Course Description

An intensive overview of the analytical theory and procedures used to evaluate performance characteristics of helicopters. Emphasis is placed on subsonic aerodynamics, rotor blade aerodynamics, pitot static system performance, hover performance, vertical climb performance and level flight performance.

Anticipated Student Academic Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course of instruction, the student will have a basic understanding of performance flight test procedures, techniques, and data analysis. He/she will:

Be familiar with
1. Standard atmosphere and the associated tables.
2. The non-uniform induced velocity theory through the hovering disk.
3. Basic definitions of disk loading, power loading, solidity ratio and figure of merit

Understand
1. The fundamentals of dimensional analysis.
2. Subsonic aerodynamics principles.
3. Pitot static principles & PEC requirements.
4. Momentum theory and blade element theory.
5. How to determine engine characteristics.
6. How power required to hover, vertical climb and for level flight is affected by helicopter parameters and atmospheric properties

Know
1. How Coefficient of Power and Coefficient of Thrust are used for determining hover ceiling. 
2. How to measure and evaluate pitot static position errors.
3. How to test & evaluate hover performance of rotary wing aircraft.
4. How to assess engine performance.
5. How to measure the weight and center of gravity of an aircraft.

Sequence of Instruction

Performance Testing Overview 
Dimensional Analysis 
Subsonic Aerodynamics 
Rotor Blade Aerodynamics 
Pitot-Static Theory 
Pitot-Static Calibration 
Hover Performance Theory and Flight Test Techniques 
Vertical Climb Performance Theory and Flight Test Techniques 
Level Flight Theory and Flight Test Techniques 
Tutorials
     Aerodynamics
     Pitot-Statics
     Helicopter Performance 
Exams 
     Aerodynamics
     Pitot-Statics 
     Helicopter Performance

Texts and Reference Materials

“Helicopter Performance, Stability and Control,”
R. W. Prouty
NTPS Course Notes

Instructional Methodology

Lectures

Process of Evaluation

Written Examination

Signup: Use the Student Application Form to register for a course. Alternatively, you can contact us to check course availability.

NTPS Catalog: For more detailed information please visit the online catalog page to view or download the NTPS Catalog.

Notice: Course costs and dates are subject to change without notice. Please refer to the Course Schedule and Costs page for more information. Contact us to check course availability.

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NTPS News

Red Bulletin Double Feature: THE PILOTS

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A second Red Bulletin magazine article titled "THE PILOTS" features the outstanding instructor and student pilots of the National Test Pilot School. Photo credit: Jim Krantz   Read more

NTPS Featured in Red Bulletin Magazine

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NTPS, COO & Test Pilot Instructor Jim "JB" Brown, and Professional Course student Marco Lisi featured in The Red Bulletin magazine article "NERVES OF STEEL: MOJAVE DESERT TEST PILOTS" Photo credit: Jim Krantz   Read more

NTPS Featured in Kitplane Magazine

NTPS Featured in Kitplane Magazine

A kitplanes.com magazine feature of the National Test Pilot School, by Elliot Seguin. Click on the images below to read Parts 1&2. Read more

NTPS in Vertical Magazine

NTPS in Vertical Magazine

National Test Pilot School is EASA certifed The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified The National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in Mojave, California, as the first Part-ORA approved training organization (ATO) for Part-FCL flight test training. This means NTPS is the... Read more

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Contact Info

National Test Pilot School
P.O. Box 658
Mojave, CA 93502-0658 USA
Phone: 661-824-2977
Fax: 661-824-2943

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