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Boeing-747 Analysis

Jazz Lindquist1
Aircraft Flight Dynamics (14:650:271), New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

A Boeing 747 aircraft was analyzed in regards to its stability. First, it was determined
whether the aircraft was statically stable. Then it was ascertained whether the dynamic
response of the aircraft supported the prediction. The Euler force and moment equations
for an aircraft were used, along with the decoupled longitudinal and lateral forms. Matlab
was used to both solve and graph the models. It was found that the equations in their
original form proved difficult to simulate, with errors abounding in the results obtained.
Using the decoupled equations proved to be largely successful, with the behavior proving
that the aircraft was indeed statically stable.
Abstract: a concise summary


The Boeing 747 aircraft was one of the most innovative designs of its time. Often heralded as a
masterpiece of industrial design, the Boeing 747 was twice the size of any previous airliner. It
was the result of a four year development to production cycle (in comparison to the largely
successful Boeing 707s 8-year cycle)5, and pushed the limits of what airliners of the time could
do. In addition to breaking records, it became so popular that it is one of the most easily
recognizable airplanes of the modern era. Part of this is due to its unique upper deck hump, but
more is owed to the success it has enjoyed for over three decades. Its accomplishments include
holding the passenger capacity record for 37 years (1970-2007), being modified to serve as Air
Force One for the commander-in-chief of the United States government7, and serving as a shuttle
carrier for NASA8. This paper aims to determine the flight characteristics of this iconic aircraft.
To that end, the stability of the aircraft will be determined, both static and dynamic, longitudinal
and lateral. In addition to this, MATLAB will be used to model some of the aircrafts response to
various perturbations.

1 Undergraduate, Rutgers University

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
General Nomenclature of Aircraft

Before the Boeing 747 can be adequately analyzed, a general knowledge of the standards
used in flight dynamics is required. Aircraft flight studies concerning aircraft are rather complex,
and a knowledge of the comprehensive nomenclature goes a long way in understanding the
capabilities of any aircraft. It is assumed that the reader has a certain familiarity with the subject,
but for the sake of simplicity, a brief overview will be given here.
The coordinate systems used with the respective forces, moments, and angles will be
given here as a reference. Two coordinate systems are used to describe the position and
orientation of the aircraft at a given time: an inertial reference frame and the body frame of the
aircraft. For an inertial reference frame, a coordinate system fixed to the earth will be used. It is
usually set so that the x-axis point north, the y-axis points to the east, and the z-axis points
downward toward the earth. On the aircraft itself, a second coordinate system referred to as the
body frame is employed. Its x-axis (also called the centerline) lies along the fuselage of the
aircraft, the y-axis of the coordinate system is along the right wing of the aircraft, and the z-axis
points towards the bottom of the aircraft. It is also important to note that the xz-plane forms a
plane of symmetry along the aircraft.
In terms of these two coordinate systems, the following is a list of the various variables
and forces acting on the aircraft:
Axial Force, the force acting on the aircraft along the x-axis
Side Force, the force acting on the aircraft along the y-axis
Normal Force, the force acting along the aircraft along the z-axis
Lift Force The force the aircraft generates to keep itself in the air
Thrust Force Force the aircraft generates to propel itself in the positive x-
Drag Force force that opposes the thrust force due to the shape of the aircraft and
the flow it generates
Weight Refers to the force of gravity on the aircraft, always acts towards the earth
Rolling Moment, the moment of the aircraft about the x-axis
Pitching Moment, the moment of the aircraft about the y-axis
Yawing Moment, the moment of the aircraft about the z-axis
(Note that when dealing with the coefficients of the roll, pitch, and
yaw moments, lowercase letters are used to avoid confusion)
velocity of the aircraft along the x-axis
velocity of the aircraft along the y-axis
velocity of the aircraft along the z-axis
direction of flight or resultant velocity, true direction of the aircraft given
by the sum of the velocity components
angular rate along the x-axis
angular rate along the y-axis
Aircraft Flight Dynamics
angular rate along the z-axis
angle of attack, angle between projected onto the xz plane and the
centerline of the aircraft
flight path angle, angle between the direction of flight and the local
sideslip angle, angle between projected onto the xy plane and the
centerline of the aircraft
yaw angle, angle between the projection of the centerline onto the
horizontal plane and north
heading angle, angle between projected onto the horizontal plane and
pitch angle, angle between local horizontal and the centerline
roll angle, angle between the true vertical and the z-axis of the aircraft
flight dynamic pressure, equal to 0.5rho*Vinfinity^2
reference area, taken to be the wing planform area
characteristic length, which is the wingspan for the rolling and yawing
moment and the mean chord for the pitching moment

For further understanding, three diagrams are provided, as it is often easier to visibly see the
difference between various parameters. Figure 1 displays the body frame of the aircraft along
with the the angular rates, velocities, moments, and total velocity. Each axis has a force, moment,
and angular rate associated with it. Moving on to Figure 2, the pitch, angle of attack, and flight
path angle can be seen. The lift, drag, and thrust forces are also shown, as well as the pitching
moment, velocity, and total velocity . Figure 3 simply provides a visual representation of
the yaw, sideslip, heading, and roll angles.11

Figure 1. Body Reference Frame and Associated Forces and Moments 17

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Figure 2. Pitch, Angle of Attack, and the Flight Path Angle17

Figure 3. Yaw, Sideslip, Heading, and Roll Angle17

For this paper, all of the information obtained about the Boeing 747 is listed in Appendix
1. The format used for the dimensionless coefficients is as follows: the first subscript determines
the type of coefficient it is and the second subscript, if there is one, details the variable that the
derivative of the coefficient is taken with respect to. Take, for example, . The m denotes
that it is the coefficient related to the pitching moment, whereas the second subscript details
how the coefficient has had the partial derivative with respect to alpha taken.

