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AIRCRAFT STABILITY

SUDI P DAS

LECTURER





DEPARTMENT OF SPACE ENGINEERING & ROCKETRY
BIRLA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: MESRA
AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF PERFORMING ANY MOTION IN THE AIR IN FLIGHT
RAILWAY TRAIN ONE DEGREE OF FREEDOM
PEDESTRIAN STANDING UPRIGHT FACING THE SAME WAY
CAN MOVE FORWARD OR SIDEWAYS
OR BOTH
TWO DEGREE OF FREEDOM
+
JUMPS UP AND DOWN
THIRD LINEAR DEGREE OF FREEDOM
TRANSLATIONAL OR LINEAR DEGREE
OF FREEDOM
(NORMAL TO THE SURFACE)
STANDING STILL HE CAN
1) SWAY HIS BODY SIDEWAYS [ROLLING]
2) TURN RIGHT OR LEFT, ROTATE ABOUT A VERTICAL AXIS [YAWING]
3) TOPPLE FORWARD OR BACKWARD [PITCHING]
THESE ARE THREE
DEGREES OF FREEDOM
OF ROTATIONAL
MOTION
THREE DEGREES OF FREEDOM OF “TRANSLATIONAL MOTION (LINEAR)” + “ROTATIONAL MOTION”
PRODUCE THE COMPLETE SET OF FREEDOMS
ANY MOTION OF ANY COMPLETE BODY CAN BE RESOLVED INTO THESE 6 DEGREES OF FREEDOM
THE ANALYSIS OF ANY MOTION INTO VARIOUS DEGEES OF FREEDOM MUST ASSUME THAT THE
BODY IS RIGID, OR THE BODY IN THE MAIN DOES NOT DISTORT OR FLEX FROM STANDARD SHAPE
AN AEROPLANE, MISSILE IS A HARD RIGID STRUCTURE, INCAPABLE OF SERIOUS DISTORTION
UNDER LOADINGS CONSIDERED NORMAL TO ITS PERFORMANCE
TO CONTROL AND STEER THE AIRCRAFT HINGED FLAPS ARE EFFECTIVELY USED TO CAUSE
MOMENTS ABOUT PRINCIPAL AXES AND HENCE PERSUADE THE AIRCRAFT INTO THE REQUIRED
FLIGHT PATH
THESE PRIMARY CONTROLS ARE CAPABLE OF MOVEMENT RELATIVE
TO THE AIRCRAFT AS AWHOLE
SO THE CONCEPT OF RIGIDITY IS LOST
THIS IS NOT SERIOUS IN THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF AIRCRAFT STABILITY
SO THE 1
ST
ASSUMPTION IS THAT THE AIRCRAFT CAN BE TREATED AS A RIGID BODY
SUBJECT TO SIX DEGREES OF FREEDOM
X
Y
Z
N
L
M
CG
AXIS FORCE MOMENT
OX LONGITUDINAL X ROLLING L

OY TRANSVERSE Y PITCHING M

OZ NORMAL Z YAWING N
BODY AXES
SUFFICIENT TO PRODUCE CONVENIENT
SYSTEMS FOR MOST PROBLEMS
STABILITY ABILITY TO RETURN TO SOME PARTICULAR CONDITION OF FLIGHT
AFTER HAVING BEEN SLIGHTLY DISTURBED FROM THAT CONDITION
WITHOUT ANY EFFORTS ON THE PART OF THE PILOT
INHERENT STABILITY STABILITY WHICH IS DUE TO FEATURES INCORPORATED IN
THE DESIGN OF THE AIRCRAFT
AEROPLANE WHICH, WHEN DISTURBED

TENDS TO RETURN TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION IS SAID TO BE STABLE

