The School of Engineering at The University of Liverpool is located in a purpose-built facility to house research and teaching activities. The Flight Science and Technology (FS&T) research group operates two motion flight simulators that are used for a range rotorcraft flight dynamics, control, simulation, computational aerodynamics, handling qualities and tiltrotor research. There has a been a recent £1M upgrade to the wind tunnel facilities to provide new capability in scale model testing. The School also operates a 90,000l recirculating water channel for the assessment of ship aerodynamics and design for improved helicopter launch and recovery operations.
FS&T was at the forefront of flight simulation research for the development of Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transport Systems in the EU funded myCopter project. The group is also active in Rotorcraft Pilot Coupling research, funded through the EU project ARISTOTEL and now as part of NITROS.
Rotorcraft simulation fidelity research underpins the activities at Liverpool. The current EPSRC funded Rotorcraft Simulation Fidelity project will develop new methods for enhancing flight simulation models together with motion fidelity research to define overall flight simulation fidelity methods. The work includes flight testing with the National Research of Canada’s Bell 412 fly-by-wire-helicopter and is the UK’s contribution to the NATO AVT-296 project.
The use of modelling and simulation to support helicopter-ship design and clearance activities is a strong FS&T theme. Supported by BAE Systems, FS&T have produced time-accurate airwakes of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the new T26 frigate. The work has been used to risk reduce aircraft ship clearance programmes and will define the fidelity requirements for Ship Helicopter Operating Limits activities. Additional wake encounter research for wind turbines is being conducted.
FS&T has US funded research to develop novel pilot flight displays for autorotations. UAV research is another key part of FS&T’s research portfolio examining flight control requirements for UAVs operating in airwakes in/around ships and offshore platforms.
Dr Mark D White is a Senior Lecturer leading the flight simulation research work at Liverpool University. He is working on the rotorcraft flight modelling fidelity research which involves flight testing using the National Research of Canada’s Bell 412 fly-by-wire helicopter. He has a longstanding activity in the use of flight simulation to investigate helicopter ship operations and ship aerodynamics.
Dr Michael Jump is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool’s School of Engineering who is leading research using bio-inspired methods for flight control and UAV operations.