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Reconfigurable Flight Controls

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1993 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Systems Technology Inc.
13766 Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1993
Title: Reconfigurable Flight Controls
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $49,988.00


For the military helicopter in combat, the loss of a control surface under any circumstance usually translates into either an emergency landing or complete loss of control. A critical factor in determining the pilot's chance of maintaining control is the level of redundancy in control effectors, or more correctly, the lack of such redundancy. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft, the control effectors on the conventional helicopter are integrated, so that, in the event of a failure, the pilot's task of determining the proper control strategies and continuing to a safe landing is extremely difficult. There is a potential for assisting the pilot on future designs by implementing reconfigurable flight control system (RFCS) algorithms. Such approaches are showing promise for fixed-wing aircraft; their application to helicpoters, however, requires a recognition of the distinct differences between fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft controls and responses. This proposal presents an approach to the subject starting with demonstrating the feasibility of producing a controllable impaired aircraft. If funded, the Phase I work will examine all possible failures for a current helicopter, focusig on one example critical failure. For this failure the feasible flight control laws to provide Level 3 (or better) flying qualities will be dveloped.

Principal Investigator:

David G. Mitchell

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 S. Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No