Aerodynamic Design of the DaVinci Human-Powered Helicopter

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Mechanical Engineering

Conference Title

American Helicopter Society Vertical Lift Design Conference


American Helicopter Society


San Francisco, CA

Conference Dates

January 17-19, 1990

Date of Presentation



This paper will discuss the methodology used in designing the rotor and drive propellers for the third generation Cal Poly Da Vinci Human-Powered Helicopter. The rotor was designed using a lifting surface, uniform inflow hover analysis code and the propeller was designed using a minimum induced-loss method. Construction, geometry, and operating considerations are discussed as they impact the designs. Optimization of the design performance is also explained. The propellers were tested in a wind tunnel and results are compared with theoretical data. Successful flight tests of the Da Vinci III are discussed.

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