Swashplate Actuator Failure Compensation for UH-60 Black Hawk in Cruise using Horizontal Stabilator

A flight simulation model for the UH-60 Black Hawk based on Sikorsky’s GenHel model is modified to simulate a locked failure of a main rotor swashplate servo actuator and is compensated by using the stabilator as a redundant control effector. Steady state trim analysis is performed to demonstrate feasibility of trimmed flight in various conditions with different locked servo actuator positions for the forward, aft, and lateral actuators. A model-following, linear dynamic inversion controller is implemented and modified to account for locked actuator position. Post-failure, the control mixing and feed-forward control coupling terms are reconfigured to partially reallocate the control authority in the longitudinal axis from the main rotor longitudinal cyclic to a symmetric deflection of the stabilator. This is done by manipulation of only the control allocation relating pilot stick inputs to servo actuator positions, the feedback control gains and mechanical rigging between servo actuators and rotor pitch controls remain identical to the baseline controller. Flight simulation results demonstrate the ability of this reconfiguration to compensate for locked failure of the forward main rotor swashplate servo actuator, as well as the ability of the aircraft to decelerate from cruise at 120 knots to 50 knots which is less than the published safe rolling landing speed of 60 knots. A similar range of locked positions of the forward and aft actuators is demonstrated to be feasible for aircraft recovery using control of the stabilator. Feasibility of aircraft recovery for locked positions of the lateral servo actuator is also considered.


Vayalali, P., McKay, M., Krishnamurthi, J., and Gandhi, F., "Swashplate Actuator Failure Compensation for UH-60 Black Hawk in Cruise using Horizontal Stabilator ,"

Proceedings of the 74th American Helicopter Society Annual Forum, Phoenix, Arizona, May 15-17, 2018.