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Problem Statement

One of the most important criteria for an aircraft is how stable it is. This mainly means
its ability to hold constant, steady flight conditions after a disturbance. Steady flight conditions,
also known as trim conditions, requires that the sum of the forces on the airliner as well as the
sum of the moments acting on the airliner are both equal to zero. This disturbance can come from
the atmosphere surrounding the airplane or the pilots actions, but the aircraft must be able to
adequately respond to both disturbances on its own. Although an aircraft does not have to be
inherently stable to successfully fly, it soon becomes exhausting on the part of the pilot to
constantly correct the state of the aircraft. It is also incredibly unsafe to do so, assuming that the
pilot is in the aircraft as well. Interestingly enough, an airplane can perform remarkably and still
be deemed of poor quality if the stability and control are subpar. As such, stability studies are, to
reiterate, an important subject. Stability is comprised of two parts: static and dynamic stability.
An aircrafts stability at equilibrium is its static stability, whereas its time response after a
disturbance is known as its dynamic stability.

A. Static Stability

Once an aircraft is in trim condition, it is at equilibrium. Although almost every aircraft is

designed to achieve trim condition, no aircraft can maintain trim condition. Eventually,
something will occur to alter the aircraft from its initial trim condition. A force or moment will
be induced on the aircraft, and can be caused by things such as a gust of wind, the effects of
thrust generated, a change of the angle of attack of the aircraft, or even a bird flying into the
aircraft. After the aircraft is perturbed, the beginning tendency of the aircraft to return to its
equilibrium state is known as the static stability. If the aircraft is statically stable, then it will
attempt to return to the equilibrium state it began at. If the aircraft is statically unstable, it will
continue further from the state of equilibrium after a disturbance. The static stability between
these two states is that of being statically neutral. If the aircraft were statically neutral, once it is
disturbed it would enter a new equilibrium state with different trim conditions than the one it
began at.
The Boeing 747 will be analyzed to determine whether it is statically stable, statically
unstable, or statically neutral. But stability of the aircraft as a whole often prove difficult to
calculate, so first the longitudinal and then the lateral-directional stability will be looked at. The
longitudinal axis is parallel to the fuselage and divides the plane in half, with its positive
direction going towards the nose of the plane. Conversely, the lateral axis is aligned with the
wings of the aircraft (not exactly parallel because the wings are usually swept), with its positive
direction going towards the right wing of the plane. Both axis have their origin at the center of
gravity of the aircraft.

A1. Longitudinal Static Stability

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
The primary criteria for an aircraft to possess longitudinal static stability is the nature of
its pitching moment with respect to the angle of attack. Rather than deal with the pitching
moment, it is preferred to use the dimensionless coefficient of the pitching moment instead.
Simplifying the analysis, dimensionless coefficients also allow for easy comparison between
aircraft.12 The relationship between the pitching moment and the angle of attack is key in
determining how statically stable the If the pitching moment coefficient increases as the angle of
attack increases, then the airplane is statically unstable. Looking at Figure 2, Airplane 2 would
develop a positive pitching moment that would only move the aircraft further from the
equilibrium point at B. Conversely, Airplane 1 would develop a negative pitching moment that
would attempt to move the aircraft back towards equilibrium. Hence, if the pitching coefficient
with respect to alpha is negative, the plane can be considered statically stable.

Figure 4. Pitching Coefficient vs. Angle of Attack16

Along with a negative , the aircraft also needs to have positive pitching moment coefficient
when the angle of attack is zero. Known as , the pitching moment at zero angle of attack
determines the trim angle of attack. A positive trim angle of attack is desired so as to generate
adequate lift to keep the aircraft aloft.10 Considering Equation 1, it can be seen that the a positive
will yield a the a positive angle of attack (for will be negative for the criteria of static

Equation 1. Pitching Moment as Related to the Angle of Attack

A2. Lateral-Directional Static Stability

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Figure 4. Yaw Moment Coefficient against Sideslip Angle16

Moving on to the directional stability, the requirements are similar to longitudinal

stability. Rather than stability about the y-axis, the stability about the z-axis is of concern. For the
z-axis, the primary moment is that of the yaw moment, denoted by . Again, it is desirable to
have an aircraft tend to move back towards its original position after a perturbation. As shown in
Figure 4, as the sideslip angle increases, the yaw moment needs to increase in a positive direction
as well (counterintuitively, a positive yaw will be opposite in direction to that of positive
sideslip). Conversely, a negative sideslip angle requires that the yaw moment is negative as well.
Therefore, a positive is the only condition for directional static stability. Note that the value
of is equal to zero at zero sideslip, because at trim condition the plane needs to fly in a
straight line, not veering to one side or the other due to a positive or negative sideslip angle. This
is unlike the longitudinal static stability, where it is desired that at trim the angle of attack is
positives so that the nose of the aircraft is pointing upward for adequate lift.

B. Dynamic Stability

Static stability is relatively straightforward. Dynamic stability, however, is not. Static

stability relies on the response of various moments to changes in the orientation of the aircraft,
and the conditions can be constrained to the derivatives of a few coefficients. Dynamic stability
is much more complex, as it the time response of an aircraft after a disturbance, not just whether
or not the aircraft will return to equilibrium conditions. The behaviour of an aircraft depends on
many factors, ranging from the moments and forces acting on the airplane to its relative

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
orientation an observer. Again, the longitudinal and then the lateral-directional dynamic stability
will be analyzed. First, the state response of the whole system will be modelled using the
kinematic and dynamic equations. It will output both longitudinal and lateral responses.
Following this, the dynamic equations will be decoupled into longitudinal and lateral sets.
Finally, the simplest form of analyzing the response of the system will be used: first and second
order differential equations that model the system through several approximations. The full
derivation of the essential equations used will not be recounted here. Instead, the main results
will be listed, with basic explanations as to how they were obtained.

