Development of an Advanced Rotorcraft Preliminary Design Framework

Lim, Jae-Hoon;Shin, Sang-Joon;Kim, June-Mo

  • Published : 2009.11.30


Various modules are generally combined with one another in order to perform rotorcraft preliminary design and its optimization. At the stage of the preliminary design, analysis fidelity is less important than the rapid assessment of a design is. Most of the previous researchers attempted to implement sophisticated applications in order to increase the fidelity of analysis, but the present paper focuses on a rapid assessment while keeping the similar level of fidelity. Each small-sized module will be controlled by an externally-operated global optimization module. Results from each module are automatically handled from one discipline to another which reduces the amount of computational effort and time greatly when compared with manual execution. Automatically handled process decreases computational cycle and time by factor of approximately two. Previous researchers and the rotorcraft industries developed their own integrated analysis for rotorcraft design task, such as HESCOMP, VASCOMP, and RWSIZE. When a specific mission profile is given to these programs, those will estimate the aircraft size, performance, rotor performance, component weight, and other aspects. Such results can become good sources for the supplemental analysis in terms of stability, handling qualities, and cost. If the results do not satisfy the stability criteria or other constraints, additional sizing processes may be used to re-evaluate rotorcraft size based on the result from stability analysis. Trade-off study can be conducted by connecting disciplines, and it is an important advantage in a preliminary design study. In this paper among the existing rotorcraft design programs, an adequate program is selected for a baseline of the design framework, and modularization strategy will be applied and further improvements for each module be pursued.


Rotorcraft;Design optimization;Modularization;Preliminary design


  1. Davis, S. J., Rosenstein, H., Stanzione, K. A., and Wisniewski, J.S., “User’s Manual for HESCOMP: The Helicopter Sizing and Performance Computer program”, Prepared by the Boeing Vertol Company, 1979.
  2. Schoen, A. H., Rosenstein, H., Stanzione, K. A., and Wisniewski, J. S., “User's Manual for VASCOMP II, The V/STOL Aircraft Sizing and Performance Computer Program”, Prepared by the Boeing Vertol Company, D8-0375, 3rd revision, 1980.
  3. Hansen, A.C. and Layton, D.M., “An Analysis of Three Approaches to The Helicopter Preliminary Design Problem”, Naval Postgraduate School, California, March 1984.
  4. Yeo, H. and Johnson, W., “Aeromechanics Analysis of a Heavy Lift Slowed-Rotor Compound Helicopter”, Journal of Aircraft, Vo. 44, No. 2, March-April, 2007, pp. 501-508.
  5. Hirsh, J. E., Wilkerson J.B., and Narducci, R.P., “An Integrated Approach to Rotorcraft Conceptual Design”, 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 8-11, Reno, Nevada, January, 2007.
  6. Lim, J. and Shin, S-J., “Modularization and Formula Upgrade for a Rotorcraft Preliminary Design Framework”, 50th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials, Palm Springs, May4-7, 2009.
  7. Kim, J. and Oh, W., “A Study of Rotorcraft Initial Design Using Statistics”, International Forum on Rotorcraft Multidisciplinary Technology, Seoul, Korea, 15-17 October, 2007.
  8. Anonymous, “Model Center User Guide and Programmers' Reference, Version 3.1”, Phoenix Integration, Inc., 2001.
  9. Anonymous, “Matlab Optimization Toolbox Reference Version 2”, MathWorks, Inc., 2001.

Cited by

  1. Power and Trim Estimation for Helicopter Sizing and Performance Analysis vol.12, pp.2, 2011,