Thomas Burrow


My portfolio of engineering projects.


CCPM Swashplate Solidworks Assembly


Up until the beginning of high school, I was an avid radio controlled aviation enthusiast. This included nitro and electric airplanes and helicopters. In college, I decided to see if I really remembered anything from all those days of tinkering and building models.

CCPM stands for Cyclic-Collective-Pitch-Mixing. It is an extremely popular way to set up helicopter swashplates. Three independent servos control the three ball joints at the base of the swashplate. These can combine to provide collective pitch change (changing the total pitch of the main blades for full rotations) or move different amounts to provide cyclic pitch change (varying main blade pitch based on where the blade is in a rotation). Check out the gif below or watch a demo here.

CCPM Swashplate Animation

This assembly contains a total of 70 parts (23 unique) and 153 mates. There are so many degrees of freedom that my initial efforts to make a nice animation didn't work, but I'm still trying. For now, the gif above is the best I can come up with. Also note that the main blades in this model are much shorter than they would be in real life, to make it easier to see pitch changes in these pictures.

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