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Houston, Stewart; Thomson, Douglas (2017)
Publisher: Elsevier
Languages: English
Types: Article
The study of the gyroplane, with a few exceptions, is largely neglected in the literature which is indicative of a niche configuration limited to the sport and recreational market where resources are limited. However the contemporary needs of an informed population of owners and constructors, as well as the possibility of a wider application of such low-cost rotorcraft in other roles, suggests that an examination of the mathematical modelling requirements for the study of gyroplane flight mechanics is timely. Rotorcraft mathematical modelling has become stratified in three levels, each one defining the inclusion of various layers of complexity added to embrace specific modelling features as well as an attempt to improve fidelity. This paper examines the modelling of gyroplane flight mechanics in the context of this complexity, and shows that relatively simple formulations are adequate for capturing most aspects of gyroplane trim, stability and control characteristics. In particular the conventional 6 degree-of-freedom model structure is suitable for the synthesis of models from flight test data as well as being the framework for reducing the order of the higher levels of modelling. However, a high level of modelling can be required to mimic some aspects of behaviour observed in data gathered from flight experiments and even then can fail to capture other details. These limitations are addressed in the paper. It is concluded that the mathematical modelling of gyroplanes for the simulation and analysis of trim, stability and control presents no special difficulty and the conventional techniques, methods and formulations familiar to the rotary-wing community are directly applicable.

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