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Open AccessArticle

Mathematical Modelling of Gimballed Tilt-Rotors for Real-Time Flight Simulation

ZAV Centre for Aviation, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, CH-8401 Winterthur, Switzerland
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Technikumstrasse 9, P.O. Box 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland.
Aerospace 2020, 7(9), 124;
Received: 29 July 2020 / Revised: 24 August 2020 / Accepted: 26 August 2020 / Published: 28 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotorcraft)
This paper introduces a novel gimballed rotor mathematical model for real-time flight simulation of tilt-rotor aircraft and other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) concepts, which improves the previous version of a multi-purpose rotor mathematical model developed by ZHAW and Politecnico di Torino as part of a comprehensive flight simulation model of a tilt-rotor aircraft currently implemented in the Research and Didactics Simulator of ZHAW and used for research activities such as handling qualities studies and flight control systems development. In the novel model, a new formulation of the flapping dynamics is indroduced to account for the gimballed rotor and better suit current tilt-rotor designs (XV-15, V-22, AW-609). This paper describes the mathematical model and provides a generic formulation as well as a specific one for 3-blades proprotors. The method expresses the gimbal attitude but also considers the variation of each blade’s flapping due to the elasticity of the blades, so that the rotor coning angle can be represented. A validation of the mathematical model is performed against the available literature on the XV-15 Tilt-rotor aircraft and a comparison between the previous model is provided to show the improvements achieved. The results show a good correlation between the model and the reference data and the registered performance allow real-time flight simulation with pilot and hardware in the loop. View Full-Text
Keywords: tilt-rotors; rotorcraft; real-time flight simulation; VTOL; flight dynamics; flight control systems tilt-rotors; rotorcraft; real-time flight simulation; VTOL; flight dynamics; flight control systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abà, A.; Barra, F.; Capone, P.; Guglieri, G. Mathematical Modelling of Gimballed Tilt-Rotors for Real-Time Flight Simulation. Aerospace 2020, 7, 124.

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