Technology for Rotorcraft Affordability Through Integrated Product/Process Development (IPPD)
Schrage, Daniel P.
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This 1999 Alexander A. Nikolsky Lecture is a presentation on an approach to identify, evaluate, and select technologies (both product and process) that can make rotorcraft more affordable for both civil and military applications. It has evolved over the 15 years that I have been a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the school of Aerospace Engineering and the Director for the Center of Excellence in Rotorcraft Technology. It is based, however, on much of the previous 15 years of experience I had as an Army Aviator and as an engineer, manager, and senior executive with the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command and the U.S. Army Aviation Research and Development Command. Recent Nikolsky lectures have identified challenges and opportunities for rotorcraft to play a broader, more sustained role, especially for commercial applications. A sense of frustration has been voiced by these previous lecturers that rotorcraft have not reached their potential, especially as personal use, public service, commuter and mass produced systems. I also have experienced this frustration and have spent more or less the last 15 years since coming to Georgia Tech trying to better understand the affordability dilemma of rotorcraft, as well as other aircraft systems. One of my goals has been to develop an approach that will help rotorcraft reach their potential. I hope this paper will help shed some light on where we have been and where we need to go.