Rotorcraft research in India: recent developments

Ranjan Ganguli (Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 7 September 2010



The purpose of this paper is to discuss published research in rotorcraft which has taken place in India during the last ten years. The helicopter research is divided into the following parts: health monitoring, smart rotor, design optimization, control, helicopter rotor dynamics, active control of structural response (ACSR) and helicopter design and development. Aspects of health monitoring and smart rotor are discussed in detail. Further work needed and areas for international collaboration are pointed out.


The archival journal papers on helicopter engineering published from India are obtained from databases and are studied and discussed. The contribution of the basic research to the state‐of‐the‐art in helicopter engineering science is brought out.


It is found that strong research capabilities have developed in rotor system health and usage monitoring, rotor blade design optimization, ACSR, composite rotor blades and smart rotor development. Furthermore, rotorcraft modeling and analysis aspects are highly developed with considerable manpower available and being generated in these areas.

Practical implications

Two helicopter projects leading to the “advanced light helicopter” and “light combat helicopter” have been completed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd These helicopter programs have benefited from the basic research and also provide platforms for further basic research and deeper industry academic collaborations. The development of well‐trained helicopter engineers is also attractive for international helicopter design and manufacturing companies. The basic research done needs to be further developed for practical and commercial applications.


This is the first comprehensive research on rotorcraft research in India, an important emerging market, manufacturing and sourcing destination for the industry.



Ganguli, R. (2010), "Rotorcraft research in India: recent developments", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 82 No. 5, pp. 305-319.

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