A Generalized Index for the Assessment of Helicopter Pilot Vibration Exposure

Aykut Tamer, Andrea Zanoni, Alessandro Cocco, Pierangelo Masarati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


Helicopters are known to exhibit higher vibratory levels compared to fixed-wing aircraft. The consequences of vibrations depend on the affected helicopter component or subject. Specifically, pilots are in contact with several parts of the helicopter; vibrations can spoil the pilot-vehicle interaction. To evaluate the effects of vibration exposure on pilots, comfort levels resulting from whole-body vibration are computed. However, specific body parts and organs, e.g., hands, feet, and eyes are also adversely affected, with undesirable effects on piloting quality. Therefore, a detailed assessment is necessary for a more accurate estimation of pilot vibration exposure when comparing different configurations, tracking changes during design, and determining the safety of the flight envelope. A generalized assessment is presented by considering vibrations at the seat surface, hand-grip of controls, eyes, and feet. The suggested vibration measure includes comfort, handling, feet-contact, and vision in a single formulation. It is illustrated by coupling a high-fidelity biodynamic model of the pilot to a helicopter aeroservoelastic model in a comprehensive simulation environment. Using appropriate modeling techniques, vibration exposure of helicopter pilots could be evaluated during all stages of design, to achieve a more comfortable and safer flying environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-150
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

This work received partial support by Leonardo Helicopter Division. The authors acknowledge LHD for providing part of the data used in the analysis.

Data Availability Statement
Not applicable.


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