The Aeromechanics Branch of the Flight Vehicle Research and Technology Division is responsible for aeromechanics research activities that directly support the civil competiveness of the U.S. helicopter industry and the vertical lift requirements of the Department of Defense. Branch programs address all aspects of the rotorcraft which directly influence the vehicle's performance, structural, and dynamic response, flight dynamics and control, external acoustics, vibration, and aeroelastic stability. The programs are both theoretical and experimental in nature.
Advanced computational methodology research using computational fluid dynamics and multidisciplinary comprehensive analyses seeks to understand the complete rotorcraft's operating environment and to develop analytical models to predict rotorcraft aerodynamic, aeroacoustic, and dynamic behavior. Unique analysis tools for rotary wing conceptual design (both civilian and military) are being developed and applied. Experimental research seeks to obtain accurate data to validate these analyses, investigate phenomena currently beyond predictive capability, and to achieve rapid solutions to flight vehicle problems. Databases from the flight and wind tunnel experimental programs are validated, documented and maintained for the benefit of the U.S. rotorcraft technology base.
The Branch directly supports the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters under the Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Rotary Wing Project in particular.