The Role of Flight Dynamic Modeling in Helicopter Certification 780550
The process of obtaining FAA Certification of helicopters is time consuming and very costly. By using analytic flight dynamic modeling techniques to predict the flight characteristics of new aircraft, the amount of flight testing required for certification may be reduced.
Sikorsky Aircraft undertook in 1977 a program which was aimed at setting the stage for future reductions in the amount of flight testing required for helicopter certification. This program was initiated by exposing FAA personnel to the makeup of the analytic program and the correlation obtained with flight test data using this program. Subsequently, the analytic model, “Gen Hel,” was used to predict S-76 flight characteristics so as to provide apriori data for correlation with the flight data generated during certification testing. The analytic flight dynamic model, Gen Hel, has been used extensively at Sikorsky for stability and control evaluations and in conjunction with the Sikorsky flight simulators for various handling qualities studies.
This paper describes the development of the model, validation of the model, how Sikorsky anticipates it could be used in the certification process, and how the FAA foresee using flight dynamics models to support certification.