A Tip Jet helicopter offers some advantages, i.e. eliminates transmission, torque is lower, etc.
Engineers experimented with this design in 1950s, but remains marginal at best.

What are the drawbacks of tip jets?


closed as off-topic by By Symmetry, John Rennie, Thomas Fritsch, ACuriousMind Jul 1 at 17:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question appears to be about engineering, which is the application of scientific knowledge to construct a solution to solve a specific problem. As such, it is off topic for this site, which deals with the science, whether theoretical or experimental, of how the natural world works. For more information, see this meta post." – By Symmetry, John Rennie, Thomas Fritsch, ACuriousMind
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is an engineering question rather than a physics question. I'd be tempted to ask on the Aviation Stack Exchange as they're generally pretty good at answering questions about aircraft design. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jul 1 at 17:15

the physics of tip jets are such that as a propulsive means, they are very thermodynamically inefficient which means most of the helicopter's payload consists of fuel and not cargo or passengers. Trading payload off against fuel load results in unacceptably short range for tip jets.

Furthermore, the aerodynamics of a "dead" (i.e., flamed out) tip jet rotor system are such as to severely interfere with autorotation in the event of fuel exhaustion or mechanical failure. This means that a tip jet flameout is extremely difficult for the pilot to safely manage without making a hard landing.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.