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Unmanned aircraft automatic flight control algorithm in a spin maneuver

Tomasz Rogalski (Department of Avionics and Control, Rzeszow University of Technology, Rzeszow, Poland)
Paweł Rzucidło (Department of Avionics and Control, Rzeszow University of Technology, Rzeszow, Poland)
Jacek Prusik (Doctoral School of Engineering and Technical Sciences, Rzeszow University of Technology, Rzeszow, Poland)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 21 July 2020

Issue publication date: 21 August 2020



The paper aims to present an idea of automatic control algorithms dedicated to both small manned and unmanned aircraft, capable to perform spin maneuver automatically. This is a case of maneuver far away from so-called standard flight. The character of this maneuver and the range of aircraft flight parameters changes restrict application of standard control algorithms. Possibility of acquisition full information about aircraft flight parameters is limited as well in such cases. This paper analyses an alternative solution that can be applied in some specific cases.


The paper uses theoretical discussion and breakdowns to create basics for development of structures of control algorithms. Simplified analytical approach was applied to tune regulators. Results of research were verified in series of software-in-the loop, computer simulations.


The structure of the control system enabling aerobatic flight (spin flight as example selected) was found and the method how to tune regulators was presented as well.

Practical implications

It could be a fundament for autopilots working in non-conventional flight states and aircraft automatic recovery systems.


The paper presents author’s original approach to aircraft automatic control when high control precision is not the priority, and not all flight parameters can be precisely measured.



Rogalski, T., Rzucidło, P. and Prusik, J. (2020), "Unmanned aircraft automatic flight control algorithm in a spin maneuver", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 92 No. 8, pp. 1215-1224.



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