B1. Kinematic and Dynamic Equations

To obtain the kinematic and dynamic equations, the rigid body equations of motion must
first be determined for an aircraft in general. It begins, with all equations involving forces, with
Newtons Second Law of Motion. As the name implies, it is assumed that the aircraft is
completely rigid, which greatly simplifies the mathematics. While generally true, the main
violator of this assumption is the shifting mass of fuel within an aircraft. Its contribution to the
overall body of the airliner is relatively small though, and really only comes into play when
analyzing the behavior of rockets.
Once the rigid body equations of motion are determined, they are then defined in terms of
the Euler angles of the aircraft. This allows the force and velocity components to not only be
described to the pilot within the aircraft, but also to the flight director (or any other party) who
remains on the ground. Euler angles are divided into the pitch, roll, and yaw angles of the
aircraft, with the reference frame being that of the earth coordinate system previously described.
They are then simplified using the fact that the gravitational and thrust force components can be
described using the Euler angles as well. This leads to the kinematic and dynamic equations of
motion seen in Table 1. A full description of the derivation can be found in the link provided in
the bibliography.15

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Table 1. Summary of Kinematic and Dynamic Equations16

Even though the equations are much simpler than when the analysis began, it is
impossible to solve analytically. There are twelve equations and twelve different variables,
making the process of an analytical solution a long and difficult one. Instead, the equations were
solved numerically with the use of MATLAB software. To plot the response of the system, these
equations were then rearranged so as to have the derivatives of each variable on one side. Having
it in this form was beneficial for using MATLAB to solve the system of differential equations
using ode23 (an ordinary differential equation solver for non-stiff differential equations).

Figure 5. Euler Force and Moment Equations Rearranged.17

The solutions obtained are dependent on 6 different variables: , , , , , and . All of

these variables are determined by initial conditions before the disturbance. , , and were
set arbitrarily, as well as the initial p, q, and r angular rates.. , , and were then
determined with the coefficients of the aircraft through the method in Equation 3. Then the

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
programs listed in Appendix 2 were listed were used to plot the response of the system for each

Equation 3. Calculation of the Pitching Moment with Coefficients 17

B2. Decoupled Dynamic Equations

Before the dynamic equations can be separated into longitudinal and directional-lateral
forms, they are simplified using small disturbance theory. The fundamental assumption of small
disturbance theory is that the magnitude of a disturbance to the aircraft is much, much smaller
than the magnitude of the various variables at equilibrium condition. Every variables final
condition is first defined as the initial condition plus the change in that variable, as shown in
Equations 2.

Equation Set 6. Small Disturbance Theory Variables16

Then, this is substituted into the dynamic equations, and the resulting equation is simplified
using several key initial conditions. The initial conditions, known as the reference flight
conditions, is defined as symmetric, and the propulsive forces are assumed to be unchanging.
This allows several reference conditions to be equal to (Equation 6).

Equation 7. Initial condition Variables16

Additionally, the x-axis is initially aligned so that it is along the airplanes velocity vector so as
to eliminate . Since the disturbance is also small, the products of the small disturbances are
are considered to be negligible (of an order of magnitude much less than the rest of the variables)
then eliminated from the resulting equations. The last assumption made is that of small angle

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
approximation, and since the disturbance is small the resulting changes in angles will be small as
well. Therefore the sine values of the initial angles and disturbance angles will be as follows:

Equation 8. Sin Trigonometric Identity16

A similar argument could be made for the cosine identities as well. All of this simplifies the
dynamic equations to much simpler linear values, shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Small Disturbance Theory Simplified Dynamic Equations16

Now that the dynamic equations have been linearized, they can be rearranged into state
space form. State space form will model the response of each variable so that they are a function
of input, output, and state variables. The change in response that include the change in the
normal force due to the pitch angular rate and the derivative of the z-velocity are considered to
be insignificant, and as such are ignored in the final analysis. These equations are then organized
into state space form to first be numerically solved and then analyzed for the eigenvalues of each
system. MATLABs ode43 differential equation solver can then be used to solve each system of
equations and then show the response of the system both laterally and longitudinally.

Equation 8. State Space Form

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Figure 6. Linearized Longitude Equations16

Figure 7. Linearized Lateral-Directional Equations16

The eigenvalues of each A matrix give information about the response. Through
comparison to a mass spring system, the damping ratio the undamped natural frequency of the
response can be determined. The damping ratio will determine how quickly the response either
increases or decreases, while the natural frequency gives the period of the oscillation. Both
factors determine the time until the magnitude of the response is either half or double the original
value through the system damping. The motion associated with each damping ratio is listed in
Figure 8.

