EXPERIMENTAL EVALUATION OF A FORMATION FLIGHT SYSTEM.
Technical rept. 15 May-15 Sep 67,
HONEYWELL INC MINNEAPOLIS MINN SYSTEMS AND RESEARCH DIV
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The program objective was to investigate the performance obtainable from a helicopter IFR formation flight system in the manual mode, within the realistic constraints imposed by current systems technology. The program was conducted by first defining and optimizing several sets of quickening signals for a proposed display and then measuring pilot performance at several different system update rates, using various filter time constants of the digital filters to smooth the data. The system model used was that of the helicopter formation flight system being developed by the TRG Company. The performance data was obtained through a fixed-base hybrid computer simulation of the system. It was found that the formation flight mission phases could be flown, but with considerably more difficulty and with less precision than the earlier noise-free and idealized high-update-rate systems which had been simulated. The chief impact of the state-of-the-art technology was felt in the degradation of the usefulness of the quickening information, since this information enables both stable and precise control of the helicopter in the IFR formation flight mode. The parameters contributing to these difficulties are relatively easy to identify, being system update rate, system noise, and the display reference frame. Author