Helicopters: How They Work
Welcome to The Helicopter Page!
Established 6/1/1997, Page Last Revamp: 10/4/2005, Last Updated: 5/10/2013
Milestones: 500K Site Visits: 3/13/2007, 1 Million Site Visits: 9/23/12
Before you send e-mail asking questions, please read the
A Quick Introduction...
and then we are off to explore how helicopters work, and define some of the
terminology associated with them. My name is Glenn S. Bloom, and for 6
years, I was a U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot, and Chief Warrant Officer. I
initially learned to fly in the TH-55, which is also known as the Hughes
269/300 series of helicopters. At the time, it was the primary flight
trainer for the U.S. Army. I then moved on to fly the UH-1H/V Huey, and
subsequently, I learned to fly the OH-58 (Bell Jet Ranger) and the CH-47D
Chinook. I have over 1800 helicopter flight hours to include combat time in
the theater of Operation Desert Storm. While still in the Army, I pursued a
fixed wing private pilot license. I have continued to be involved in
aviation since leaving the Army. For 4 years I was a member of the Miss
America Air Racing Team where I worked on many types of WWII airframes
including a few P-51's, a P-38, P-40, P-63, TBM and an FG1-D. A few years have
been spent working on Nanchang CJ-6's (YAK-18A) here in Oklahoma City, as
well as some civil aviation projects. I have served as a volunteer member of the
ramp security team at the Reno National Championship Air Races for many years. I am also a
member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (Volunteer branch of the USCG) in
Oklahoma City where I currently serve as a lead boating safety Instructor for Flotilla 16-6.
We teach the official state boating safety course for the state of Oklahoma. Check out the Flotilla
web site at:
People have asked me, "Why The Helicopter Page?" This site was
initially created so I could learn how to do HTML while studying for a degree in computer programming.
It is a personal web site, but I wanted it to be more than "Here's my house, here's my car, my favorite music is..." Of
course, it has evolved into some of that (Here's my boat...), but the main
purpose of the site has evolved into a quest to educate myself and provide information for others
that is hard to find elsewhere on the web. I hope you find what I have here to
be useful and interesting.
This page was designed to be an educational tool for people who
are curious as to how things work. I have tried not to speak in terminology that is foreign
to the person casually acquainted with aviation. I know that many people who may
visit this page will have a higher than average understanding of how
aerodynamics work. It is not that I do not wish to cater to your needs, but this
page is really to explain helicopter aerodynamics to those who do not know much
about it. I hope there is something here for all who love aviation, but I
realize that no one can make a page that is all things to everyone. I hope you
enjoy what is here, and if you have any suggestions on how to make this page
better, feel free to send them along via e-mail. I used to have a guestbook,
but it has been shut down by the people who offered it. If you desire to use any of
the graphics or photos you find here, please do so, but I hope you will give credit
when credit is due. I did create most of them myself and I hope you find those I
created worthy of use.
Over the course of the years, industry professionals and educators have asked if they can
use my site as a learning tool for their employees, guests and industry contacts. I welcome
this and I am honored when someone asks. In April, 2006, I was asked by a senior
engineer at Rolls Royce to utilize my site as a learning tool for his internal training
sessions. I can not express the honor that does to myself and my web site. It is always a
pleasure to know that this site helps teach someone, or helps in some way. Most recently, I was
asked permission to use some materials to help educate foreign language students. Again, I was
honored for the request.
Some of you who visit here regularly may already know, but for those who
don't, this site was moved several years ago from Geocities. This went from being
a "free" site to one which now costs me to operate. I have decided to limit
photos and files due to space and personal time available. Some people have suggested that I
include more photos, but I think it is pretty comprehensive and what I have here
should suffice to get the information across. The response to the site has been
overwhelming, so instead of giving it up when the free web hosting went away, I
have continued it the best way that I can. I have taken on Google ads now to help
offset the costs. In case you did not know, when you click on the Google ads, you help to
support this site and help it stay online.
Thank you for visiting the web site, and I hope as always that you will
enjoy your stay here. Please feel free to send your comments and suggestions as they
are always welcome.
Recently, I have been getting an amazing response in my e-mail from people,
especially kids doing school projects and those who are trying to learn more
about helicopters so they can apply for military service. Specifically, most responses are for
the AFAST test for the Army Warrant Officer Program. I wish everyone all the best in
their applications and suggest that they be patient with the process. It took me
almost 2 1/2 years to be accepted to the program, but it was well worth every
minute I waited. Remember, the AFAST is more an aptitude test, not as much a knowledge test.
I continue to strive to make this a child friendly place where good information
is always available at no charge to those who would find it useful. If there are
questions you may have, feel free to e-mail them to me and I will do what I can
to get you a good answer. I can't know everything and do not claim to, but I will try to find out
what I don't know to answer a question. Thank you for supporting this site and
all of the wonderful past guestbook entries. I am constantly amazed by how many people all over the
world this site touches. If you check the counter, you will see we are doing quite well on visits. When this
site started in 1997, I never thought that we would be anywhere close to 1 million visits.
Over the many years that this site has been in operation, most of my e-mail has been about
becoming a helicopter pilot. A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page has been set
up for all of you out there who want to become a helicopter pilot. If you want some
information before you make a career decision toward being a helicopter pilot, please
check out the FAQ page. After all these years, it is still a pretty accurate assessment judging
from the e-mail I still get. I do not mind people asking me questions by e-mail, but the FAQ may save
you the effort of asking.
I am currently a full time computer specialist and network support technician
for the Federal Government. Everything you see in this web site is my own information and it in no way is
endorsed by my employer, nor is it their official information.
I like to draw cartoons (as evidenced by the ones done on this page), take
photographs and I love to fish (I never said I was really good at it, I just like to do it). In 2000, I bought a
20' pontoon boat and I have restored it to almost new condition. I had been working on other peoples airplanes and other
projects for years, and it has been nice to have something of my own to work on. The boat is fully functional. For full information
on the boat project, go to the boat project page. The boat was sold in 2009. I had it 9 years enjoyed it and sold it for a substantial profit, which
just goes to show that hard work and attention to detail create a fine restoration project that will endure and
hold it's value for a long time.
This page is maintained to be child friendly, but is not maintained to be
"politically correct". If you do not like what you see here, leave.
Since it's inception in 1997, I have had one complaint concerning the
runway caption on this page, and one complaint about the term "Jesus Nut".
These are the only ones I have ever had in the numerous years this site has been operating.
I have been accused of being insensitive toward people with disabilities because of the
caption "A Handicap Zone for the Hover Impaired" (Which is funny considering that
I am a compensibly disabled combat veteran). This is in no way meant to be offensive to
anyone. It is just a helicopter pilot poking fun at those "airplane only" people
who can not hover. The term "Jesus Nut" is what I was taught in flight school,
so I put it here as an acceptable term. If you are offended by either of these
things, then you probably will be offended by just about anything and you need
not stay here.
I choose not to be apologetic about it, as that is my sense of humor on my
web site. It is my hope that anyone with common sense will realize that this is just
humor and that there is no bad intent behind it. Sometimes "political
correctness" can go way too far, and to give in to it just gives those who
complain more power. I will not change my site because of pressure by someone
else. I will change it if there is something which reflects some form of
misinformation. Enjoy the site as it is or hit the back button on your browser.
It is your choice. You made the choice to come here, now you have a choice to leave.
A cartoon of Miss America, racing P-51 that I drew and
If you would like to see this picture animated, please visit the
A Handicap Zone for the Hover Impaired!