Design of a Haptic Helicopter Trainer for inexperienced pilots

Davide Fabbroni, Stefano Geluardi, Carlo A. Gerboni, Mario Olivari, Giulia D'Intino, Lorenzo Pollini, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the effectiveness of a novel method of training for helicopter pilots, with flight simulators. A software trainer based on haptic force-feedback was implemented, namely the Haptic Helicopter Trainer (HHT). The HHT is an extension of an existing automated trainer based on a Optimal Control pilot Model. With the addition of a force-feedback, the HHT is able to mimic the action of an instructor pilot on dual controls. To test the effectiveness of the HHT with respect to other types of training, an experiment was performed in a fixed-based helicopter simulator with three groups of participants: one group trained with the HHT, one group trained with the automated trainer and a control group. The training was carried out as a realistic flight lesson, divided in phases to bring the student pilots to satisfying skill levels. Results showed that the designed training phases are effective for learning how to stabilize the helicopter model. Moreover, the group trained with the HHT achieved better performances than the other groups, proving the effectiveness of the haptic force-feedback in the training of inexperienced helicopter pilots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2097-2108
Number of pages12
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event73rd American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum and Technology Display 2017 - Fort Worth, United States
Duration: 2017 May 92017 May 11

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the American Helicopter Society International, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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