Flight performance optimization of a multi-lift rotorcraft formation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


A numeric optimization is performed for maximizing the cruise performance of a multilift rotorcraft system. The optimization process locates the optimal relative positions of the formation rotorcraft. The optimization problem is formulated as a constrained nonlinear programming problem. Constraints on the distances between the formation rotorcraft are imposed in order to maintain safe separation distances. It is shown that for every airspeed an optimal formation geometry can be found that minimizes the rotorcraft power required. Optimization analysis for subsequent airspeeds yields an optimal recommended airspeed that is close to the “bucket” airspeed of the unloaded rotorcraft. Cable length is shown to have a secondary influence on optimization results. The resulting improvement in the performance of the multi-lift system is demonstrated using nonlinear simulations. It is shown that the operational efficiency of the system can be significantly increased by adopting the optimization results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, 2017
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624104480
StatePublished - 2017
EventAIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2017Jun 9 2017

Publication series

NameAIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, 2017


OtherAIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Flight performance optimization of a multi-lift rotorcraft formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this