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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Andrzej Tomczyk

In this paper, results of the flight‐testing of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight control system are presented. APC‐4 “SkyGuide” autonomous navigation and control

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Abstract

In this paper, results of the flight‐testing of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight control system are presented. APC‐4 “SkyGuide” autonomous navigation and control system, designed and developed by the research team of the Department of Avionics and Control at Rzeszów University of Technology, has been tested. Properties of this flight control system, as well as selected results of the in‐flight tests conducted on board of the PZL‐110 “Koliber” aircraft, are presented. Results obtained confirm that design assumptions of the navigation and control system and research methodology have been appropriate and APC‐4 autopilot can be used on UAVs board.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2018

Tomasz Rogalski

This paper aims to present the idea of an automatic control system dedicated to small manned and unmanned aircraft performing manoeuvres other than those necessary to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the idea of an automatic control system dedicated to small manned and unmanned aircraft performing manoeuvres other than those necessary to perform a so-called standard flight. The character of these manoeuvres and the range of aircraft flight parameter changes restrict application of standard control algorithms. In many cases, they also limit the possibility to acquire complete information about aircraft flight parameters. This paper analyses an alternative solution that can be applied in such cases. The loop manoeuvre, an element of aerobatic flight, was selected as a working example.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used theoretical discussion and breakdowns to create basics for designing structures of control algorithms. A simplified analytical approach was then applied to tune regulators. Research results were verified in a series of computer-based software-in-the-loop rig test computer simulations.

Findings

The structure of the control system enabling aerobatic flight was found and the method for tuning regulators was also created.

Practical implications

The findings could be a foundation for autopilots working in non-conventional flight scenarios and automatic aircraft recovery systems.

Originality/value

This paper presents the author’s original approach to aircraft automated control where high precision control is not the priority and flight parameters cannot be precisely measured or determined.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 90 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 May 2008

Andrzej Tomczyk

The purpose of this paper is to present analysis and primary evaluation of different control laws implemented on experimental indirect (fly‐by‐wire) flight control system…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present analysis and primary evaluation of different control laws implemented on experimental indirect (fly‐by‐wire) flight control system designed for perspective general aviation aircraft.

Design/methodology/approach

The control law tests have been accomplished on the flight simulation stand equipped with side‐stick, throttle lever and flight instrument display. Every evaluator was caring out 2‐4 five min instrument flights (IR) according to command shown on the screen. PZL‐110 general aviation aircraft properties and seven modes of control system operation were modeled and examined.

Findings

Results of evaluation by 45 commercial pilots are analyzed and handling qualities of the small aircraft equipped with the indirect flight control system (fly‐by‐wire) have been examined. In this way, the most convenient control law was chosen for design the user‐friendly, human‐centered, simplified software‐based flight control system.

Practical implications

The result of research can be implemented on real indirect flight control system dedicated to general aviation aircraft.

Originality/value

This paper presents the practical approach for analysis of handling qualities of general aviation aircraft equipped with indirect flight control system. This kind of works concern to military and transport airplanes are known, however there are no published work in the area of small aircraft so far.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 80 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Andrzej Tomczyk

The main targets of the work are analysis and simulation of flying laboratory performance. In particular, synthesis of control system for handling qualities change and…

Abstract

Purpose

The main targets of the work are analysis and simulation of flying laboratory performance. In particular, synthesis of control system for handling qualities change and evaluation in flight are taken into consideration.

Design/methodology/approach

Modification of handling qualities is obtained by applying indirect flight control system (FBW). The properties of the optimal controller are calculated through the indirect (implicit) model‐following method. In particular, the modified version based on the computer simulations is used.

Findings

Calculation and simulation concern the synthesis of desired handling qualities of the general aviation aircraft PZL‐M20 “Mewa” equipped with indirect (FBW) experimental flight control system. Results of the simulation show that the flying laboratory has the same properties as modeled aircraft, and it is possible to say that handling properties concern attitude orientation of the experimental aircraft is similar to modeled commuter aircraft.

Practical implications

The result of research can be implemented on a project of the flying laboratory based on general aviation aircraft PZL M20 “Mewa”.

