Bell Helicopter Textron uses MathWorks tools to develop world's first commercial tiltrotor

NATICK, Mass., 26 April 2006. Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. is successfully flight testing the fly-by-wire flight control system of the Bell-Agusta 609 (BA609) civil tiltrotoris, designed with the use of MathWorks software solutions. Bell Helicopter is using Model-Based Design and MathWorks software -- including MATLAB, Simulink, Real-Time Workshop, Stateflow, the Control System Toolbox, and the Signal Processing Toolbox.

NATICK, Mass., 26 April 2006. Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. is successfully flight testing the fly-by-wire flight control system of the Bell-Agusta 609 (BA609) civil tiltrotor, designed wtih the use of MathWorks software solutions. Bell Helicopter is using Model-Based Design and MathWorks software -- including MATLAB, Simulink, Real-Time Workshop, Stateflow, the Control System Toolbox, and the Signal Processing Toolbox -- to maximize system development efficiency and minimize development costs associated with the project.

Because Bell Helicopter is developing the BA609 for commercial use, engineers were faced with a number of cost constraints. The engineering team adopted Model-Based Design, using simulation and software design and verification tools from The MathWorks for use in end-to-end flight control system development.

As a result, the team streamlined its development process. For example, design and control structure changes that once took days could be completed in hours by using Simulink.

"In the case of the BA609 program, using MathWorks tools for software design, testing, and flight simulation allowed us to save thousands of staff hours by verifying that the flight control system does exactly what we expect it to do," says Bob Fortenbaugh, Bell Helicopter Flight Control Laws Technical Resource Specialist.

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