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Rotor Blade Direction?


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Why do some European Helicopters (Ex. Aerospatiale, Eurocopter) use a clockwise rotorblade rotating direction while the American helicopters turn counter-clockwise. Also, the pilot's seat is often on the right in European birds while it is on the left in American choppers. Is there any method to the madness or is it just to be different from each other. I can almost understand the driver seat for cars being different since each of these continents drive on different sides of the street (Why is this?) but this of course doesn't apply in the air.

Just Curious,

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since each of these continents drive on different sides of the street (Why is this?)

 

Exactly, why do cars drive on different sides in different continents? It was just the way the first car owner decided to drive! (or manufacturer or whatever!).

 

Just like the blades...it was just the way the first manufacturers decided to make them, before there were any real standards. There's no clever answer to this question.

 

Joker

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[Why do some European Helicopters (Ex. Aerospatiale, Eurocopter) use a clockwise rotorblade rotating direction while the American helicopters turn counter-clockwise. Also, the pilot's seat is often on the right in European birds while it is on the left in American choppers. Is there any method to the madness or is it just to be different from each other. I can almost understand the driver seat for cars being different since each of these continents drive on different sides of the street (Why is this?) but this of course doesn't apply in the air.

Just Curious,

 

 

If there is a real answer (see above for it) it will be just as convoluted as the relationship between Roman chariots and the size of the rocket boosters on the space shuttle.

 

$0.001, The missing cent at the fuel stop.

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The real reason!

 

In fact, when Igor Sikorsky stole Paul Cornu's plans (and later falsely became known as the 'inventor' of the helicopter) way back in 1907, he made a minor mistake. He snuck into Paul Cornu's design studio while Cornu was working at his desk, designing his second helicopter. Sikorsky, not being able to go into the room and look at the plans directly, had to use a mirror to peak round the door. In doing so, he saw Cornu's design back-to-front. Sikorsky's 'photographic' memory, didn't allow for this, and thus he went and built the VS-300 based on his memory...the backwards plans. This stuck in the states.

 

DI18G1.jpgCornu's helicopter was the first to acheive free flight carrying pax. Not a well known fact!

 

Hmmm...maybe not. The photo suggests my theory is all wrong....unless the photograph was developed back to front too!

 

Joker

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I've heard several stories about the origins of driving on the Left vs the Right.

 

Two that stick out are:

 

Keeping to the Left side of a road allows travellers to pass in opposite directions on their Right - commonly held to be the Good spirit/more Holy side - thus preventing travellers from picking up nasty spirits from eachother. To this day, people throw spilled salt over their left shoulder - most don't know why, but its roots are in appeasing the bad spirits. Also - in a cartoon, when a character is confronted by his/her conscience, the angel appears on the right shoulder and the devil on the left.

 

Another one is:

 

Two Knights riding toward eachother would be able to more easily draw their sword and attack. Right-handedness being prevalent, you keep your sword on your left, and draw with your Right hand from low Left - in the scabbard - to high Right - above your head and ready to attack. If you've ever seen a Jousting Match, the opponents are the left side of the lane.

 

All that being said - this article from Wikipedia would seem to do away with those stories:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_hand_drive

 

 

I took a quick look, but I couldn't find why US/EU rotors spin opposite, but here's an interesting article about the development of the modern helicopter - also from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter

 

 

As for the Space Shuttle SRB relating to ancient Roman chariots - well, I don't know if it's factually correct, but it makes for a hell of a story - Anybody remember the show Connections ?

 

 

-Kali

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Oh man, that was a great show. At least in memory, it was. Haven't seen an episode in years. It was neat, though. "In my hand I hold a nuclear device. If weren't for blue-footed boobies, this device wouldn't exist. Let's find out more." Fantastic...

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