A bevel gear is a type of gear with teeth that are cut along the cone-shaped surface of the gear. Unlike spur gears, which have teeth that are cut along a cylinder's surface. This cone shape allows bevel gears to transfer motion and power between intersecting or non-parallel shafts, typically at a right angle.

The importance of bevel gears in helicopters

Bevel gears play a crucial role in the transmission systems of many machines, including helicopters. They are designed to transfer power between shafts that are not parallel, typically at a right angle. This allows for the transmission of power in machines where space is limited or where the shafts need to change direction.

In helicopters, bevel gears are commonly used in the main rotor gearbox as well as the tail rotor. The main rotor gearbox is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the main rotor shaft, which spins the helicopter's rotor blades and generates lift. Bevel gears in the main rotor gearbox are necessary because the engine is usually mounted horizontally, while the main rotor shaft is mounted vertically. This means that the power from the engine needs to be transmitted at a right angle to drive the rotor. In other words, without bevel gears, a helicopter wouldn’t be able to fly.

Below you can see indicated in purple where the bevel gears of the main rotor gearbox are situated in a helicopter drive system. Curious to learn how a helicopter drive system works? This video explains it in detail.

Mastering precision machining

Manufacturing bevel gears can be challenging for several reasons. Firstly, they require precise machining to ensure that the teeth mesh correctly and that the gears operate smoothly and efficiently. This precision machining requires specialized equipment and skilled operators, which can increase manufacturing costs. Additionally, bevel gears often have complex shapes, with curved teeth that are more difficult to manufacture than straight teeth. Finally, the tolerances for bevel gears are typically tighter than for other types of gears, meaning that even small errors in manufacturing can lead to significant problems in the operation of the gear system.

Despite these challenges, bevel gears are widely used in helicopters and other machines because of their ability to transmit power efficiently at right angles. By allowing power to be transmitted between shafts that are not parallel, bevel gears play a crucial role in the operation of many mechanical systems.

BMT Aerospace as your bevel gear specialist

At BMT Aerospace, we take pride in our commitment to excellence and innovation in the field of spiral bevel gear manufacturing. With a focus on precision engineering and cutting-edge technology, we continue to deliver superior solutions that meet the stringent demands of the aerospace industry. Our dedication to quality and customer satisfaction drives us to push the boundaries of what's possible, ensuring that our partners receive the highest caliber products and services. Interested to learn more? Get in touch!