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Helicopter Flight Dynamics, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-69116-8
680 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Helicopter Flight Dynamics, 2nd Edition (0470691166) cover image
The behaviour of helicopters is so complex that understanding the physical mechanisms at work in trim, stability and response, and thus the prediction of Flying Qualities, requires a framework of analytical and numerical modelling and simulation. Good Flying Qualities are vital for ensuring that mission performance is achievable with safety and, in the first edition of Helicopter Flight Dynamics, a comprehensive treatment of design criteria was presented. In this second edition, the author complements this with a new Chapter on Degraded Flying Qualities, drawing examples from flight in poor visibility, failure of control functions and encounters with severe atmospheric disturbances. Fully embracing the consequences of Degraded Flying Qualities during the design phase will contribute positively to safety.


The accurate prediction and assessment of Flying Qualities draws on the modelling and simulation discipline on the one hand and testing methodologies on the other. Checking predictions in flight requires clearly defined ‘mission-task-elements’, derived from missions with realistic performance requirements. High fidelity simulations also form the basis for the design of stability and control augmentation systems, essential for conferring Level 1 Flying Qualities. The integrated description of flight dynamic modelling, simulation and flying qualities forms the subject of this book, which will be of interest to engineers in research laboratories and manufacturing industry, test pilots and flight test engineers, and as a reference for graduate and postgraduate students in aerospace engineering.


The Author


Gareth Padfield, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, is the Bibby Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Liverpool. He is an aeronautical engineer by training and has spent his career to date researching the theory and practice of flight for both fixed-wing aeroplanes and rotorcraft. During his years with the UK’s Royal Aircraft Establishment and Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, he conducted research into rotorcraft dynamics, handling qualities and flight control. His work has involved a mix of flight testing, creating and testing simulation models and developing analytic approximations to describe flight behaviour and handling qualities. Much of his research has been conducted in the context of international collaboration – with the Technical Co-operation Programme, AGARD and GARTEUR as well as more informal collaborations with industry, universities and research centres worldwide. He is very aware that many accomplishments, including this book, could not have been achieved without the global networking that aerospace research affords. During the last 8 years as an academic, the author has continued to develop his knowledge and understanding in flight dynamics, not only through research, but also through teaching the subject at undergraduate level; an experience that affords a new and deeper kind of learning that, hopefully, readers of this book will benefit from.

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  1. Introduction;
  2. Helicopter flight dynamics: an introductory tour;
  3. Modelling helicopter flight dynamics: building a simulation model;
  4. Modelling helicopter flight dynamics: trim and stability analysis;
  5. Modelling helicopter flight dynamics: stability under constraint and response analysis;
  6. Flying qualities: objective assessment and criteria development;
  7. Flying qualities: subjective assessment and other topics;
  8. Flying qualities: forms of degradation.
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Gareth Padfield CEng, PhD, FRAeS is Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Liverpool.
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* new chapters on degraded flying qualities and tilt rotor aircraft flying qualities
* tabulated data on the stability and control characteristics of contemporary helicopters
* brings together information currently scattered throughout literature
* draws on the author's work in academia and at the Government's Defence and Evaluation Research Agency, recognised worldwide as a centre of excellence in helicopter research
* 'a substantial volume... extremely readable, and likely to become a standard reference'Aeronautical Journal
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'a substantial volume... extremely readable, and likely to become a standard reference'Aeronautical Journal
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