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- Flight Stability and Automatic Control Second Edition Robert C. Nelson
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AE 6501

AUC R2013

Flight Dynamics

1. What is meant by steady, straight and level flight of an aircraft?

For steady flight, T = D; for straight flight, = 0; and for level flight L = W.

The altitude where the maximum rate of climb is zero is the highest altitude

achievable in steady, level flight is called the absolute ceiling.

The altitude where the maximum rate of climb is 100 ft/min is called the

service ceiling.

1

= = 2

2

a. Low velocity of the aircraft.

b. High altitude.

c. Low coefficient of drag.

d. Small wetted surface area of the wing.

AUC R2013

4. What are the conditions required for minimum drag and minimum power required

for an airplane? Mention them in drag coefficients also.

The minimum drag occurs when lift to drag ratio is maximum.

=

/ /

= =

=

( / )

The minimum power required occurs when the airplane is flying such that

is a maximum value.

3/2

/

1

3/2

( / )

The specific fuel consumption c is defined as the weight of fuel burned per

unit power per unit time.

=

For every aerodynamic body, there is a relation between CD and CL that can

be expressed as an equation or plotted on a graph. Both the equation and the graph

are called the drag polar.

AUC R2013

Range is the total distance (measured with respect to the ground) traversed

by an airplane on one load of fuel.

=

0

ln

8. Define the Endurance.

Endurance is the amount of time that an airplane can stay in the air on one

load of fuel.

0

9. Give the condition for steepest climb angle and shallowest glide angle.

The climb angle or glide angle , is defined as the angle between the

instantaneous flight path direction and the horizontal.

For the steepest climb angle;

sin =

1

=

(/)

tan =

1

(/)

The two performance characteristics of greatest importance in turning flight

are

i. The turn radius .

ii. The turn rate /. The turn rate is simply the local angular

velocity of the airplane along the curved flight path.

To obtain the smallest possible , we want

i. The highest possible load factor (i.e., the highest possible /).

ii. The lowest possible velocity.

To obtain the largest possible turn rate, we want

i. The highest possible load factor.

ii. The lowest possible velocity.

Gurunath K. AE 6501 Flight Dynamics | 3

AUC R2013

The necessary condition for a level turn is,

=

1

==

Where,

The two performance characteristics of greatest importance in turning flight

are

i. The turn radius .

ii. The turn rate .

These are highly depending on the load factor. So, the safe maneuverability

is ensured from the load factor.

13. What is 'degree of freedom' and how much required for an airplane?

The degree of freedom (DOF) of a mechanical system is the number of

independent parameters that define its configuration.

An aircraft maneuvering moves are in six ways that, including three

translational degrees of freedom (vertical, lateral, and longitudinal) and three

rotational degrees of freedom (pitch, roll, and yaw).

Stability is the tendency of an aircraft, to generate the aerodynamic moments

necessary to return it to its original equilibrium, when disturbed.

AUC R2013

necessary to return it to its original equilibrium, when disturbed.

There are two modes of aircraft control: one moves the aircraft between

equilibrium states, the other takes the aircraft into a non-equilibrium (accelerating)

state. Control is directly opposed to stability.

15. Define the static stability.

A system is said to be statically stable when a small disturbance causes forces

and moments that tend to move the system towards its undisturbed position. If the

forces and moments tend to move the system away from the equilibrium position,

then the system is said to be statically unstable. In the case of a system having neutral

static stability, no forces or moments are created as a result of the disturbance.

When the airplane is disturbed, it is no longer in equilibrium and gains new

forces and moments. If restoring forces and moments are generated by the airplane

that tend initially to bring it back to its equilibrium straight and level condition, it is

static stability. Such aircrafts are called statically stable aircraft.

(Writing the second para is sufficient for 2 marks question)

The static longitudinal stability of an aircraft refers to the aircraft's stability

in the pitching plane - the plane which describes the position of the aircraft's nose in

relation to its tail and the horizon.

AUC R2013

If an aircraft is longitudinally stable, a small increase in angle of attack will

cause the pitching moment on the aircraft to change so that the angle of attack

decreases. Similarly, a small decrease in angle of attack will cause the pitching

moment to change so that the angle of attack increases.