Originality/value

The paper presents the practical approach for synthesis of the “Simplified total in flight simulator” performance which can be used for analysis of handling qualities of general aviation aircraft equipped with FBW. Research of this type focuses on military and transport airplanes however, there are no published works in the area of small aircraft so far.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 82 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Predrag Stojakovic and Bosko Rasuo

The purpose of this paper is to present a method for determining the safe flight boundaries of the asymmetrically loaded airplane in the terminal flight phases. The method…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a method for determining the safe flight boundaries of the asymmetrically loaded airplane in the terminal flight phases. The method is applicable to both, the inherent airplane asymmetries and those asymmetries resulting from the airplane use irregularities, asymmetric stores under the wing being one of the examples. The method is aimed to be used in the airplane design and combat airplane service life support.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis method is based on the comparison of demanded and structurally available flight control displacements. Control surface aerodynamic properties, structurally available flight control displacements and dynamic pressure define control surface authority as the capability of control surfaces to generate the forces and moments needed by the airplane to perform required maneuvers. Demanded flight control displacements are those related to the maneuvering requirements and to those needed to compensate lateral wind and any type of the asymmetric airplane load.

Findings

The method results are given in the form of the speed and lateral wind component and are a subset of the total set of airplane safe flight boundaries. The key objective is the improvement of flight safety of the asymmetrically loaded airplane.

Research limitations/implications

The method supplements the safe flight boundaries of the symmetrically loaded airplane, the minimal landing speed being the dominant limitation. This boundary positions method analysis in the domain of linear lift coefficient variation, as the function of the angle of attack permits the addition of control surface displacements required to perform the maneuvers and compensate the asymmetrical loads.

Originality/value

The method combines a simple roll dynamics model, stationary equations of the airplane lateral-directional motion and several numeric analysis procedures to obtain the results. This new combination possesses synergy properties and is implemented as the computer program.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 88 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Harnessing the Power of Failure: Using Storytelling and Systems Engineering to Enhance Organizational Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-199-3

Article
Publication date: 10 March 2022

Ray C. Chang, Yangnan Lv, Jing Shi and Ningying Chen

The purpose of this paper is to present the irregular deviation examination of flight control surfaces and the potential problem diagnosis of irregular deviations for the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the irregular deviation examination of flight control surfaces and the potential problem diagnosis of irregular deviations for the jet transport aircraft. A four-jet transport aircraft at transonic flight in cruise phase is the study case of the present article.

Design/methodology/approach

The standard lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) and flight dynamic models are established through flight data mining and the fuzzy logic modeling technique based on the flight data of quick access recorder available in the Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) program of the airlines. The irregular deviations of flight control surfaces are examined by the standard L/D model-predicted results through sensitivity analysis. The contribution values in L/D deficiency are predicted by the deviations and the L/D derivatives of all influencing variables in Taylor series expansion. The potential problems due to irregular deviations can be excavated by the flight dynamic models through the analysis of in-flight stability and controllability.

Findings

The magnitude of stabilizer angle to the deficiency of L/D is the largest among the four control surfaces and elevator is the second one through the judgment of contribution values in L/D deficiency. The stabilizer has irregular deviations with obvious endplay problems of jackscrew, as found in the present study. The stabilizer is suggested to have the unscheduled maintenance for the flight control rigging.

Research limitations/implications

The specific transport aircraft of the standard L/D model should be the best one in L/D performance among all transport aircraft in the fleet of the airlines. The present method is a new concept to monitor the irregular deviation of flight control surface. The study case of the four-jet transport aircraft at transonic flight in cruise phase is illustrated as the standard L/D mode. The required flight data of monitored flight is requested to eliminate the biases through compatibility checks. The flight data of study case in the present study is also illustrated as monitored flight data.

Practical implications

To diagnose the irregular deviations of flight control surface deflected angles with contributing to the L/D deficiency estimation is an innovation to improve the flight data analysis of FOQA program for airlines. If the irregular deviation problems of control surfaces can be fixed after rigging in maintenance, the goal of flight safety and aviation fuel saving will be achieved.

Social implications

The flight control surface rigging of unscheduled maintenance is not expected to coincide with an airline’s peak season or unavailable space in hangar. The optimal time of unscheduled maintenance for the flight control rigging will be easily decided through the correlations between excessive fuel cost and flight safety.

Originality/value

This method can be used to assist airlines to monitor irregular angular positions of flight control surfaces as a complementary tool for management to improve aviation safety, operation and operational efficiency.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 94 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2022

Hamdi Ercan and Mustafa Akın

In more than 100 years of aviation, significant progress has been made in flight control systems. The aircrafts that have entered service for the past ten years tend…

Abstract

Purpose

In more than 100 years of aviation, significant progress has been made in flight control systems. The aircrafts that have entered service for the past ten years tend towards power-by-wire flight control with electrical actuators. The purpose of this study is to analyse the effects of electrical actuation on power consumption, weight and fuel consumption on a commercial transport aircraft.

