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A four-axis hand controller for helicopter flight controlA proof-of-concept hand controller for controlling lateral and longitudinal cyclic pitch, collective pitch and tail rotor thrust was developed. The purpose of the work was to address problems of operator fatigue, poor proprioceptive feedback and cross-coupling of axes associated with many four-axis controller designs. The present design is an attempt to reduce cross-coupling to a level that can be controlled with breakout force, rather than to eliminate it entirely. The cascaded design placed lateral and longitudinal cyclic in their normal configuration. Tail rotor thrust was placed atop the cyclic controller. A left/right twisting motion with the wrist made the control input. The axis of rotation was canted outboard (clockwise) to minimize cross-coupling with the cyclic pitch axis. The collective control was a twist grip, like a motorcycle throttle. Measurement of the amount of cross-coupling involved in pure, single-axis inputs showed cross coupling under 10 percent of full deflection for all axes. This small amount of cross-coupling could be further reduced with better damping and force gradient control. Fatigue was not found to be a problem, and proprioceptive feedback was adequate for all flight tasks executed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Demaio, Joe
(McDonnell-Douglas Helicopter Co. Mesa, AZ, 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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