Translational lift

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Translational lift is the increase in main rotor efficiency when the helicopter is flying at a moderate speed.

A helicopter hovering outside ground effect causes a flow of air to move towards the top of the rotor disk, reducing the main rotor's efficiency.

As the helicopter begins to accelerate, more and more of the main rotor will begin to ingest 'clean air' that has not been previously affected by the helicopter. As this happens, translational lift is said to become 'effective'.

Translational lift also affects the tail rotor. In forward flight, air flows over the tail rotor, causing it to become more effective. When using a rate mode gyro it may be necessary to continuously apply a certain amount of rudder in order to keep the helicopter in coordinated flight.



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