The clutch is a mechanical device installed on the engine of a nitro or gas powered helicopter that connects and disconnects the engine's crankshaft to the main rotor gear train, allowing the engine to be started, and for the engine to idle without turning the main rotors. On most model helicopters the clutch is a centrifugal clutch, which automatically engages the transmission to the rotors gently as the engine RPM increases.
On many full size helicopters the clutch is formed by a V-belt which is pulled tight between the engine crankshaft and the transmission by an electrically operated idler pulley. The increased complexity and weight of such a system is not generally desirable on a model helicopter.
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