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This work is focused on the design of a rotor speed regulator for small-scale helicopters. A nominal model identification procedure for the main rotor system is performed using an iterative hybrid procedure. Such a model has both linear and nonlinear components and models not only engine throttle but also the effect of collective pitch variation. Collective pitch is the main disturbance source. The identified model is used in the design of different control strategies: polynomial, optimal linear quadratic, both with and without integral action, and Hinfin. Experimental evaluations were conducted to verify the controllers performance under different circumstances.