Rotorcraft Airloads Measurements - Extraordinary Costs, Extraordinary Benefits
U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate Moffett Field United States
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The first airloads measurements were made in the 1950s at NACA Langley on a 15.3-foot-diameter model rotor, stimulated by the invention of miniaturized pressure transducers. The inability to predict higher harmonic loads in those early years led the U.S. Army to fund airloads measurements on the CH-34 and the UH-1A aircraft. Nine additional comprehensive airloads tests have been done since that early work, including the recent test of an instrumented UH-60A rotor in the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames. This historical paper discusses the 12 airloads tests and how the results were integrated with analytical efforts. The recent history of the UH-60A Airloads Workshops is presented, and it is shown that new developments in analytical methods have transformed our capability to predict airloads that are critical for design.