18. Define the dynamic stability.

A system is said to be dynamically stable if it eventually returns to the

original equilibrium position after being disturbed by a small disturbance.

AUC R2013

To maneuver an airplane, the pilot must control its movement around its

lateral, longitudinal, and vertical axes. This is accomplished by the use of the flight

controls - elevators, ailerons, and rudder - which can be deflected from their neutral

position into the flow of air as the airplane moves forward through the air.

20. What is the need for aerodynamic balancing?

Aerodynamic balancing is required to assist the pilot to move controls easily

in the absence of power-assisted controls. The most common forms of aerodynamic

balancing are inset hinges, horn balances, internal balances, and tab balances.

a. Aerial photography.

b. Engine-out landing.

c. Slip to land in icing conditions.

d. Slips also play a role in aerobatics and aerial combat.

22. Distinguish between stick-fixed stability and stick-free stability.

Stick-fixed stability

Stick-free stability

amount of control and elevator

movement needed to change

airspeed (or CL, or ) from trim.

required force.

AUC R2013

The vertical tail of an airplane is usually composed of two parts - a vertical

stabilizer and a rudder. To fix the control surface rudder an airplane requires the

vertical tail. The vertical stabilizer gives the plane stability in the yaw direction and

the rudder gives it the ability to rotate in the same direction.

24. Define adverse yaw.

Adverse yaw is the natural and undesirable tendency for an aircraft to yaw

in the opposite direction of a roll.

AUC R2013

Neutral Point (NP), which is the Aerodynamic Centre of the whole aircraft.

The major contributors are the main wing, stabilizer surfaces and fuselage.

In aircraft analysis, static margin is defined as the distance between the center

of gravity and the neutral point of the aircraft, expressed as a percentage of the mean

aerodynamic chord (MAC) of the wing. The greater this distance and the narrower

the wing, the more stable the aircraft.

The angle between the direction of the relative wind and the plane of

symmetry of an airplane, being positive when the airplane turns to the right.

AUC R2013

The sideslip angle, also called angle of sideslip (AOS, AoS, ), is a term used

in fluid dynamics and aerodynamics and aviation. It relates to the rotation of the

aircraft centerline from the relative wind.

The phugoid mode of oscillation is a longitudinal oscillation of an airplane

attempting to return to an equilibrium trimmed flight condition after being disturbed.

It is a long period, slow oscillation of the airplane's flight path.

AUC R2013

A control mode in which the pursuing aircraft flies a programmed weaving

flight path to allow time to accomplish identification functions.

30. What is porpoising oscillation?

The longitudinal instability can cause self-induced heave and pitch

oscillations called the porpoising oscillation.

The design of the aileron surface itself has also been improved by the "Frise

type" aileron. With this type of aileron, when pressure on the control stick or wheel

is applied to one side, raising one of the ailerons, the leading edge of that aileron

projects down into the airflow and creates drag. This helps equalize the drag created

by the lowered aileron on the opposite wing and thus reduces adverse yaw.

AUC R2013

Dihedral is often used as a means to improve lateral stability. Figure (a)

shows a head-on view of an airplane that has dihedral where the wings are turned up

at some dihedral angle to the horizontal. Now, assume that a disturbance causes one

wing to drop relative to the other as shown in figure (b). The lift vector rotates and

there is a component of the weight acting inward which causes the airplane to move

sideways in this direction. The airplane is said to sideslip and the relative free-stream

direction is now in a direction toward which the airplane is side slipping. If the

airplane is laterally stable, moments arise that tend to reduce the bank angle.

From geometric considerations, when wings have dihedral, the wing closer

to the sideslip (that is, toward the free- stream velocity), hence the lower wing, will

experience a greater angle of attack than the raised wing and hence greater lift. There

results a net force and moment tending to reduce the bank angle as shown in figure

(c) and bring the aircraft to straight and level flight. This is called the dihedral effect.

(Writing the second para is sufficient for 2 marks question)

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