Reconfigurable Flight Controls

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 20528
Amount: $49,988.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
13766 S. Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne, CA, 90250
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David G. Mitchell
 (310) 679-2281
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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