04.07.2013, Progress in Aerospaces Sciences publishes ARISTOTEL work

The "Progress in Aerospace Sciences" Journal has recently published an article on ARISTOTEL work (published online 4th July 2013).

Progress in Aerspace Sciences is an international review journal for all those concerned with research in aerospace sciences and their applications in research establishments, industry and universities. It is a highly renowned journal and it is a major honour to be part of this journal.

The article "Adverse rotorcraft pilot couplings – Past, present and future challenges" covers the central issue dealt with in the ARISTOTEL project. It is judged to have great importance to the field of aeronautics. Special thanks go to the project coordinator, Marilena Pavel, who compiled the article with the support of all consortium members.


Fixed and rotary wing pilots alike are familiar with potential instabilities or with annoying limit cycle oscillations that arise from the effort of controlling aircraft with high response actuation systems. Understanding, predicting and suppressing these inadvertent and sustained aircraft oscillations, known as aircraft (rotorcraft)-pilot couplings (A/RPCs) is a challenging problem for the designers. The goal of the present paper is to give an overview on the state-of-the-art in RPC problem, underlining the future challenges in this field. It is shown that, exactly as in the case of fixed wing APCs, RPCs existed from the beginning of rotorcraft development and that the problem of eliminating them is not yet solved: the current rotorcraft modelling for RPC analysis is rather limited to the particular case analysed and there is a lack of quantitative pilot behavioural models to analyse RPCs. The paper underlines the importance of involuntary pilot control actions, generally attributed to biodynamic couplings in predicting RPCs in rotorcraft. It is also shown that recent experiences demonstrate that modern rotorcraft seem to embed tendencies predisposing the flight control system FCS system towards dangerous RPCs. As the level of automation is likely to increase in future designs, extending to smaller aircraft and to different kinds of operation, the consequences of the pilot ‘fighting’ the FCS system and inducing A/RPCs needs to be eradicated. In Europe, the ARISTOTEL project (2010–2013) has been launched with the aim of understanding and predicting modern aircraft's susceptibility to A/RPC. The present paper gives an overview of future challenges to be solved for RPC-free design and some new solutions herein.

The entire article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paerosci.2013.04.003.