Flight operations for higher harmonic control research.
McGovern, James Joseph
Wood, E. Roberts
Howard, Richard M.
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The Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is interested in extending the useful life of Naval helicopters. Recognizing the need to reduce vibrations caused by aerodynamic loads on the rotor system, a Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) research effort has begun. The test vehicle of the HHC system is a Remotely Piloted Helicopter (RPH). This thesis contains an overview of the NPS HHC research effort including basic helicopter dynamics, HHC theory, and establishes research milestones. An RPH flight operations program was developed that included the first flights of two out of three RPH's being used in the research effort, identification of data and data acquisition requirements, and initial hover vibration tests. The vibration tests produced data of limited value. The two bladed RPH tested appears to produce peak accelerations at roughly twice the main rotor speed. This indicates that like a full scale helicopter, the largest vibrations do enter the airframe through the rotor system and are not a result of engine vibrations. Hence, RPH's are suitable for HHC research. This effort completed one portion of the long term HHC research and can lead to the practical and safe testing of a fully functioning HHC system.
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