Investigation of airwake control for safer shipboard aircraft operations

Alternative titleEtude du contrôle du sillage aérien pour des mouvements d´aéronefs plus sûrs à bord des bâtiments
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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleRTO technical report / AVT (RTO-TR-AVT); no. 102
Subjectdynamic interface; naval aviation; airwake; helicopters; frigates; aircraft carriers; active flow control; actuators; aerodynamic characteristics; aircraft design; control equipment; control surfaces; flight loads; flight simulation; flow control; flow measurement; gust loads; helicopters; ship decks; shipboard landing; turbulence; vortices
AbstractOperating aircraft from ships is a demanding task and, in particular, the launch and recovery phases present the most significant challenge. This is true for both rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft as the area of the flight deck is small and moving. Furthermore, the air flow or ‘airwake’ behind a ship super-structure can be highly turbulent or vortex dominated. These factors can mean that pilot workload is close to the highest tolerable level. Consequently, the margins for error can be small and this has affected operational safety, resulting in accidents. The Task Group AVT-102 was established to apply some of the lessons learned from separated flow and vortex flow technology to the problem of aircraft operations from ships. The aim was to improve the safety of air operations at sea by improving the local air flow. There were lessons to be learned through a review of novel vortex flow-control devices, some of which were previously tested for other applications. Promising ones, along with new ones, would be tested experimentally and modelled computationally; after which selected devices would have some additional studies performed to further describe the performance of the devices. Having identified a number of promising approaches to improving the flow over flat-top ships, the group recommends that the work be carried to the next level, which would involve the integration of the improved airwake (from optimized devices) into a flight simulator of sufficient fidelity. These simulations could be conducted for fixed wing and rotary wing operations and would be valuable in optimising devices prior to further development. To this end, a follow-on Task Group (AVT-148) commenced work in January 2007.
Publication date
PublisherNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Institute for Aerospace Research
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberAL-2006-0032
NPARC number8927966
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Record identifierd82f6ad9-980f-4251-923e-01d3fba55410
Record created2009-04-23
Record modified2016-10-03
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