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Pitch in a Helicopter

collective pitch, cyclic pitch, and differential pitch control
A helicopter has three types of pitch control:
collective pitch, cyclic pitch, and differential pitch control.

Blades on a helicopter are pitched, or angled, in different ways to control the direction of movement of the craft. The three types of pitch are cyclic pitch, collective pitch, and differential collective pitch.

Cyclic pitch is the individual angling of the blades on each revolution of the rotor. This affects the roll of the craft, moving the nose upward or downward or rolling the craft from side to side.

Collective pitch is the angling of all blades by an equal amount in unison. The pilot uses collective pitch control to rise vertically.

Differential collective pitch affects the yaw of the helicopter—the turning movement of the aircraft to the right or left. Differential collective pitch control allows the collective pitch of one rotor to be increased over the collective pitch of the other. This produces an increase in resistance, and more torque in one rotor than the other, turning the craft on its vertical axis.