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NASA/FAA Conducting Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Vehicle Qualities Evaluation
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NASA/FAA Conducting Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Vehicle Qualities Evaluation

From February 14 – March 1 several participants, comprising test pilots, flight test engineers, and other subject matter experts from the broader Urban Air Mobility (UAM) community are evaluating multiple advanced control concepts for an electrical Vertical TakeOff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle model in the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) at NASA Ames. The main Intelligent Systems Division contributions to this work are the implementation of the vehicle model in a realistic simulation environment, and the development of different control concepts with various levels of automation that simplify transitions between hover and forward flight. The model is a six-person fixed-wing vehicle with separate lifting rotors and a pusher propeller (Lift plus Cruise) and was developed as part of the Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project. Scenarios considered in this experiment are precision hover, a rejected takeoff, and a heliport approach. This simulator experiment is part of a series scheduled over the upcoming years that includes participation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

BACKGROUND: Many commercial companies are currently working on a wide variety of eVTOL vehicle designs for UAM. These designs have a diverse range of capabilities and performance limits. Vehicle concepts will need a completely different control concept that seamlessly covers various flight phases. The joint Intelligent Systems Division (Code TI)/Human Systems Integration Division (Code TH) research team is working on vehicle model implementation, flight control systems, envelope protection, cockpit displays, cockpit inceptors, maneuver descriptions, performance limits, surveys, engineering displays for evaluation, etc. to support development of a means of compliance for certification.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Automated Flight & Contingency Management (AFCM) / Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

TEAM: John Kaneshige, Elif Kurklu, Thomas Lombaerts, Kim Shish, and Mieczyslaw Steglinski; CODE TH: John Archdeacon, Mike Feary, Loran Haworth, Nelson Iwai, and Randy Mumaw; SIMLABS: Steve Norris

POINT OF CONTACT: John Kaneshige, john.t.kaneshige@nasa.gov

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