Institute of Helicopter Technology and VTOL Aircraft - Technical University of Munich

Short description

The Institute of Helicopter Technology and VTOL Aircraft at TU Munich is dedicated to teaching and conducting research in all areas of rotorcraft and VTOL aircraft in large.

Standards, Products

  • P eVTOL
  • P Urban Air Mobility (UAM)
  • P Drones / UAV
  • P Composite & Materials
  • P Flight Training, Simulation
  • P Research Insititution
  • P Universities

About us

The Institute of Helicopter Technology and VTOL Aircraft at TU Munich is dedicated to teaching and conducting research in all areas of rotorcraft and VTOL aircraft in large. The Institute offers VTOL related classes such as Flight Physics, Aeromechanics, Preliminary Design and is home to major research facilities and labs, including a rotor test-stand for aeromechanic research and a Helicopter Flight Simulator for piloted testing. 

Research Areas

Structural Design, Testing & Operation

We test and investigate in-house designed and instrumented rotor blades on the Munich Experimental Rotor Investigation Testbed (MERIT), a Mach-scaled, dynamic stall capable, wind tunnel compatible rotor test rig. Optical measurement systems, such as digital image correlation (DIC), photogrammetry, and Fiber Bragg Grating(FBG) sensor systems are used for static and dynamicdeformation analyses in rotating and non-rotating applications. Flax fiber integration and live cycle assessmentstudies of structural rotorcraft components expedite sustainable developments in helicoptermanufacturing processes. Testinghybridization and automizationof flying rotorcrafts, such asthe AREA drone, completesour experimental expertiseand contributes to relevant UAM topics. We alsofacilitate flight tests with realworld helicopters - instrumented with various sensors by us.

Rotor Test Rig MERIT

Aeromechanics & Simulation

We study various topics related to rotor aerodynamicsand helicopter aeromechanics at our institute. Differentwell established modeling strategies are applied, suchas URANS Computational Fluid Dynamics methodsand free wake based helicopter comprehensive analysis codes. Moreover, in-house flight physics codes andLattice-Boltzmann methods are developed. Main objectives of our investigations are rotor performance andflow phenomena, flight in challenging flow environments,aeroacoustics and noise emissions as well as aeroelasticstability of the rotor-fuselage-system.

Rotorcraft Design & Safety

We use our multi-disciplinary experience in the VTOLfield to model and design exciting new aircraft conceptsranging from classical helicopters to (hydrogen) electricVTOLs and Mars UAVs. By investigating Safety and Certification aspects we can ensure that these concepts canbe realized and meet the relevant regulations.

Piloted Flight Simulation

Since the first simulated flight in 2012 of the Rotorcraft Simulation Environment (ROSIE) at the Instituteof Helicopter Technology, the Pilot-in-the-Loop andHardware-in-the-Loop rotorcraft simulator has been sucessfully completed more than 1.000 simulated flightsin several internal and external projects with more than50 fleet and test pilots from industry, public authorities,and miliatry services from all over the world.The original Bo 105 cockpit with the future orientedmodular glas cockpit, embedded to a state-of-the-arthigh resolution full dome projection, pioineering Augmented Reality (AR) applications like Helmet-MountedDisplays (HMDs), and the original flight proven flightmodels from helicopters like the Bo 105 and H135,enable highly realistic Human-in-the-Loop investigations for onshore and offshore scenarions, as well as fora wide spectrum of high-complex rotorcraft missions.These pilots are continoulsy working together with theexperts from the institute on designing, integrating, enhancing, and in-flight testing newly developed systemsfor making those missions safe and highly reliable.

See the Simulator in action here: (

List of Lectures

  • Helicopter Flight Dynamics
  • Rotorcraft Engineering - Preliminary Design
  • Rotorcraft Engineering - System & Components
  • Safety & Certification of Aircraft
  • Fundamentals of Helicopter Aerodynamics
  • IFR Helicopter Flight
  • Project Seminar „Urban Air Mobility“