Numerical and experimental analysis of the helicopter's flotation system

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Kraskowski, M.
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The paper presents the results of numerical and experimental hydrodynamic analysis of the PZL SW4 helicopter, undergoing the modifications aimed at adopting it for maritime missions. The primary goal of the analysis was to design an effective emergency flotation system, assuring sufficient buoyancy and stability in calm water as well as minimized motion response to waves. The analysis started with an optimization study, based on simplified stability model. The helicopter with designed floats was then widely analysed in respect of buoyancy, stability and motion response to waves, both by means of experimental analysis with scaled physical model, and with numerical models. Such a parallel approach allowed minimizing the uncertainty, as good agreement of the results was confirmed. As a result, satisfactory performance of the emergency flotation system was proved. The paper gives also the details of the development of physical model of the helicopter, as well as the details of experimental methods used in the analysis.