Assessment of the Dynamic Stability Characteristics of the Bell Model M427 Helicopter Using Parameter Estimation Technology
A joint program between Bell Helicopter Textron Canada and the Flight Research Laboratory of Canada's National Research Council was initiated to address the aerodynamic modelling challenges of the Bell M427 helicopter. The primary objective was to use the NRC parameter estimation technique, based on modified maximum likelihood estimation (MMLE), on a limited set of flight test data to efficiently develop an accurate forward-flight mathematical model of the Bell M427. The effect of main rotor design changes on the aircraft stability characteristics was also investigated, using parameter estimation. This program has demonstrated the feasibility of creating a forward-flight rotorcraft aerodynamic mathematical model based on time-domain parameter estimation, and the ability of a 6 degree-of-freedom MMLE model to accurately document the impact of minor rotor modifications on aircraft stability.