updated “Aerial Screw” utilizing a swashplate mechanism and a tail rotor to control its simulated flight. 
Our modernization of the Aerial screw will function as a proof of concept of the validity that this design could theoretically function. Average helicopter blade rpm is around 500 rpm so as a safety precaution our design will function as a 10:1 ratio to spin at a speed of 10-50 rpm. The tail rotor should rotate at around 50-100 rpm. We have selected appropriate motors for these rpms and expected torque. The swashplate will control differential downward thrust through cyclic pitch. We will segment the spiral shape into four articulating blades, while maintaining the classic shape. A motorized tail screw will act to counter the torque generated by the main rotor. The behavior of the model will be determined by the sensor data from a miniature scale helicopter with distance, gyro and magnetic directional sensors. The motion of the model will correspond to the motion and position of the miniature.