The increasing demand on high performance fighter aircraft has introduced areas of concern associated with the handling qualities, control and safety at high angles of incidence. Pilots are limiting combat effectiveness by cautiously avoiding hazardous regions of the flight envelope. This paper presents the results of the work undertaken in analysing the F‐16 aircraft’s handling characteristics during the departure condition. In‐flight experience shows that there are two types of F‐16 control problems when flying at high angles of attack: the “pitch departures” and the resulting “deep stall trim”. Avoidance of the departure requires the aeroplane to have sufficient nose‐down pitch and roll control moment. This paper investigates departure condition during high angles of attack and suggests a method of recovery.
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