The dynamics and control of a remotely piloted plan-symmetric helicopter

  • R.A. Davis

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Prior to the development of a production standard control system
    for ML Aviation's plan-symmetric remotely piloted helicopter
    system, SPRITE, optimum solutions to technical requirements had yet
    to be found for some aspects of the work. This thesis describes an
    industrial project where solutions to real problems have been
    provided within strict timescale constraints. Use has been made of
    published material wherever appropriate, new solutions have been
    contributed where none existed previously.
    A lack of clearly defined user requirements from potential Remotely
    Piloted Air Vehicle (RPAV) system users is identified, A
    simulation package is defined to enable the RPAV designer to
    progress with air vehicle and control system design, development
    and evaluation studies and to assist the user to investigate his
    The theoretical basis of this simulation package is developed
    including Co-axial Contra-rotating Twin Rotor (CCTR), six degrees
    of freedom motion, fuselage aerodynamics and sensor and control
    system models. A compatible system of equations is derived for
    modelling a miniature plan-symmetric helicopter. Rigorous searches
    revealed a lack of CCTR models, based on closed form expressions to
    obviate integration along the rotor blade, for stabilisation and
    navigation studies through simulation. An economic CCTR simulation
    model is developed and validated by comparison with published work
    and practical tests. Confusion in published work between attitude
    and Euler angles is clarified.
    The implementation of
    package is discussed.
    dynamic adjustment of
    the theory into a high integrity software
    Use is made of a novel technique basing the
    integration time step size on error
    Simulation output for control system stability verification, cross
    coupling of motion between control channels and air vehicle
    response to demands and horizontal wind gusts studies are
    Contra-Rotating Twin Rotor
    Flight Control System
    Remotely Piloted Plan-Symmetric Helicopter
    Six Degrees of Freedom Motion
    ( i i)

    Date of Award1986
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorR.C. Johnson (Supervisor)


    • dynamic
    • control
    • remotely piloted plan-symmetric helicopter

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