Piloted simulation evaluation of tracking MTEs for the assessment of high-speed handling qualities

David H. Klyde, Paul Ruckel, Sean P. Pitoniak, P. Chase Schulze, James Rigsby, Hong Xin, Roy Brewer, Joe Horn, Cody E. Fegely, Frank Conway, Carl R. Ott, William C. Fell, Ray Mulato, Chris L. Blanken

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Updates to the military rotorcraft handling qualities specification are currently being considered that address the high-speed flight regime envisioned for the Future Vertical Lift platform of the US Army. A team that features industry and academia have developed and evaluated a set of Mission Task Elements (MTEs) that are defined to address VTOL high-speed handling qualities. Following the mission-oriented approach upon which ADS-33E-PRF is based, the MTEs were designed to meet different levels of precision and aggressiveness. Tracking MTEs based on a sum-of-sinewaves (SOS) command signal were defined for precision, aggressive and precision, non-aggressive applications. The command signals are derived from fixed wing analogs that have long been used to evaluate aircraft handling qualities. While the precision, aggressive SOS tracking tasks, the primary subject of this paper, are surrogates for air-to-air tracking and nap-of-the-earth tracking, the known forcing function allows for complete open- and closed-loop pilot-vehicle system identification. The MTE objectives, descriptions, and performance criteria were assessed and refined via several checkout piloted simulation sessions. Formal evaluations were then conducted by Army test pilots at four simulator facilities, each featuring a unique high-speed platform including a generic winged compound helicopter, two tiltrotor configurations, and a compound helicopter with coaxial rotors. To aid in the MTE evaluation process, baseline VTOL configurations were varied to achieve different handling qualities levels. Quantitative measures based on task performance and qualitative measures based on pilot ratings, comments and debrief questionnaires were used to assess MTE effectiveness. The piloted simulation results demonstrated that the sum-of-sines tracking MTEs provided an effective means to discern precision, aggressive handling qualities in high speed flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
StatePublished - 2018
Event74th American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum and Technology Display 2018: The Future of Vertical Flight - Phoenix, United States
Duration: May 14 2018May 17 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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