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Flight Test and Simulation of a Cargo Container Slung Load in Forward Flight

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This paper presents recent results from a cooperative effort by the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and Northern Arizona University to study and simulate the behavior of the 6 × 6 × 8 ft CONEX cargo container in forward flight suspended beneath a UH‐60 Black Hawk helicopter. This load, like other cargo containers, is subject to massively separated unsteady flow and is limited by stability to operational airspeeds well below the power‐limited speed of the configuration. The study makes use of aerodynamic data from wind tunnel, flight test, and computational fluid dynamics. The objective is a simulation of the helicopter‐slung load system validated over the complete flight envelope. The principal remaining technical challenge is a model of the unsteady load aerodynamics capable of predicting the critical unstable speed. Some progress has been made in meeting this challenge.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: San Jose State University Foundation, Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, Moffett Field, CA

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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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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