You are on page 1of 21

Flight Performance, Stability and Control

Dr. Parag Mantri


Assistant Professor
Department of Aerospace Engineering

June 21, 2010

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies


Road-Map

⇒ Static Stability and Control

⇒ Aircraft Equations of Motion

⇒ Automatic Control: Classical

⇒ Automatic Control: Modern

⇒ Application to Aircraft AutoPilot Design

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Stability

⇒ Aircraft Stability: Following a displacement from an original steady flight


path, an aircraft has stability if it returns to its path without movements
of its flight control surfaces having to be applied.
⇒ Static Stability: Immediate reacting of the aircraft
⇒ Dynamic Stability: Reacting of aircraft over a period of time
⇒ A static or dynamic stability can be divided into stable, unstable and
neutral equilibrium
⇒ A system can be statically stable but dynamically unstable but it cannot
be dynamically stable unless it is statically stable.

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Aircraft Stability

⇒ Just like the disturbances of the aircraft, the stabilizing motion will be
only in three planes; Pitch, roll and yaw

⇒ These planes change relative to the ground but are fixed relative to the
aircraft

⇒ Lateral stability is about longitudinal axis, longitudinal stability is about


lateral axis and directional stability about normal axis

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Axis of Rotation

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Longitudinal Stability

⇒ When aircraft returns to trimmed angle of attack (equilibrium), positive


static longitudinal stability

⇒ Influenced by aircraft center of gravity and horizontal stabilizer

⇒ When the elevators are maintained in the neutral or streamlined position,


static stability is referred to as stick-fixed stability

⇒ Stick-free stability refers to the condition in which the elevators are


allowed to float in the airflow and return to neutral position after the
pilot releases the stick

⇒ Dynamic neutral longitudinal stability is Phugoid

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Longitudinal Stability Contd.

⇒ If the aircraft is displaced pitch-up, angle of attack and hence lift


increases.

⇒ In this condition if Aerodynamic center of the wing is ahead of C.G, then


the net effect is to increasing the pitch-up moment (Not desirable)

⇒ However, tail’s AC is aft of CG and hence it produces restoring moment

⇒ For certain velocity and angle of attack, a given airplane is in equilibrium.


This angle of attack is called the trim point.

⇒ The difference in incidence angle of wing and horizontal stabilizer is


longitudinal dihedral angle.

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Pitching and Restoring Moments

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Center of Gravity Location

⇒ Degree of longitudinal stability depends on the relative position of the


aerodynamic centers and center of gravity.

⇒ Keeping Aerodynamic center Aft of CG, produces stable restoring


moment

⇒ As the CG moves rearwards, static stability decreases, becomes neutral


and then becomes unstable

⇒ The CG location which results in neutral longitudinal static stability is


neutral point of the aircraft

⇒ The distance between CG at any point and the neutral point is known
as static margin

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Dynamic longitudinal Stability

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Directional Stability: Yaw axis

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Lateral Stability: Longitudinal or roll axis

⇒ Unlike longitudinal stability, lateral stability effects directional stability as


well and vice-versa.

⇒ This means a rolling motion can create yaw as well and yawing motion
contributes to roll.

⇒ The idea of static and dynamic stability nonetheless remains same

⇒ Factors contributing to lateral static stability


→ Dihedral angle
→ Swept back angle
→ Vertical location of the wings relative to the fuselage.

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Other Instability

⇒ Directional Divergence: Poor directional stability

⇒ Spiral Divergence: High directional stability but poor lateral stability

⇒ Dutch Roll: Positive directional stability (lower than spiral) and poor
lateral stability. Rolls and yaws out of phase.

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Directional and Spiral Divergence

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Dutch Roll

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Control Surfaces

⇒ Ailerons (Roll)

⇒ Rudder (Yaw)

⇒ Elevator (Pitch)

⇒ Flaps (Increased drag and lift)

⇒ Spoilers (additonal drag for landing)

⇒ Slats on leading edge (Increased drag and lift)

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Automatic Flight Control System

⇒ Closed loop servomechanism technique used for


→ Overcome any stability deficiency
→ Improving the handling or ride qualities, e.g. holding altitude or
air-speed
→ Carry out maneuvers which pilot is unable to perform due to accuracy
required or any external hindrance

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Typical Control System

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Internal vs. External Conditions

⇒ Internal conditions are those derived from sensors within AFCS (Pitch,
roll and yaw altitudes and their rates, acceleration, etc.)

⇒ External Conditions relate to to airspeed, altitude, track, and other


navigational information derived from sensors external to (but integrated
with) AFCS.

⇒ Inner loop handles the internal conditions and the outer loop handles the
external conditions

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Components of an AFCS

⇒ Sensors: These measure the relevant parameters and transmit the


information in the computation group

⇒ Computers: These convert the information from the sensors into the
signals to be fed to output devices

⇒ Output devices: Convert computer signals into necessary output action


or control surface movements.

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control


Attitude Sensing: Gyroscope

⇒ Basic Functionality

⇒ Components

⇒ types

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Introduction to Automatic Flight Control