Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Steven J. Landry

Committee Chair

Steven J. Landry

Committee Member 1

Barrett S. Caldwell

Committee Member 2

Dan DeLaurentis

Committee Member 3

Robert W. Proctor


Over the last five years, a new power control inceptor for tiltrotor aircraft, known as the Rotational Throttle Interface (RTI) was designed and built. Prior to the RTI, no tiltrotor inceptor had been able to simultaneously indicate both the direction and magnitude of thrust conformally. The purpose of the RTI is to provide an interface that maps to the intended vehicle response throughout ALL ranges of operation. Doing so is expected to reduce confusion that may have contributed to several tiltrotor accidents

Two tests were conducted with the RTI, one at the NASA Vertical Motion Simulator, and one at Canada's National Research Council's Flight Research Lab. Overall, the tests explored two new control modes against the current tiltrotor control design. Results from the test demonstrated the feasibility of the device and indicated that there was some potential benefit in utilizing an adaptable throttle interface.

In addition to designing and building the RTI, a new evaluation theory has been proposed known as the Design Principle Hierarchy (DPH). The DPH provides a method for evaluating power control inceptors and similar interfaces.