Design/methodology/approach

The Airbus A321-200 aircraft was chosen as a case study for analysing the effects of electrical actuation on the flight control actuation system (FCAS) architecture, and Pacelab SysArc software was used for design, modelling and analysis. As alternatives to the existing system, hybrid and all-electric models are built to a set of design guidelines with certain limitations.

Findings

Compared to the existing FCAS architecture model, 80 kg weight savings in the hybrid FCAS architecture model and 171 kg weight savings in the all-electric FCAS architecture model were observed. In terms of fuel consumption, it has been observed that there is 0.25% fuel savings in the hybrid FCAS architecture model, and 0.48% fuel savings in the all-electric FCAS architecture model compared to the existing FCAS architecture model at 3200 NM.

Practical implications

In line with the data obtained from this study, it is predicted that electrical actuation is more preferable in aircraft, considering its positive effects on weight and fuel consumption.

Originality/value

In this study, three different models were created: the existing FCAS architecture of a commercial transport aircraft, the hybrid FCAS architecture and the all-electric FCAS architecture. Hybrid and all-electric models are built according to a set of design guidelines, with certain limitations. Then, similar flight missions consisting of the same flight conditions are defined to analyse the effects of power consumption, weight, and fuel consumption comparatively.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 January 2021

Navya Thirumaleshwar Hegde, V. I. George, C. Gurudas Nayak and Aldrin Claytus Vaz

This paper aims to provide a mathematical modeling and design of H-infinity controller for an autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Quad Tiltrotor hybrid…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a mathematical modeling and design of H-infinity controller for an autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Quad Tiltrotor hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The variation in the aerodynamics and model dynamics of these aerial vehicles due to its tilting rotors are the key issues and challenges, which attracts the attention of many researchers. They carry parametric uncertainties (such as non-linear friction force, backlash, etc.), which drives the designed controller based on the nominal model to instability or performance degradation. The controller needs to take these factors into consideration and still give good stability and performance. Hence, a robust H-infinity controller is proposed that can handle these uncertainties.

Design/methodology/approach

A unique VTOL Quad Tiltrotor hybrid UAV, which operates in three flight modes, is mathematically modeled using Newton–Euler equations of motion. The contribution of the model is its ability to combine high-speed level flight, VTOL and transition between these two phases. The transition involves the tilting of the proprotors from 90° to 0° and vice-versa in 15° intervals. A robust H-infinity control strategy is proposed, evaluated and analyzed through simulation to control the flight dynamics for different modes of operation.

Findings

The main contribution of this research is the mathematical modeling of three flight modes (vertical takeoff–forward, transition–cruise-back, transition-vertical landing) of operation by controlling the revolutions per minute and tilt angles, which are independent of each other. An autonomous flight control system using a robust H-infinity controller to stabilize the mode of transition is designed for the Quad Tiltrotor UAV in the presence of uncertainties, noise and disturbances using MATLAB/SIMULINK. This paper focused on improving the disturbance rejection properties of the proposed UAV by designing a robust H-infinity controller for position and orientation trajectory regulation in the presence of uncertainty. The simulation results show that the Tiltrotor achieves transition successfully with disturbances, noise and uncertainties being present.

Originality/value

A novel VTOL Quad Tiltrotor UAV mathematical model is developed with a special tilting rotor mechanism, which combines both aircraft and helicopter flight modes with the transition taking place in between phases using robust H-infinity controller for attitude, altitude and trajectory regulation in the presence of uncertainty.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-6427

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 March 2021

Tomasz Rogalski, Paweł Rzucidło, Stanisław Noga and Jacek Prusik

The purpose of this paper is to present the idea of automatic flight control algorithms capable of performing an Immelmann turn manoeuvre automatically. This is a case of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the idea of automatic flight control algorithms capable of performing an Immelmann turn manoeuvre automatically. This is a case of a manoeuvre far removed from so-called standard flight. The character of this manoeuvre and the range of changes in the aircraft flight parameters restrict the application of standard control algorithms. Furthermore, the possibility of acquiring full and detailed information about the aircraft’s flight parameters is limited in such cases. This paper seeks to analyse an alternative solution that can be applied in some specific cases.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses theoretical discussion and breakdowns to create the basics for development of structures of control algorithms. A simplified analytical approach was applied to tune regulators and the results of the research were verified in a series of software-in-the loop computer simulations.

Findings

The structure of the control system enabling aerobatic flight (with the Immelmann turn as the selected example) was identified and the method for tuning the regulators is also presented.

Practical implications

It could serve as a foundation for autopilots working in non-conventional flight states and aircraft automatic recovery systems.

Originality/value

This paper presents the 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.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 93 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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