Production of a helicopter tail boom and associated mechanical tests

Deniz Kavrar*, M. Lutfi Ovecoglu, Halit S. Turkmen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The lightweight materials such as composites are often used for the aerospace structures. One of the uses of these materials is for the tail boom of helicopters. Tail booms are the structures connecting the tail rotor to the fuselage. It is mainly subjected to the pitching moment and torsion. Because it is long to obtain the enough distance between the tail rotor and the main rotor, the materials used for manufacturing the tail boom needs to be a lightweight material. The structural optimization of the tail boom is also necessary. In this study, two different tail booms are manufactured by using laminated composites. The tail booms considered in this study are a semimonocoque structure consisted of skins and stiffeners. These skins and stiffeners are made of carbon/epoxy. One is produced by using 3-ply carbon/epoxy and it is strengthened using stiffeners. The other is produced by using honeycomb between 2-layers of carbon/epoxy. A hand lay-up technique is used for the manufacturing of the tail booms. The vacuum bagging and a moderate heat are used to cure the composite structure. The bending and bending with torsion tests are performed to determine the structural performance of the tail booms. The tail boom is also modeled using the finite element method and analyses are performed. The results are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaterials and Manufacturing Technologies XIV
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event14th International Conference on Advances in Materials and Processing Technologies, AMPT 2011 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 13 Jul 201116 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameAdvanced Materials Research
ISSN (Print)1022-6680


Conference14th International Conference on Advances in Materials and Processing Technologies, AMPT 2011


  • Bending
  • Carbon/epoxy composite
  • Conical shell
  • Helicopter tail boom
  • Torsion


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