FEASIBILITY INVESTIGATION OF HARMONIC DRIVE SPEED REDUCERS FOR HELICOPTER APPLICATIONS
KAMAN AIRCRAFT CORP BLOOMFIELD CT
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The report presents applicable helicopter and harmonic drive parameters, feasibility comparisons, data concerning the engineering and designing of a test unit, results of the test program, and recommendations for further research for improved efficiency. As a result of preliminary studies, parametric analysis, and actual testing of a harmonic drive unit designed for 250 horsepower at 30,000 r.p.m. input speed with 851 reduction ratio, it is concluded that 1 from the standpoints of compactness, quietness, vibration level, simplicity, reliability, and cost, harmonic drive appears to be not only feasible but superior to conventional planetary gearing, and 2 in the present state of the art, power losses associated with the hydrodynamic wave generator bearing result in significantly lower efficiency than conventional gearing.