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Mission Performance Simulation of Integrated Helicopter–Engine Systems Using an Aeroelastic Rotor Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Ioannis Goulos, Panos Giannakakis, Vassilios Pachidis, Pericles Pilidis

Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK

Paper No. GT2013-94798, pp. V002T07A012; 14 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Aircraft Engine; Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Cycle Innovations
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5513-3
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This paper presents an integrated approach, targeting the comprehensive assessment of combined helicopter–engine designs, within designated operations. The developed methodology comprises a series of individual modeling theories, each applicable to a different aspect of helicopter flight dynamics and performance. These relate to rotor blade modal analysis, three-dimensional flight path definition, flight dynamics trim solution, aeroelasticity and engine performance. The individual mathematical models are elaborately integrated within a numerical procedure, solving for the total mission fuel consumption. The overall simulation framework is applied to the performance analysis of the Aérospatiale SA330 helicopter within two generic, twin-engine medium helicopter missions. An extensive comparison with flight test data on main rotor trim controls, power requirements and unsteady blade structural loads is presented. It is shown that, for the typical range of operating conditions encountered by modern twin-engine medium civil helicopters, the effect of operational altitude on fuel consumption is predominantly influenced by the corresponding effects induced on the engine, rather than on airframe–rotor performance. The implications associated with the implicit coupling between aircraft and engine performance, are discussed in the context of mission analysis. The potential to comprehensively evaluate integrated helicopter–engine systems within complete three-dimensional operations, using modeling fidelity designated for main rotor design applications, is demonstrated. The proposed method essentially constitutes an enabler in terms of focusing the rotorcraft design process on designated operation types, rather than on specific sets of flight conditions.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Topics: Engines , Simulation , Rotors



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