How do engineers calculate the hypothetical max altitude of a helicopter if the mass, altitude and length/curvature of blades are known?
From the Source:
It shows how to calculate theoretical maximum altitude a Helicopter can achieve
The helicopter reaches its ceiling if all installed power is used for propelling the helicopter forwards: there is no more extra power available to climb.
The figure from this answer shows the required power as a function of airspeed: it can be seen that there is an optimal true airspeed where required power has a minimum. It is at this airspeed that the helicopter reaches its OGE ceiling.
So it will be necessary to compute the four types of power at speed and height:
- Propulsive & induced power, depending on rotor blade length, tip speed, blade chord and twist, solidity ratio.
- Profile, depending on blade profile shape.
- Parasitic, depending on fuselage shape, rotor mast shape etc.
- Tail rotor, which is again propulsive & blade power of the tail rotor.