Helicopters and the other vertical flight vehicles, like tilt-rotors, compound helicopters, hybrids and rapidly expanding class of easy to fly vertical take-off personal vehicles, are expected to see widespread use in the future especially as means of transport, exploiting the formidable capability to provide point-to-point connections. However, if the expansion of the usage of rotorcraft vehicles were to follow the pace of grow followed by the fixed-wing public transport in the last years, there are several issues that need to be addressed urgently to increase the use and the public acceptance of rotorcraft. In particular, aspects related to complexity of the operations and safety are of primary importance, due to the fact that in the last 20 years helicopter accident rates, worldwide, remained unacceptably high, especially when compared with fixed-wing aircraft. The complexity of the phenomena that rule the functioning of rotorcraft calls for the development of engineers with a genuine multidisciplinary background.
The key objectives of the NITROS training network are:
- to train the next generation of European aeronautical scientists and engineers on this type of flying machines developing the entrepreneurial attitude in them that is essential to introduce disruptive technological innovations;
- to train engineers to avoid overlooking the impact that their design choices may have on flight safety;
- to introduce innovations in rotorcraft design that will enhance the safety of helicopters;
- to obtain a significant reduction of the accident rate;
- to create a network of excellence of European institution dedicated to rotorcraft.
All these goals can be reached by exposing the young researches to a dynamic network composed not only by some of the most renewed European engineering schools and research centres working in the rotorcraft field, but also to a good mix of industrial partners composed by rotorcraft manufacturers, operators and certification entites.