TENDS TO MOVE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE ORIGINAL POSITION IS SAID TO BE UNSTABLE

TENDS TO DO NEITHER OF THESE. PREFER TO REMAIN IN ITS NEW POSITION, NEUTRAL STABILITY
SOMETIMES VERY DESIRABLE
Original path of flight
PITCHING MOMENT DEGREE OF STABILITY
DEAD – BEAT STABILITY
VERY RARELY ACHIVED IN PRACTICE
USUAL TYPE OF STABILITY
OSCILLATION WHICH IS GRADUALLY
DAMPED OUT
NEUTRAL STABILITY
STEADY OSCILLATION
INSTABILITY
OSCILLATION WHICH STEADILY
GROWS WORSE
DEGREE OF STABILITY MAY DIFFER ACCORDING TO STICK – FIXED
STICK – FREE
CONDITIONS IN PITCHING
ELEVATORS ARE HELD IN THEIR NEUTRAL
POSITION RELATIVE TO THE TAIL PLANE
PILOT RELEASES THE CONTROL COLUMN
AND ALLOWS THE ELEVATORS TO TAKE
UP THEIR OWN POSITIONS
CONTROL POWER OF THE PILOT TO MANOEUVRE THE AEROPLANE INTO
ANY DESIRED POSITION
STABILITY & CONTROL, THE TWO CHARACTERISTICS DIRECTLY OPPOSE EACH OTHER
CONTROL AND STABILITY CAN WORK HAND IN HAND
WHEN THE PILOT AND THE AEROPLANE AGREE AS TO WHAT
ALTERATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN THEIR METHOD OF FLIGHT
SATBILITY & CONTROL PITCHING ABOUT LATERAL AXIS LONGITUDINAL STABILITY
STABILITY & CONTROL ROLLING ABOUT LONGITUDINAL AXIS LATERAL STABILITY
STABILITY & CONTROL YAWING ABOUT NORMAL AXIS DIRECTIONAL STABILITY
WEATHERCOCK STABILITY
LONGITUDINAL STABILITY
STABILITY IN PITCHING WHEN ANGLE OF ATTACK IS TEMPORARILY INCREASED
FORCES WILL ACT IN SUCH A WAY AS TO DEPRESS THE NOSE
AND THUS DECREASE THE ANGLE OF ATTACK ONCE AGAIN
AN ORDINARY UNSWEPT WING WITH A CAMBERED AEROFOIL
CAN NOT BE BALANCED TO GIVE +VE LIFT AND AT THE SAME TIME BE STABLE
WINGS CAN BE IMPROVED BY SWEEPBACK,
BY WASHOUT (DECREASING  TOWARDS THE TIP)
BY A CHANGE IN WING SECTION TOWARDS THE TIP
BY REFLEX CURVATURE TOWARDS THE
TRAILING EDGE OF THE WING SECTION
LONGITUDINAL STABILITY OF THE AIRCRAFT IS DEPENDENT ON:
THE POSITION OF CENTRE OF GRAVITY, WHICH MUST NOT BE TOO FAR BACK
THE PITCHING MOMENT ON THE WING, MENTIONED EARLIER
THE PITCHING MOMENT ON THE FUSELAGE OR BODY OF THE AEROPLANE
THE TAIL PLANE, ITS AREA, ANGLE AT WHICH IT IS SET, ITS ASPECT RATIO, DISTANCE FROM CG
TAIL PLANE IS USUALLY SET AT AN ANGLE LESS THAN THAT OF THE MAIN PLANES
LONGITUDINAL DIHEDRAL[LD] ANGLE BETWEEN THE CHORD OF THE TAIL PLANE
AND CHORD OF THE MAIN PLANE
WITH THE MAIN PLANES DOWNWASH ACTUAL ANGLE OF ATTACK IS LESS THAN THE
ANGLE AT WHICH TAIL PLANE IS SET
IF THE TAIL PLANE IS SET AT THE SAME ANGLE AS THE MAIN PLANE, THERE WILL BE IN EFFECT

BE A LONGITUDINAL DIHEDRAL ANGLE WHICH HELPS

THE AEROPLANE TO BE LONGITUDINALLY STABLE
IN THE TAIL LESS TYPE AEROPLANE, THE WING MUST BE HEAVILY SWEPT BACK

AND THERE IS A WASH OUT AT THE TIPS SO THAT

THESE WING TIPS DO IN EFFECT ACT IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AS THE ORDINARY TAIL PLANE
IF RESTORING MOMENT OF THE TAIL PLANE IS GREATER THAN THE UPSETTING MOMENT
CAUSED BY THE MAIN PLANE, THE AIRCRAFT WILL BE STABLE.
THE FORWARD POSITION OF THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY & THE AREA AND LEVERAGE
OF THE TAIL PLANE WILL HAVE THE GREATEST INFLUENCE
LATERAL STABILITY
STABILITY IN ROLLING WHEN A SLIGHT ROLL TAKES PLACE