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Equation Set 9. Damping Ratio ( ), Natural Frequency ( ), Damped Natural Frequency ( ), and
System Damping ( ) fom Complex Root ( )16

Figure 8. Description of Damping Ratio and associated Motion16

Figure 9. Long (phugoid) and Short Period Approximations of the Damping Ratio and Natural

Estimates using the long period and short period forms of the longitudinal state-space equation
eigenvalues will be obtained with the equations in Figure 8. To obtain these estimates, the
assumption of fixed controls is made. That is to say that there is no additional control input to the
response. Although usually this wouldnt be the case while the aircraft is being operated, doing
so allows quick analysis to be made. The two approaches will be compared to see if the estimate
is an accurate one.
To solve and then subsequently model the dynamic equations, MATLAB was used. The
programs were developed with the aid of the Mathworks website18, through guides to ode
solvers, state space variables, and systems of ordinary differential equation solvers. All of the
programs are listed in Appendix 3 for reference. In all of the equations above, the constants for
the Boeing 747 aircraft were obtained from the text Flight Stability and Automatic Control.16

Aircraft Flight Dynamics

Static stability can easily be proved from observation of the data in Appendix 1.
and are both negative, implying that the plane will return to equilibrium after a
disturbance. All of the graphs outputted by the MATLAB program are listed in Appendix 1 for
continuity (there are several pages worth of graphs). To begin with, the Euler Force and Moment
Equation program was formed. The inputs for the systems of equations ( , , , , , and
) were all set to 0 with the exception of , which was set to 1000 lbf, , , and whos
values were determined by Equation 3. A controls fixed model was employed, with the elevator,
rudder, and aileron set to 1, 3, and 5 degrees respectively. Initial sideslip and angle of attack
angles were all also set to 0. Several different combinations of initial conditions were used, but
the results were all equally unreliable.
Although the program was checked several times, it seems that the results obtained from
the euler force and moment equations are inaccurate. Much was done to eliminate as much error
as possible, including cross referencing with other programs, research sources, and manipulating
of the variables, but the results obtained from running the program seem to be riddled with
mistakes. The velocities are all exhibiting ridiculous behavior. and are wildly oscillating
between positive and negative values while increasing in value, which is physically impossible.
The x and y positions are decreasing at incredible rates, while the plane soars upwards with an
increasing z position. Moving on to the angles and angular rates, for whatever reason the angular
rates and are damped as it they should be. Meanwhile, is just constantly decreasing. The
angles continue this trend of odd behavior, with all of the angles except for just oscillating
around different values. If an aircraft actually behaved in this manner, it would be plummeting
towards the ground.
Moving on to the Longitudinal and Lateral Decoupling Equations, there seems to be a
moderate amount of accuracy here. Thankfully, the mistakes seen in the Euler Force and Moment
Equations seem to be absent here. First, the free response of the longitude were modelled. The
initial pitch of the aircraft was fixed at 5, while , , and were slightly varied. Following the
initial disturbance values, all of the variables damped to zero. The manner of damping was
slightly sinusoidal in the case of , , and , whereas the pitch was decreased to 0
exponentially. Next, the elevator was fixed at 5 degrees and the program was run again.
According to the graphs, the elevator seems to have a great effect on the variables. When it is
fixed at 5 degrees, all of the variables reach the same state regardless of the initial state.
As for the lateral decoupled equations, the initial conditions only seem to increase or
decrease the magnitude of the response. The response behavior remains largely the same over all
four states simulated. While the rudder is maintained at 0 deflection, sideslip, , and all
dampen sinusoidally. There is some small variation to the sinusoidal behavior towards the end of
the test sample where the values decrease very slightly exponentially, with its magnitude
changing in response to the initial conditions. The roll exhibits damping motion closest to

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
exponential overdamping. Once the rudder is deflected at an angle of positive 5 degrees, the roll
and change their steady state values from 0 to negative values, and the exponential decay seen
at the end of each response graph is more evident. As the aileron is deflected 5 degrees, the
system response changes drastically. All of the responses become underdamped exponentially
decaying sinusoidal motion to varying degrees when the sideslip is negative or 0. For the other
states, the sideslip and return to their original behavior. still reaches a steady state that
differs with the initial values as well.
Finally the eigenvalues were calculated with MATLAB for both the longitudinal and
lateral states. When the equations of motions are in state space form, the eigenvalues are
determined from the Matrix A. Comparing these to the values obtained from the approximations,
there seems to be no agreement. Between the two, the values calculated are correct. For the
approximations, the only values used were obtained from the text, so it is unclear where the
source of error is, other than a mistake within the calculations themselves. According Figure 8,
the eigenvalues from the program do match with the results obtained through the graphs.
Considering the decoupled equations, they support the fact that the aircraft in question is
a finished vehicle licensed for use. Using the data from the text yields an aircraft that damps
disturbances to maintain trim conditions, proving that it is indeed statically stable. This is exactly
what one would expect from a commercial airliner, where a smooth, safe ride is desirable. When
the elevator, rudder, and/or aileron are deflected, the change can be seen in the direction and
moments acting on the aircraft. After an initial disturbance, keeping these control factors
displaced results in changing the position of the aircraft, which exhibits the effect that controls
have on the aircraft. Path and orientation can be adjusted depending on outside stimuli with the
alteration of these factors.


The goal of this paper was to ascertain the viability of the Boeing 747 aircraft. First, the
requirements for static stability were considered. Then through the use of the Euler force and
moment equations, along with their simplifications, it was seen if the aircraft would return to
equilibrium. In their original form, efforts to adequately model the behavior of the aircraft
proved largely unsuccessful. Despite this, decoupling the equations and observing the
eigenvalues showed that the aircraft did indeed possess static stability. Moving forward, care
needs to be taken in regards to properly modeling the system. The complexity of flight stability
was grossly underestimated, but this study has proved useful in providing insight into how
aircraft modeling is done.

