In addition to holding the tail rotor assemblies, the tail boom houses portions of the tail drive mechanism for the helicopter. On small micro helis, the tail boom serves to contain the electrical wires for the tail motor. On larger helis the tail boom houses the belt or torque tube that drives these models' tail rotors. On some full size helicopters, the tail booms contain hollow ducting that allow jet exhaust to be channeled out to produce the necessary side thrust, rather than use a mechanical rotor (the NOTAR system).
The tail boom is often supported by 'tail stays' or 'boom stays'. These help give rigidity to the tail system, improving tail rotor control authority and also help to control any tail rotor vibration.
It is interesting to note that on coaxial rotor helicopters, tail booms are not an absolute necessity. A helicopter such as the Blade CX2 will fly without one if balanced correctly.
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