The terminology 'rotorcraft-pilot coupling' denotes phenomena arising from interaction between pilot and rotorcraft. Among these, the present work deals with 'pilot-assisted oscillations' that derive from unintentional pilot actions on controls due to seat vibrations, and are strictly related to rotor-aeroelasticity/airframe-structural-dynamics coupling, with involvement of blade control actuator dynamics. Focusing the attention on helicopters, a comprehensive rotorcraft model is developed and applied, with main rotor unsteady aerodynamics described in state-space form. This makes it particularly suited for stability and frequency-response analysis, as well as control applications. Numerical investigations address two critical rotorcraft-pilot coupling aeroelastic issues: stability of vertical bouncing and gust response in hovering. Results from main rotor unsteady aerodynamics modelling are compared with widely-used quasi-steady aerodynamics predictions. These suggest that, for accurate RPC/PAO phenomena predictions, mathematical modelling should include the three-dimensional, unsteady-flow effects, and that the pilot-in-the-loop passive behaviour produces a beneficial effect on the load factor generated by gust encountering.
Serafini, J., Greco, L.G., Gennaretti, M. (2015). Rotorcraft-pilot coupling analysis through state-space aerodynamic modelling. THE AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, 119(1219), 1105-1122.