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Flight Dynamics and Control of an eVTOL Concept Aircraft with a Propeller-Driven Rotor

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The objective of this investigation is threefold. First, to assess the flight dynamics of an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) concept aircraft with a propeller-driven rotor. Second, to develop an automatic flight control system (AFCS) for this concept aircraft. Third, to verify the potential safety benefits of the concept aircraft by analyzing the autorotation performance following a total loss of power. The paper begins with an overview of the design of the aircraft and description of the simulation model, including a detailed discussion on the inflow model of the propellers that drive the main rotor. Next, the flight dynamics are assessed at hover and in forward flight. An AFCS based on dynamic inversion is developed to provide stability and desired response characteristics about the roll, pitch, yaw, and heave axes for speeds ranging from hover to 80 kt. Additionally, an RPM governor is implemented to hold the main rotor angular speed constant at its nominal value. Finally, simulations that make use of the AFCS are performed to analyze the autorotation performance following total loss of power.

Appeared or available online: March 17, 2022

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