Helicopter Roll-Axis Instabilities induced by Pilot Cyclic Control: A Physical Explanation

Marilena Pavel, A Ionita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The main objective of this paper is to give a basic understanding of the mechanisms through which pilot cyclic inputs in lateral cyclic interacts with high-order rotor dynamics destabilizing the helicopter roll motion. The paper will use a “Newtonian formulation” representing the main forces acting on the airframe body-rotor system as the pilot applies his/her control. It will be demonstrated that pilot lateral controls applied through his/her arm (which may involve also pilot biodynamics, i.e. the dynamics of pilot neuromuscular inputs and contraction dynamics of his/her muscles) may excite much higher-order frequency rotor dynamics than thought at the present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
Number of pages18
JournalINCAS Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event6th CEAS Air and Space Conference - Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 16 Oct 201720 Oct 2017
Conference number: 6


  • Helicopter
  • Pilot Assisted Oscillations
  • Rotorcraft Pilot Couplings
  • Lead-lag mode
  • Rotor dynamics


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