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Title: Pilot and control system modelling for handling qualities analysis of large transport aircraft
Author: Lee, Brian P.
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2012
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The notion of airplane stability and control being a balancing act between stability and control has been around as long as aeronautics. The Wright brothers’ first successful flights were born of the debate, and were successful at least in part because they spent considerable time teaching themselves how to control their otherwise unstable airplane. This thesis covers four aspects of handling for large transport aircraft: large size and the accompanying low frequency dynamics, the way in which lifting surfaces and control system elements are modelled in flight dynamics analyses, the cockpit feel characteristics and details of how pilots interact with them, and the dynamic instability associated with Pilot Induced Oscillations. The dynamics associated with large transport aircraft are reviewed from the perspective of pilot-in-the-loop handling qualities, including the effects of relaxing static stability in pursuit of performance. Areas in which current design requirements are incomplete are highlighted. Issues with modelling of dynamic elements which are between the pilot’s fingers and the airplane response are illuminated and recommendations are made. Cockpit feel characteristics are examined in detail, in particular, the nonlinear elements of friction and breakout forces. Three piloted simulation experiments are described and the results reviewed. Each was very different in nature, and all were designed to evaluate linear and nonlinear elements of the cockpit feel characteristics from the pilot’s point of view. These included understanding the pilot’s ability to precisely control the manipulator itself, the pilot’s ability to command the flight path, and neuro-muscular modelling to gain a deeper understanding of the range of characteristics pilots can adapt to and why. Based on the data collected and analyzed, conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made. Finally, a novel and unique PIO prediction criterion is developed, which is based on control-theoretic constructs. This criterion identifies unique signatures in the dynamic response of the airplane to predict the onset of instability.
Supervisor: Cook, M. V. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Stability and control ; Flight dynamics ; Flying qualities ; Pilot induced oscillation (PIO)