FORCES ACTING ON THE AEROPLANE TEND TO RESTORE IT

FOR SMALL ANGLE OF ATTACK : RESISTANCE TO ROLL
, AND LIFT WILL INCREASE ON DOWN GOING WING
, AND LIFT WILL DECREASE ON UP GOING WING
FOR ANGLE OF ATTACK NEAR STALLING ANGLES:
INCREASED  ON THE FALLING WING CAUSE A DECREASE IN LIFT
AND THE DECREASE  ON THE RAISING WING CAUSE INCREASE IN LIFT
THESE NEW FORCES WILL TEND TO ROLL THE AEROPLANE STILL FURTHER
COMMON METHOD TO OBTAIN LATERAL STABILITY IS THE DIHEDRAL ANGLE
DIHEDRAL ANGLE : ANGLE BETWEEN EACH PLANE AND THE HORIZONTAL (+VE ANGLE)
Horizontal
equivalent
Horizontal
equivalent
Dihedral
angle
equivalent
Horizontal
equivalent
Horizontal
Vertical
equivalent
8 7 1 , 0 7
WING DROPS , THE HORIZONTAL EQUIVALENT INCREASES , LIFT IS INCREASED
HORIZONTAL
EQUIVALENT
AND THE LIFT
DECREASES
FOR THE RISING
WING
THEREFORE FORCES WILL TEND TO RIGHT THE AEROPLANE
BUT THIS IS CANCELLED BY THE UPSETTING EFFECT OF VERTICAL EQUIVALENT ON UPPER WING
SO DIHEDRAL WILL NOT RESTORE IT TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION
Lift
Weight
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WINGS EQUALLY INCLINED : RESULTANT LIFT VERTICALLY UPWARDS : EXACTLY BALANCES WEIGHT
IF ONE WING BECOMES LOWER THAN THE OTHER : RESULTANT LIFT :
SLIGHTLY INCLINED TO THE LOWER WING : WEIGHT REMAINS VERTICAL
THEREFORE TWO FORCES WILL NOT BALANCE EACH OTHER AND THERE WILL BE A SMALL
RESULTANT FORCE ACTING IN THE SIDEWAYS AND DOWNWARD DIRECTION
IT WILL SIDESLIP
AND CAUSE A FLOW OF AIR IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO THE SLIP
LOWER PLANE RECEIVES MORE LIFT : AEROPLANE ROLLS BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION
POSITION OF SIDE SURFACES
FUSELAGE, FIN AND RUDDER, AND WHEELS
CONSIDERABLE INFLUENCE ON LATERAL STABILITY
ALL THESE WILL PRESENT AREAS AT RIGHT ANGLES TO ANY SIDESLIP
SO THERE WILL BE PRESSURE UPON THEM, WHICH IF THEY ARE HIGH ABOVE THE

CENTRE OF GRAVITY WILL TEND TO RESTORE THE AEROPLANE
IF THE SIDE SURFACE ARE LOW THE PRESSURE ON THEM WILL TEND TO ROLL

THE AIRCRAFT OVER STILL MORE AND SO CAUSE LATERAL INSTABILITY
DIRECTIONAL/WEATHERCOCK STABILITY
STABILITY IN YAWING WHEN A SLIGHT YAW TAKES PLACE

FORCES ACTING ON THE AEROPLANE TEND TO RESTORE IT

A SIDESLIP ESSENTIAL FOR LATERAL STABILITY WILL CAUSE AN AIR PRESSURE ON THE
SIDE SURFACES

EFFECT OF THIS PRESSURE WILL BE TO TURN THE NOSE INTO THE RELATIVE WIND
TOWARDS THE DIRECTION OF THE SIDESLIP
TURNING OF AN AEROPLANE
WE WANT TO TURN TO LEFT : INSTEAD OF APPLYING RUDDER WE SIMPLY BANK THE AEROPLANE
TO THE LEFT : IT WILL SLIP INWARDS AND TURN LEFT
JUST A SLIGHT ROLL RESULTS IN A SIDESLIP AND THEN A YAWING MOTION
ALSO IF AN AIRCRAFT MOVES IN A YAWED POSITION , LATERAL STABILITY WILL COME TO PLAY
AND CAUSE THE AIRCRAFT TO ROLL AWAY FROM THE LEADING WING
THUS A ROLL CAUSES YAW, AND A YAW CAUSES A ROLL