TsAGI contributes to the ARISTOTEL FP7 Project

A initial meeting of ARISTOTEL 7FP EC Project partners took place in Delft, the Netherlands, where the planning and the work schedules for the upcoming period were considered. The ARISTOTEL Project is aimed at the research of aircraft and rotorcraft pilot coupling under certain air vehicle properties and of tools and techniques for alleviation and detection. The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute represents the Russian Federation in the ARISTOTEL Project.

Eleven European and Russian partners contribute to the project, including: TsAGI (Russia), DLR, EURICE (Germany), NLR (the Netherlands), ONERA (France), STRAERO (Romania) and the following universities: TU Delft (the Netherlands), POLIMI, URoma3 (Italy), UoL (Great Britain) and EUROCOPTER (Germany), the aviation engineering manufacturer. The project duration is three years and the Project Coordinator is TU Delft.

The aircraft and rotorcraft pilot coupling challenge is an ongoing issue that involves the strong interests of both researchers in dynamics and aircraft controllability, and of novel airplane and helicopter designers. The unwanted interaction of pilot and aircraft is a cause for numerous in-flight accidents which start from slight ones up to disastrous effects. As the study of flight accidents show, the aircraft and rotorcraft pilot coupling that results in a wreck is very difficult and in some cases impossible to alleviate. But even the «slight» cases that do not provoke the loss of aircraft or human victims nevertheless may considerably decrease the aircraft control efficiency and make the piloting task exceptionally difficult.

As aviation is in rapid development and novel aircraft and helicopters emerge that are characterized by prompt and sophisticated control systems, the tendency towards the more frequent cases of aircraft and rotorcraft pilot coupling is observed. The most known recent cases are the accidents of the Boeing 777, Boeing 757, Boeing 767 (1995−1999), Saab JAS 39 Gripen (1989−1994), and Sikorsky Ch-53E (1978−1985) and V-22 (1994−1999) helicopters. As both the statistics, including Russian aircraft, and TsAGI’s latest experiment data show, the aircraft and rotorcraft pilot coupling may be caused by lever loading features, control sensibility and airframe elasticity.

The key scientific and applied targets of the ARISTOTEL Project are: minimizing the aircraft and rotorcraft pilot coupling factors that lead to loss of controllability, and developing the approaches to forecast and alleviate the possibility of this phenomenon at an early stage of aircraft and helicopter design.