Development, Correlation and Updating of a Finite Element Model of the OH-6A Helicopter
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis is part of the helicopter research program established at The Naval Postgraduate School NPS. NPS currently has two OH-6A light observation helicopters which were obtained from the U.S. Army. One of these is dedicated to ground vibration testing and dynamics research. Previous research on the OH-6A at NPS established baseline vibration test data. The data includes natural frequencies, principal mode shapes and damping characteristics. This thesis continues previous research of the OH-6A and develops a detailed finite element model to be used in future helicopter dynamics research at NPS. The model is based on an MSCNASTRAN finite element model of a similar aircraft obtained from the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company. Both the nose and empennage were modified to represent the structural characteristics of the test article. Due to lack of structural design data, model mass updating was performed using previously obtained test data and a design sensitivity approach. The updated model natural frequencies agree well with the test data.