Helicopters typically have a 14- or 28-volt direct current electrical system. A volt is a unit of measurement that expresses the capability of the force that pushes electrical energy. Amperes are the unit of measurement for a current and describe the measure of an electrical quantity that is available in the system. Small piston-powered helicopters use an engine driven alternator because they are light, low maintenance, and produce a uniform electric output— even at low RPMs. In a turbine powered helicopter, starter/ generator systems are used. Once the engine is started, the battery powers the starter, which turns the engine. After this initial jump, the generator is powered by the engine.
Helicopters fly using the same aerodynamic concepts that airplanes use; they use an airfoil to generate lift. The difference is that helicopters generate vertical thrust while aircraft generate horizontal thrust. When an airplane moves forward, the air flows across the wing and produces downwash which creates lift; the airplane has to gain enough speed for this force to overcome weight. When helicopter blades, or airfoils, begin spinning, it produces downwash which then creates lift. Speed is an important factor in generating enough force to overcome the weight in a helicopter as well. Vertical thrust allows a helicopter to take off vertically and hover.
Continental motors, one of the global leaders in general aviation, and the only company to offer full range of diesel and gasoline engines, announced that two new helicopter diesel engines will be added to the continental motors family for a total of 6 helicopter diesel engines. The CD-265 and the CDR-285 are air cooled, turbo charged helicopter diesel engines that produce 265 HP at 2500 RPM and 295hp at 2700 RPM. Continental motors helicopter diesel engines have been used all around the world and have logged more than 5 million flight hours. These engines are favored by flight schools for their durability and low gasoline cost.
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