Timothy L. Krantz and Majid Rashidi
Split path gearboxes can be attractive alternatives to the common planetary designs for rotorcraft, but because they have seem little use, they are relatively high risk designs. To help reduce the risk of fielding a rotorcraft with a split path gearbox, the vibration and dynamic characteristics of such a gearbox were studied. A mathematical model was developed by using the Lagrangian method, and it was applied to study the effect of three design variables on the natural frequencies and vibration energy of the gearbox. The first design variable, shaft angle, had little influence on the natural frequencies. The second variable, mesh phasing, had a strong effect on the levels of vibration energy, with phase angles of 0 degrees and 180 degrees producing low vibration levels. The third design variable, the stiffness of the shafts connecting the spur gears to the helical pinions, strongly influenced the natural frequencies of some of the vibration modes, including two of the dominant modes. We found that, to achieve the lowest level of vibration energy, the natural frequencies of these two dominant modes should be less than those of the main excitation sources.
Majid Rashidi and Timothy Krantz
A high reduction ratio split torque gear train has been proposed as an alternative to a planetary configuration for the final stage of a helicopter transmission. A split torque design allows a high ratio of power-to-weight for the transmission. The design studied in this work includes a pivoting beam that acts to balance thrust loads produced by the helical gear meshes in each of two parallel power paths. When the thrust loads are balanced, the torque is split evenly. A mathematical model was developed to study the dynamics of the system. The effects of time varying gear mesh stiffness, static transmission errors, and flexible bearing supports are included in the model. The model was demonstrated with a test case. Results show that although the gearbox has a symmetric configuration, the simulated dynamic behavior of the first and second compound gears are not the same. Also, results show that shaft location and mesh stiffness tuning are significant design parameters that influence the motions of the system.