The Company

Since 1982, our staff of experts have supported all aspects of engineering analysis in regards to rotorcraft simulation and helicopter simulation. This list includes aerodynamics, controls, structures, propulsion, handling qualities, and more. We are an industry leader in the field of modeling, analysis, and real-time simulation for rotrocraft and helicopters. ART has developed two major comprehensive analysis and simulation tools for rotorcraft, helicopters, and other air vehicles; FLIGHTLAB and, under the guidance of the U.S. Army's Aviation Development Directorate (ADD), the Rotorcraft Comprehensive Analysis System (RCAS). These tools are used throughout the rotorcraft industry and we continue to enhance their capabilities through research and development of advanced rotorcraft simulation technologies.

Outside front view of Advanced Rotorcraft Technology's office building

History Timeline

Timeline of ART's history


Company Founded

Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc. (ART) founded by Dr. Ron DuVal at a leased office at NASA Ames, Moffett Field, California.


Awarded 2GCHAS Contract

U.S. Army awarded ART with contract for development of second generation comprehensive analysis system (2GCHAS) for rotorcraft.

1986 - 1990

Development of FLIGHTLAB

Development and introduction of FLIGHTLAB, ART's commercial rotorcraft simulation and analysis software product. FLIGHTLAB was designed around a library of physics-based components for rotorcraft subsystem (i.e., aerodynamic surfaces, mechanical linkages, gearboxes, sping-damper systems, etc.) in support of engineering analysis and realtime simulation.


Development of Graphical Utilities for FLIGHTLAB

FLIGHTLAB graphical model editor and Xanalaysis workspace were developed and introduced to the user community. The introduction of graphical user interfaces enabled new FLIGHTLAB users to quickly perform fundamental rotorcraft simulation design and analysis tasks.


Development of RCAS

Based on the experience from the 2GCHAS development and application, the U.S. Army selected ART to develop the new Rotorcraft Comprehensive Analysis System (RCAS). RCAS combines a physics-based component library for rotorcraft systems with robust solution methods for detailed structural and aerodynamic analysis.


FLIGHTLAB Model Development for U.S. Army AVCATT Simulators

The first major application of FLIGHTLAB realtime flight dynamics models for pilot training was initiated with the award of the development and integration support for the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT) by the U.S. Army. Aside from accurately modeling the flight dynamics, the model also included detailed engine and flight control models.


Delivered First FLIGHTLAB Models for FAA Level D SIMULATORS

ART developed and delivered the first real-time capable FLIGHTLAB models in support of FAA Level D certified full flight simulators for Flight School XXII. The integration of FLIGHTLAB models with the highest fidelity pilot training simulators included interfacing with motion platform, visual, and cockpit systems. This was a major milestone for ART.


Development of RCAS and FLIGHTLAB Interface for External CFD Codes

ART developed and demonstrated interfaces for FLIGHTLAB and RCAS to interact with external computer fluid dynamics (CFD) codes for coupled flight dynamics/structural and detailed aerodynamic analyses. This development enabled detailed aeroelastic rotorcraft simulation and analysis using FLIGHTLAB and RCAS.


Introduction of Viscous Vortex Particle Method (VPM)

The first principal based viscous vortex particle method was developed and introduced to the FLIGHTLAB users as state-of-the-art modeling of the aerodynamic interactions of aerodynamic surfaces such as rotors, fuselage, stabilizers, etc. The computational effort of VPM wake simulations is an order of magnitude lower grid-based CFD analysis and thus allows for detailed analysis of rotorcraft aerodynamic interaction during flight maneuvers in an accurate and time efficient manner.


RCAS Integration with U.S. Army HELIOS

The U.S. Army HELIOS software application is geared toward a unified rotorcraft analysis tool which supports all facets of rotorcraft design, simulation, and analysis. RCAS was integrated as the primary structural dynamics solver within the CREATE-AV HELIOS analysis software solution.


Graphical Interface for RCAS

The development of a graphical user interface for RCAS began under a U.S. Army SBIR in 2009. The goal of the graphical user interface was to provide new RCAS users with a simplified interface for rotorcraft modeling, analysis, and visualization. GRCAS was first released in 2011 and is now widely used within the RCAS user community.


RCAS Cooupled with VPM and CFD

In support of DARPA and U.S. Army projects, ART's VPM and external CFD codes were coupled with RCAS for detailed aeroelastic analysis. This allowed for the detailed analysis of aerodynamic interactions for new and concept aircraft configurations prior to wind tunnel and flight testing.


Development of Virtual Pilot Laboratory

As the result of a U.S. Army SBIR, the initial Virtual Pilot Laboratory (VP Lab) was developed for avionics testing. VP Lab provides a tool set for automatically controlling an aircraft through a prescribed trajectory using a hybrid inverse simulation and autopilot method.


Integration of FLIGHTLAB MH-60M Model in Full Flight Simulator

ART collaborated with Veraxx on the integration of a FLIGHTLAB MH-60M model in a full motion Combat Mission Simulator at Ft. Campbell, KY. The real-time, full-flight FIGHTLAB MH-60M model included a complete flight control system including stability augmentation and auto-pilot functions, detailed models of the engine FADEC and FADEC training modes, and a library of aircaft malfunctions.


Rotorcraft CFD/CSD Coupling with Elastic Fuselage

Under a U.S. Army SBIR, the capability to couple CFD/CSD for a full vehicle, including a coupled elastic fuselage and rotor is demonstrated. This software development allows for the detailed aeroelastic analysis of new rotorcraft configurations with complect aerodynamic interactions and elastic structural components.