I would like to create a continuously looping animation that repeats itself constantly and without my help (I do not want to create one animation and then copy and paste it over and over again). A good example would be the rotational movement of a helicopter's blades. I am not repulsed by a scripting solution, and would indeed welcome it. How may I accomplish this?
To do this, you'll want to add a Cyclic F-modifier. Go into the Graph Editor and select the keyframes that you wish to loop over (over their respective time period), press Shift + E, and select "Make Cyclic (F-modifier)".
You can do this by adding a Cycle F-modifier to the desired F-Curve. After adding the modifier, if you want it to have continuous motion, and not simply start over each time, you'll need to set Repeat with offset.
You can use the NLA editor to make a repeating animation.
Changing the repeat value will change how many times the animation will repeat. Just make sure your animation was converted to an NLA strip otherwise you won't be able to repeat the track.