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Helicopter Dynamics and Flight Control

Module MW1402

This Module is offered by Chair of Helicopter Technology (Prof. Hajek / Prof. Yavrucuk).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2013

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2020WS 2013/4SS 2013

Basic Information

MW1402 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
90 h 30 h 3 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Part 1: Helicopter Dynamics
Development of a dynamic helicopter model as a prerequisite for flying qualities analysis and
flight control system design
- Introduction: Basic differences between fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft
- Rotor aerodynamics in hover, vertical climb, and decent
- Rotor dynamics: Blade flapping and lagging
- Rotor forces in forward flight
- Trim conditions
- Equations of motion
- Eigenmodes and stability
- Dynamic coupling between airframe and rotor
Part 2: Helicopter Flight Control
Flight control system design based upon the helicopter model and flying qualities
- Functional requirements
- Control laws for command and stability augmentation
- Operational requirements
- Configuration of flight control system

Learning Outcome

After sucessfully completing the lecture the student is able to understand and describe mathematically the physical principles of how forces and
moments are generated, by which the helicopter flying qualities are determined, i. e. stability,
controllability, and response to disturbances. The knowledge of the plant and the understanding
of how the plant is functioning are prerequisites for designing a control system with the
capability to improve the flying qualities. The knowledge on helicopter dynamics and flight
control gained by the lecture will serve as a basis for further studies on helicopter technology.


Basic knowledge of control theory

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods





A. R. S. Bramwell: Helicopter dynamics, R. W. Prouty: Helicopter Aerodynamics, W. Bittner: Flugmechanik der Hubschrauber

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

At the end of the module an oral examination is conducted where two students answer a series of questions in a time frame of 30 minutes. Within the examination the student demonstrates her or his knowledge about the principles of the mathematical models which have been introduced in the module to describe helicopter flight dynamics. The students explain relations between control inputs and helicopter behavior and provide information on control architectures prevalent in helicopter engineering for stability augmentation and autopilot tasks.

Note in view of the limitations on university operations as a result of the CoViD19 pandemic: If the basic conditions (hygiene, physical distance rules, etc.) for a classroom-based examination cannot be met, the planned form of examination can be changed to a written or oral online examination in accordance with §13a APSO. The decision about this change will be announced as soon as possible, but at least 14 days before the date of the examination by the examiner after consultation with the board of examiners of the respective study program.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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