Experimental Characterization of a Model Tailboom's Vibrations

Open Access
Krott, Matthew Joseph
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christopher Rahn, Thesis Supervisor
  • Henry Joseph Sommer Iii, Honors Advisor
  • helicopters
  • vibrations
  • structural dynamics
  • fluidic flexible matrix composite
Vibrations in helicopter airframes are a problem because of their negative effect on ride quality for passengers and the fatigue life of mechanical parts. Currently, research is being conducted at the Mechatronics Research Lab to assess the feasibility of using fluidic flexible matrix composite (F2MC) tubes to passively reduce vibrations in a helicopter tailboom. The purpose of this work was to construct a test stand for mounting a 6-foot scale model tailboom that was used for prior research work in Penn State’s Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence. This thesis details the design, construction, and experimental testing of this stand. A LabView program was used to read data from accelerometers placed on the tailboom, and the frequency response of the tailboom was experimentally determined. After initial testing, several modifications to the stand were considered with the goal of achieving a fixture that better represented the cantilever boundary condition between the tailboom and the fuselage of the helicopter.