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Hughes 500 - Regular Tail Versus T-Tail

Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:27 pm

After the Hughes 500 had been in production for a number of years, the tail was changed to a "T-tail" design:

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Photo © Mick Bajcar

What are the benefits to the T-tail? Are there any drawbacks compared to the old design?
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RE: Hughes 500 - Regular Tail Versus T-Tail

Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:44 am

I expect a Hughes insider will be needed for this one. I have no idea of the design/aerodynamic compromises that go into helicopter tail designs

Given that the 500D with the T tail was about 50% heavier than the 500C with a bigger engine and 5 bladed rotor rather than a 4 bladed rotor I imagine that there are quite a few issues that are involved.

The lateral surfaces are, I would assume, of main benefit in the cruise and some dynamic pitch stability in the hover/low speed with the angled surface on the C contributing something to yaw, something that a more effective tail rotor on the -D may compensate for. The position of the top of the T may put it in a cleaner airflow than the lower mounted surface on the -C, but I expect such info is proprietary.
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