Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aviation Systems

Major Professor

Mr. Robert B. Richards

Committee Members

Dr. U. Peter Solies, Mr. Richard J. Ranaudo


The Office of the Secretary of Defense chartered the Joint Shipboard Helicopter Integration Process (JSHIP), Joint Test and Evaluation (JT&E) Program to improve Joint interoperability between U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Army/Air Force helicopters. One effort of the JSHIP JT&E Program was to improve the modeling and simulation tools and fidelity levels associated with conducting Joint shipboard helicopter operations, for both testing agencies and operational users. The UH-60A helicopter and the LHA class ship were identified as the highest priority helicopter-ship pair for operational forces and also allowed JSHIP to enhance models that currently existed. Enhancing the visual model of an LHA ship was a primary effort for the research and testing community in order to accurately replicate the shipboard visual cueing environment. Evaluating enhanced visual models in a research flight simulator in order to reduce actual shipboard flight testing or expand wind launch/recovery envelopes required the use of more aggressive and precise flight maneuvers than standard shipboard takeoffs and landings. The U.S. Army’s Aeronautical Design Standard 33D (ADS-33D) contained flight test industry accepted maneuvers of sufficient aggressiveness and precision, but were not designed for, or intended to be flown from the deck of a ship at sea. The methodology and procedure used to modify selected ADS-33D flight maneuvers so that they could safely be executed aboard an LHA class ship is presented in this thesis, along with the final maneuver descriptions, locations, and flight tolerances. The results of the shipboard test program and follow-on simulator assessment are not presented here, as they fall outside the scope of this thesis. However, conclusions from the at-sea flight tests relating to development of the modified ADS-33D were included. The flight test philosophy, methodology, and lessons learned while developing the modified ADS-33D maneuvers for the shipboard environment are the primary conclusions drawn.

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