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Appendix 1
MATLAB Code Results
Euler Force and Moment Equations

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Decoupled Lateral Equations, Free Response
u=10, w=10, q=5, theta=5

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u=5, w=5, q=0, theta=5

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u=15, w=0, q=5, theta=5

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u=0, w=5, q=15, theta=5

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Decoupled Longitudinal Equations, Elevator at 5 Degrees

u=10, w=10, q=5, theta=5

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
u=5, w=5, q=0, theta=5

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
u=15, w=0, q=5, theta=5

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
u=0, w=5, q=15, theta=5

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Decoupled Lateral Equations, Free Response
sideslip=-10, p= 20, r=10, roll= 5

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sideslip=15, p= 0, r=5, roll= 10

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sideslip=5, p= 5, r=0, roll= 15

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sideslip=0, p= 5, r=5, roll= 15

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Decoupled Lateral Equations, Rudder at 5 Degrees
sideslip=-10, p= 20, r=10, roll= 5

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
sideslip=15, p= 0, r=5, roll= 10

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sideslip=5, p= 5, r=0, roll= 15

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
sideslip=0, p= 5, r=5, roll= 15

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Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Decoupled Lateral Equations, Aileron at 5 Degrees
sideslip=-10, p= 20, r=10, roll= 5

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sideslip=15, p= 0, r=5, roll= 10

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sideslip=5, p= 5, r=0, roll= 15

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sideslip=0, p= 5, r=5, roll= 15

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Eigenvalue Approximations

Longitudinal Eigenvalues

Calculated Long Period (phugoid) Short Period

Damped -0.3465 -0.0095 0.6900




Damped 1.5420 -0.2486



Lateral Eigenvalues

Calculated Spiral Roll Dutch Roll

Damped -3.7099 -0.1396 -0.8705 -0.1509




Damped 0 0.6092


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Appendix 2
Constants of the Aircraft
Flight coefficients and Parameters of the Boeing 747 Aircraft
(Coefficients are given in terms of radians)

M=0.25 at sea level M=0.90 at 40,000 ft.
11.1 0.5
0.102 0.042
5.70 5.5
0.66 0.47
-1.26 -1.6
6.7 0.006
Q*S*Cyb/m -3.2 -9.0
5.4 6.58
-20.8 -25.0
-0.81 0.2
0.0 0.25
0.27 -0.10
0.338 0.3
-1.34 -1.2
M=0.25 at sea level M=0.90 at 40,000 ft.
-0.96 -0.85
-0.221 -0.10
0.150 0.20
-0.45 -0.30
-0.121 0.20
0.101 0.20
-0.30 -0.325
0.0461 0.014
0.0064 0.003
0.175 0.075
0.007 0.005
-0.109 -0.09

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Center of Gravity and Mass Characteristics

Center of Gravity (CG) at 25% Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC)
Rolling Moment of Inertia:
Pitching Moment of Inertia:
Yawing Moment of Inertia:
Product of Inertia about xz-axis:

Reference Geometry

Chord Length: ft
Wing Planform Area (Reference Area):
Wing Span:

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Appendix 2
Static Stability Proofs
%Constants for Mach 0.25, sea level% 'alpha \nis %.2f and the slope of the Cm vs. CL
V_inf1=281.332; %v_infinity in fps curve is %.2f'],...
rho1=0.002377; %density of air in slug/ft^3 Cmalpha2, Cm_CL2)
Q1=0.5*rho1*V_inf1^2; %dynamic pressure

%Constants for Mach 0.90, 40,000 ft.* %%Elevator Control%%

V_inf2=281.332; %v_infinity in fps
rho2=0.000587; %density of air in slug/ft^3 %Mach 0.25 at sea level%
Q2=0.5*rho2*V_inf2^2; %dynamic pressure CLdel_e1=0.338; %slope of coefficicent of lift vs.
elevator deflection
%Aircraft Dimensions Cmdel_e1=-1.34; %slope of pitching coefficient vs.
c=27.31; %chord length in ft elevator deflection
S=5500; %reference area (wing planeform area) in Cm01=0; %pitching coefficient at zero angle of
ft^2 attack
b=195.68; %wing span in ft %Mach 0.90 at 40,000%
CLdel_e2=0.3; %slope of coefficicent of lift vs.
elevator deflection
%%%Longitudinal Static Stability and Control%%% Cmdel_e2=-1.2; %slope of pitching coefficient vs.
elevator deflection
%%Static Stability%% Cm02=0; %pitching coefficient at zero angle of
%Mach 0.25 at sea level%
Cmalpha1=-1.26; %slope of the pitching moment alpha=(0:0.1:30)*pi/180;
coeffecient vs. angle of delta_e=0;
%attack curve
%Mach 0.25 at sea level%
CLalpha1=5.70; %slope of the coefficient of lift CL1=CLalpha1*alpha+CLdel_e1*delta_e;
Cm_CL1=Cmalpha1/CLalpha1; %coefficient of lift
fprintf(['\nAt Mach = 0.25 and an altitude of sea
level,the slope of'... Cm1=Cm01+Cmalpha1*alpha+Cmdel_e1*delta_e;
' Cm vs. \nalpha is %.2f and the slope of the Cm %pitch coefficient
vs. CL'...
' curve is %.2f'],Cmalpha1, Cm_CL1) %Mach 0.90 at 40,000%
%Mach 0.90 at 40,000 ft%
Cmalpha2=-1.60; %slope of the pitching moment Cm2=Cm02+Cmalpha2*alpha+Cmdel_e2*delta_e;
coeffecient vs. angle of
%attack curve.
CLalpha2=5.50; %slope of the coefficient of lift plot (alpha,CL1, alpha, CL2)
Cm_CL2=Cmalpha2/CLalpha2; subplot(2,2,2)
fprintf(['\n\nAt Mach = 0.90 and 40,000 ft.,the slope plot (alpha,Cm1, alpha, Cm2)
of Cm vs.'... hold on

