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Development and Validation of a Comprehensive Helicopter Flight Dynamics Code

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: A comprehensive helicopter flight dynamics code is developed based on theUH-60 helicopter and named Texas A &M University Rotorcraft Analysis Code(TRAC). This is a complete software package, which could perform trim analysisto autonomous flight simulation and the capability to model any helicopterconfiguration. Different components of the helicopter such as the main rotor,tail rotor, fuselage, vertical tail, and horizontal tail are modeledindividually as different modules in the code and integrated to develop acomplete UH-60 model. Since the code is developed on a module basis, it can beeasily modified to adopt another component or configure a different helicopter.TRAC can predict the dynamic responses of both the articulated rotor blades andthe helicopter fuselage and yields the required pilot control inputs to achievetrim condition for different flight regimes such as hover, forward flight,coordinated turn, climb descent, etc. These trim results are validated with thetest data obtained from the UH-60 flight tests conducted by the US Army. Beyondtrim analysis, TRAC can also generate linearized models at various flightconditions based on a first-order Taylor series expansion. The extracted linearmodels show realistic helicopter dynamic behavior and were used to simulate afully autonomous flight that involves a UH-60 helicopter approaching a ship andlanding on the deck by implementing a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) optimalcontroller.

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