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Handling Qualities Considerations for NOE Flight

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The impact of handling qualities on the design of helicopters for the Nap‐of‐the‐Earth (NOE) mission is examined. Factors that affect pilot workload are of primary interest, and methods of reducing this workload applicable to a two‐bladed teetering rotor are discussed. The NOE environment of low altitude and airspeed reduces the sources of excess power for maneuvering to engine power and rotor rotational energy. The High Energy Rotor System is shown to produce additional short duration power for maneuvers, enhance the autorotational capabilities, improve handling qualities, and reduce pilot workload by requiring less attention to engine instruments in maneuvers with high power demands. Hub restraint is found to enhance general handling qualities and to provide sustained low‐g flight capability for teetering rotors. The maximum level of hub restraint that can be used without inducing excessive control coupling and low speed vibration has not been established. Further research is needed to define the optimum control power and damping and other handling qualities considerations for NOE operation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bell Helicopter Textron, Ft. Worth, Texas

Publication date: 1977-10-01

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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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