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
alpha=0; %rudder deflection comparison%
delta_e=(0:0.1:30)*pi/180; beta=0;
%Mach 0.25 at sea level%
CL1=CLalpha1*alpha+CLdel_e1*delta_e; Cn1=beta*Cnbeta1+delta_r*Cndel_r1;
Cm1=Cm01+Cmalpha1*alpha+Cmdel_e1*delta_e; subplot(2,1,2)
%Mach 0.90 at 40,000%
%%Roll Control%%
%sideslip angle%
subplot(2,2,3) beta=0:0.1:30;
plot (delta_e,CL1, delta_e, CL2) delta_a=0; %aileron deflection angle
plot (delta_e,Cm1, delta_e, Cm2) %Mach 0.25 at sea level%
hold off Clbeta1=-0.221; %slope of roll coefficient vs. the
sideslip angle

%%%Lateral Stability and Control%%% %Mach 0.90 at 40,000%

Clbeta2=-0.10; %slope of roll coefficient vs. the
sideslip angle
%%Directional Stability and Control%%

%sideslip angle comparison%

beta=0:0.1:30; %sideslip angle
delta_r=0; %rudder deflection angle

%Mach 0.25 at sea level%
plot(beta, Cl1, beta, Cl2)
Cnbeta1=0.150; %slope of yaw coefficient vs. the
hold on
sideslip angle
%Mach 0.90 at 40,000%
Cnbeta2=0.20; %slope of yaw coefficient vs. the %aileron deflection angle%
sideslip angle beta=0;
delta_a=0:0.1:30; %aileron deflection angle
%Mach 0.25 at sea level%
Cndel_r1=-0.109; %slope of yaw coefficient vs. the %Mach 0.25 at sea level%
rudder deflection angle Cldel_a1=0.0461; %slope of roll coefficient vs.
%Mach 0.90 at 40,000% aileron deflection angle
Cndel_r2=-0.09; %slope of yaw coefficient vs. the %Mach 0.90 at 40,000%
rudder deflection angle Cldel_a2=0.014; %slope of roll coefficient vs. aileron
deflection angle
Cn2=beta*Cnbeta2+delta_r*Cndel_r2; Cl1=beta*Clbeta1+delta_a*Cldel_a1;

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
plot(delta_a, Cl1, delta_a, Cl2)
subplot(2,1,2) hold off

Rigid Body Equations of Motion

function dxdt = RBEM(t,x)
%Aircraft Constants
c = 27.31;
S = 5500;
b = 195.68;
g = 32.2;
Ixx = 18.2*10^6;
Iyy = 33.1*10^6;
Izz = 49.7*10^6;
Ixz = 0.97*10^6;
Cm_alp = -1.26;
Cm_de = -1.34;
Cm_q = -20.8;
Cl_bet = -0.221;
Cl_dr = 0.007;
Cl_da = 0.0064;
Cl_p = -0.45;
Cl_r = 0.101;
Cn_bet = 0.150;
Cn_dr = -0.109;
Cn_da = 0.0064;
Cn_p = -0.121;
Cn_r = -0.30;
%Atmospheric Conditions
rho=0.002377; %density of air in slug/ft^3
%Specified Initial Conditions
d_ele = 1*pi/180;
d_ail = 3*pi/180;
d_rud = 5*pi/180;
alpha = 0*pi/180;
beta = 0*pi/180;
v0=281.332; %v_0 in fps
Q=0.5*rho*v0^2; %dynamic pressure
p = 0;
q = 0;
r = 0;
X = 1000;
Y = 0;
Z = 0;
L = (Cl_bet*beta + Cl_dr*d_rud + Cl_da*d_ail + (Cl_p*Q+Cl_r*Q)*b/(2*v0))*0.5*rho*S*v0^2;
M = (Cm_alp*alpha + Cm_de*d_ele + Cm_q*Q*c/(2*v0))*0.5*rho*S*v0^2;
N = (Cn_bet*beta + Cn_dr*d_rud + Cn_da*d_ail +(Cn_p*Q+Cn_r*Q)*b/(2*v0))*0.5*rho*S*v0^2;
dxdt = zeros(12,1);
dxdt(1) = X/m - g*sin(x(11))+ x(9)*x(2) - x(8)*x(3); %udot

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
dxdt(2) = Y/m + g*sin(x(10))*cos(x(11)) - x(9)*x(1) + x(7)*x(2); %vdot
dxdt(3) = Z/m + g*cos(x(10))*cos(x(11)) + x(8)*x(1) - x(7)*x(2); %wdot
dxdt(4) = (cos(x(11))*cos(x(12)))*x(1) + (-cos(x(10))*sin(x(12)) + sin(x(10))*sin(x(11))*cos(x(12)))*x(2) +
(sin(x(10))*sin(x(12)) + cos(x(10))*sin(x(11))*cos(x(12)))*x(3); %xdot
dxdt(5) = (cos(x(11))*cos(x(12)))*x(1) + (cos(x(10))*sin(x(12)) + sin(x(10))*sin(x(11))*cos(x(12)))*x(2) +(-
sin(x(10))*sin(x(12)) + cos(x(10))*sin(x(11))*cos(x(12)))*x(3); %ydot
dxdt(6) = (-sin(x(11)))*x(1) + (sin(x(10))*cos(x(11)))*x(2) + (cos(x(10))*cos(x(11)))*x(3); %zdot
dxdt(7) = (Izz*L + Ixz*N - (Ixz*(Iyy - Ixx - Izz)*x(7) + (Ixz^2 + Izz*(Izz - Iyy))*x(9))*x(8))/ (Ixx*Izz - Ixz^2); %pdot
dxdt(8) = (M - (Ixx - Izz)*x(7)*x(9) - Ixz*(x(7)^2-x(9)^2))/Iyy; %qdot
dxdt(9) = (Ixz*L + Ixx*N - (Ixz*(Iyy - Ixx - Izz)*x(9) + (Ixz^2 + Ixx*(Ixx - Iyy))*x(7))*x(8))/(Ixx*Izz - Ixz^2); %rdot
dxdt(10) = x(7) + (x(8)*sin(x(10)) + x(9)*cos(x(10)))*tan(x(11)); %phidot
dxdt(11) = x(8)*cos(x(10)) - x(9)*sin(x(10)); %thetadot
dxdt(12) = (x(8)*sin(x(10)) + x(9)*cos(x(10)))*sec(x(11)); %psidot
%initial values of the derivative plot(tspan,X(:,6))
X0=[281.332 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ]; xlabel('time(sec)')
%time span ylabel('z')
tspan= linspace(0,100,101); grid on
odefun = @RBEM; plot(tspan,X(:,7))
[t,X] = ode45(odefun,tspan,X0); xlabel('time(sec)')
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on
grid on

