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The impact of flying qualities on helicopter operational agilityFlying qualities standards are formally set to ensure safe flight and therefore reflect minimum, rather than optimum, requirements. Agility is a flying quality but relates to operations at high, if not maximum, performance. While the quality metrics and test procedures for flying, as covered for example in ADS33C, may provide an adequate structure to encompass agility, they do not currently address flight at high performance. This is also true in the fixed-wing world and a current concern in both communities is the absence of substantiated agility criteria and possible conflicts between flying qualities and high performance. AGARD is sponsoring a working group (WG19) title 'Operational Agility' that deals with these and a range of related issues. This paper is condensed from contributions by the three authors to WG19, relating to flying qualities. Novel perspectives on the subject are presented including the agility factor, that quantifies performance margins in flying qualities terms; a new parameter, based on maneuver acceleration is introduced as a potential candidate for defining upper limits to flying qualities. Finally, a probabilistic analysis of pilot handling qualities ratings is presented that suggests a powerful relationship between inherent airframe flying qualities and operational agility.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Padfield, Gareth D.
(Defence Research Agency Bedford, United Kingdom)
Lappos, Nick
(Sikorsky Aircraft Stratford, CT., United States)
Hodgkinson, John
(McDonnell-Douglas Corp. Long Beach, CA., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Research Center, Piloting Vertical Flight Aircraft: A Conference on Flying Qualities and Human Factors
Subject Category
Aircraft Stability And Control
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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