KAI’s Surion Fly-By-Wire flight control system successfully tested

Recently, a test pilot from NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre, has evaluated an experimental Fly-By-Wire (FBW) control system in a simulator, based on the KUH Surion helicopter of Korea Aerospace Industries, KAI.

KAI has requested NLR to review this Research & Development program, such that the development progress is objectively assessed by a reliable independent research center.

The assessment took place in KAI’s Handling Quality Simulator (HQS) in a Hardware-In-the-Loop Simulation (HILS) setup. Flight control computer hardware integrated with software, as well as actuators and inceptor are operational in the simulator’s setup. The FBW-flight control system was successfully tested in a number of scenarios, using standard manoeuvres, mainly consisting of ADS-33 Mission Task Elements such as Hover, Pirouette and Slalom.

KAI has been performing a FBW-technology development program for the KUH Surion helicopter under a Korean government contract, which started in 2011 and will end in 2016. The current phase of the program is focusing on the verification and assessment of the FBW-technology in the HILS environment instead of a real flight test which is subject to future development programs.

Assisted by NLR, KAI has performed a review meeting in January 2016, checking all aspects of the research program. In this review, NLR has provided an independent audit by systems engineering, control law design and flight mechanics experts.  The final result of the FBW-project is a validated development process, indicating that KAI is ready to proceed to flight testing of this type of technology in future development programs.
The assessment is another example of the recent strong NLR-KAI cooperation in multiple projects, such as the KUH-1M helicopter/ship qualification, the KUH Surion Icing Flight Test program and wind tunnel campaigns.

Watch the roll reversal maneuver from NLR’s test pilot Arie Slagter with the experimental Fly-By-Wire control system in KAI’s Handling Quality Simulator.