Flight control design for rotorcraft is challenging due to high-order dynamics, cross-coupling effects, and inherent instability of the flight dynamics. Dynamic inversion design offers a desirable solution to rotorcraft flight control as it effectively decouples the plant model and effectively handles non-linearity. However, the method has limitations for rotorcraft due to the requirement for full-state feedback and issues with non-minimum phase zeros. A control design study is performed using dynamic inversion with reduced order models of the rotorcraft dynamics, which alleviates the full-state feedback requirement. The design is analyzed using full order linear analysis and non-linear simulations of a utility helicopter. Simulation results show desired command tracking when the controller is applied to the full-order system. Classical stability margin analysis is used to achieve desired tradeoffs in robust stability and disturbance rejection. Results indicate the feasibility of applying dynamic inversion to rotorcraft control design, as long as full order linear analysis is applied to ensure stability and adequate modelling of low-frequency dynamics.
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