Design and Physical Prototyping of a Novel Braking System for a Helicopter Rotor

Julian Booker, Richard Lock, David Drury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

155 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this paper was to demonstrate the improved functionality and performance of an electromechanical brake for a helicopter main rotor, which to date has been hydraulically actuated using a disc brake and caliper arrangement. Increasingly, designers seek higher performing solutions to traditional problems through the integration of modern actuation and control strategies. This electromechanical device is required to constrain the helicopter tail rotor shaft protruding from the main rotor gearbox to allow safe taxiing and storage of the helicopter. A systematic and rigorous design methodology was used to converge on an effective solution which satisfied a very demanding specification. The design was further detailed and optimized, leading to the development of a prototype at a high technology readiness level that was tested within a bespoke rig, simulating the torque requirements found on a helicopter main rotor using the torque and position control. The design was shown to meet the required holding torque whilst providing additional functionality of continuous holding capability and meeting the challenging volumetric constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2019


  • more electric aircraft
  • helicopter
  • electromechanical brake
  • design methodology

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