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Computer Flight Testing of Rotorcraft

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This paper describes a recently developed analytical tool for computer ‘flight testing’ of VTOL designs. Steady state flight, maneuvers, gust response, and weapon recoil effects are evaluated so that required configuration changes can be made early in the pre‐design phase. This objective is achieved by detailed representation of the aircraft including rotors, wings, auxiliary propulsion and control systems. Complete blade element analyses of the main rotor, tail rotor, and propellers are performed throughout the maneuver based on the instantaneous aerodynamic and dynamic environment. Time histories of main rotor blade loads and bending moments are calculated. The basic equations and programming procedures are presented and discussed. Details are given concerning the representation of airframe and rotor parameters, the types of maneuver inputs and the output format available to the engineer. Examples are given of typical cases studied, including a full autorotative landing, and a high‐performance deceleration using reversed propeller thrust. Improvements which are in work and planned refinements are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bell Helicopter Company, Post Office Box 482, Fort Worth, Texas

Publication date: 1965-10-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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    Authors can find submission guidelines and related information on the AHS website.

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