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For the development of an unmanned version of an existing helicopter with a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kg and coaxial rotors, a manned flight test campaign is conducted in order to identify the flight physics characteristics of the basis helicopter. Furthermore, the intention of the campaign is to test the future avionics and flight control system which is serving as a measurement system in this campaign. This ensures to incorporate all inherent effects of the avionics system, including sensor dynamics and latencies, for the development of the flight controller of the future unmanned system. Additionally, the flight test campaign is used as a proof of functionality of the avionics system together with the data links under a real physical environment. This paper gives insights into the planning and considerations that went into the flight test campaign. To apply maneuvers with the exact length, a way to guide the pilot through the correct maneuver injection via audio input has been developed. This proved to have a significant effect on the maneuver accuracy. Furthermore, a pilot training campaign in a simulator prior to the flight test is carried out and the maneuvers flown by the pilot are analyzed. Finally, the conduction of the flight tests is described and the flown maneuvers and results are evaluated regarding the maneuver quality and the observability of the helicopter dynamics.

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This page is a summary of: On the Flight Test Campaign of a Coaxial Helicopter for the Development of an Unmanned Aerial System, June 2022, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), DOI: 10.2514/6.2022-3557.
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