Decoupled Longitudinal Equations

function dX = LzedLong(t,X) Iyy = 33.1*10^6;

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
c = 27.31; Cmde=-1.34;
S = 5500;
Xu= -(CDu+2*CD0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
Xw= -(CDa-CL0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
Zu= -(CLu+2*CL0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
Zw= -(CLa-CD0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
Mu= Cmu*(Q*S*c)/(u0*Iyy);
CDu=0; Mw= Cma*(Q*S*c)/(u0*Iyy);
CD0=0.102; Mq= Cmq*(Q*S*c^2)/(2*u0*Iyy);
CDa=0.66; Mwd= Cmad*(Q*S*c^2)/(2*u0^2*Iyy);
A=[Xu Xw 0 -g;Zu Zw u0 0;(Mu+Mwd*Zu)
(Mw+Mwd*Zw) Mq+Mwd*u0 0;0 0 1 0];
B=[0 0; 0 0; (Cmde*(Q*S*c))/Iyy 0; 0 0];


%u=10, w= 10, q=5, pitch=5 %u=15, w= 0, q=5, pitch=5
i=[10 10 5 5]; i=[15 0 5 5];
Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180]; Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180];
X0=i.*Y; X0=i.*Y;
t0=0; [ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLong,tspan,X0);
tf=50; figure
N=101; plot(ts,X(:,1))
tspan=linspace(t0,tf,N); xlabel('time(sec)')
[ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLong,tspan,X0); ylabel('u')
grid on
figure figure
plot(ts,X(:,1)) plot(ts,X(:,2))
xlabel('time(sec)') xlabel('time(sec)')
ylabel('u') ylabel('w')
grid on grid on
figure figure
plot(ts,X(:,2)) plot(ts,X(:,3))
xlabel('time(sec)') xlabel('time(sec)')
ylabel('w') ylabel('q')
grid on grid on
figure figure
plot(ts,X(:,3)) plot(ts,X(:,4))
xlabel('time(sec)') xlabel('time(sec)')
ylabel('q') ylabel('pitch')
grid on grid on
plot(ts,X(:,4)) %u=5, w= 5, q=0, pitch=5
xlabel('time(sec)') i=[5 5 0 5];
ylabel('pitch') Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180];
grid on X0=i.*Y;
[ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLong,tspan,X0);

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
figure Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180];
plot(ts,X(:,1)) X0=i.*Y;
xlabel('time(sec)') [ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLong,tspan,X0);
ylabel('u') figure
grid on plot(ts,X(:,1))
figure xlabel('time(sec)')
plot(ts,X(:,2)) ylabel('u')
xlabel('time(sec)') grid on
ylabel('w') figure
grid on plot(ts,X(:,2))
figure xlabel('time(sec)')
plot(ts,X(:,3)) ylabel('w')
xlabel('time(sec)') grid on
ylabel('q') figure
grid on plot(ts,X(:,3))
figure xlabel('time(sec)')
plot(ts,X(:,4)) ylabel('q')
xlabel('time(sec)') grid on
ylabel('pitch') figure
grid on plot(ts,X(:,4))
%u=0, w= 5, q=15, pitch=5 ylabel('pitch')
i=[0 5 15 5]; grid on

Decoupled Lateral Equations

function dX = LzedLat(t,X) Clda=0.0461;
%pitch=5, rudder Cldr=0.007;
Izz = 49.7*10^6; Cnda=0.0064;
Ixx = 18.2*10^6; Cndr=-0.109;
Iyy = 33.1*10^6;
c = 27.31; Yb=Q*S*Cyb/m;
S = 5500; Yp=Q*S*b*Cyp/(2*m*u0);
b = 195.68; Yr=Q*S*b*Cyr/(2*m*u0);
m=636600/32.2; Yv=0;
g=32.2; Lb=Q*S*b*Clb/Ixx;
rho=0.002377; Lp=Q*S*b^2*Clp/(2*Ixx*u0);
u0=281.332; Lr=Q*S*b^2*Clr/(2*Ixx*u0);
Q=0.5*rho*u0^2; Nb=Q*S*b*Cnb/Iyy;
theta0=5; Np=Q*S*b^2*Cnp/(2*Izz*u0);
Cyp= 0; Ydr=Q*S*Cydr/m;
Cyr= 0; Lda=Q*S*b*Clda/Ixx;
Clb=-0.221; Ldr=Q*S*b*Cldr/Ixx;
Clp=-0.45; Nda=Q*S*b*Cnda/Izz;
Clr= 0.101; Ndr=Q*S*b*Cndr/Izz;
Cnb= 0.150;
A=[Yb/u0 Yp/u0 -(1-Yr/u0) g*cos(theta0)/u0; Lb Lp Lr 0;
Nb Np Nr 0; 0 1 0 0];
B=[0 Ydr/u0; Lda Ldr; Nda Ndr; 0 0];
Cydr=0.175; N=[0;0];

