In the main rotor of an airborne helicopter, the blades are held straight from the mast out by centripetal force, but they are also pushed upwards by the lift they generate. This leads to the rotor disk forming a very shallow dish or cone, with the angle the blades make to perpendicular called the coning angle. Coning is very rarely noticeable in most model helicopters, as the rotor RPM is high and the blades short.
In full size helicopters, coning can be exacerbated by low rotor RPM and high collective pitch maneuvers. As the coning angle increases, the effective diameter of the rotor disk decreases, reducing the amount of lift available.
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