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
dX=A*X+B*N; end


i=[-10 20 10 5]; figure
Y=[pi/180 pi/180 pi/180 pi/180]; plot(ts,X(:,4))
X0=i.*Y; xlabel('time(sec)')
t0=0; ylabel('roll')
tf=250; grid on
tspan=linspace(t0,tf,N); i=[5 5 0 15];
[ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLat,tspan,X0); Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180];
figure [ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLat,tspan,X0);
plot(ts,X(:,1)) figure
xlabel('time(sec)') plot(ts,X(:,1))
ylabel('sideslip') xlabel('time(sec)')
grid on ylabel('sideslip')
figure grid on
plot(ts,X(:,2)) figure
xlabel('time(sec)') plot(ts,X(:,2))
ylabel('p') xlabel('time(sec)')
grid on ylabel('p')
figure grid on
plot(ts,X(:,3)) figure
xlabel('time(sec)') plot(ts,X(:,3))
ylabel('r') xlabel('time(sec)')
grid on ylabel('r')
figure grid on
plot(ts,X(:,4)) figure
xlabel('time(sec)') plot(ts,X(:,4))
ylabel('roll') xlabel('time(sec)')
grid on ylabel('roll')
grid on
i=[15 0 5 10];
Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180]; i=[0 5 15 15];
X0=i.*Y; Y=[1 1 pi/180 pi/180];
[ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLat,tspan,X0); [ts,X] = ode45(@LzedLat,tspan,X0);
figure figure
plot(ts,X(:,1)) plot(ts,X(:,1))
xlabel('time(sec)') xlabel('time(sec)')
ylabel('sideslip') ylabel('sideslip')
grid on grid on
figure figure
plot(ts,X(:,2)) plot(ts,X(:,2))
xlabel('time(sec)') xlabel('time(sec)')
ylabel('p') ylabel('p')
grid on grid on
figure figure
plot(ts,X(:,3)) plot(ts,X(:,3))
xlabel('time(sec)') xlabel('time(sec)')
ylabel('r') ylabel('r')
grid on grid on

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
figure ylabel('roll')
plot(ts,X(:,4)) grid on
Eigenvalues and Damping of Decoupled Equations
Iyy = 33.1*10^6; Mwd= Cmad*(Q*S*c^2)/(2*u0^2*Iyy);
c = 27.31;
S = 5500; Za=0;
m=636600/32.2; Ma=u0*Mw;
g=32.2; Mad=u0*Mwd;
A=[Xu Xw 0 -g;Zu Zw u0 0;(Mu+Mwd*Zu)
(Mw+Mwd*Zw) Mq+Mwd*u0 0;0 0 1 0];
Cmq=-20.8; fprintf('Approximations\nLong Period (phugoid)\n')
Xu= -(CDu+2*CD0)*Q*S/(m*u0); DampFreqL=NatFreqL*sqrt(1-DampRatioL^2)
Xw= -(CDa-CL0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
Zu= -(CLu+2*CL0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
fprintf('Approximations\nShort Period\n')
Zw= -(CLa-CD0)*Q*S/(m*u0);
Mu= Cmu*(Q*S*c)/(u0*Iyy);
Mw= Cma*(Q*S*c)/(u0*Iyy);
Mq= Cmq*(Q*S*c^2)/(2*u0*Iyy);

Izz = 49.7*10^6; Cyp= 0;
Ixx = 18.2*10^6; Cyr= 0.175;
Iyy = 33.1*10^6; Clb=-0.221;
c = 27.31; Clp=-0.45;
S = 5500; Clr= 0.101;
b = 195.68; Cnb= 0.150;
m=636600/32.2; Cnp=-0.121;
g=32.2; Cnr=-0.30;
u0=281.332; Cydr=0.175;
Q=0.5*rho*u0^2; Clda=0.0461;
theta0=0; Cldr=0.007;
Cyb=-0.96; Cndr=-0.109;

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Yb=Q*S*Cyb/m; DampResp=real(eigen)
Yp=Q*S*b*Cyp/(2*m*u0); DampFreq=imag(eigen)
Yr=Q*S*b*Cyr/(2*m*u0); Period=2*pi./DampFreq
Yv=0; t_hd=0.693./abs(DampResp)
Lb=Q*S*b*Clb/Ixx; Ncyc=0.11*abs(DampFreq)./abs(DampResp)
Lr=Q*S*b^2*Clr/(2*Ixx*u0); %Spiral and Roll Modes
Nb=Q*S*b*Cnb/Iyy; Lspiral=(Lb*Nr-Lr*Nb)/Lb
Nr=Q*S*b^2*Cnr/(2*Izz*u0); Lroll=Lp

Ydr=Q*S*Cydr/m; %Dutch Roll

Lda=Q*S*b*Clda/Ixx; DampRespE=real(eigen(2))
Ldr=Q*S*b*Cldr/Ixx; DampFreqE=imag(eigen(2))
A=[Yv/u0 Yp/u0 -(1-Yr/u0) g*cos(theta0); Lb Lp Lr 0; Nb DampRespDR=-NatFreqDR*DampRatioDR
Np Nr 0; 0 1 0 0]; DampFreqDR=NatFreqDR*sqrt(1-DampRatioDR)

Aircraft Flight Dynamics
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Gibbs, Yvonne. (2014, September 24) Nasa Armstrong Fact Sheet: Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

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Nelson, Robert. (1998). Flight Stability and Automatic Control. New York City, New York.

Bai, Xiaoli. (2016, September). Aircraft Flight Dynamics Lectures 1-19. [pdf]

Mathworks (2016). ODE Solver. Retrieved from