A Thrust-Elevator Interaction Criterion for Aircraft Optimal Longitudinal Control

Carmine Varriale, Kevin Hameeteman, Mark Voskuijl, Leo Veldhuis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The aim of this research is to investigate the combined use of throttle and aerodynamic control vanes for aircraft optimal control. A new disruptive aircraft configuration concept is presented, featuring control vanes downstream of two rear-mounted ducted propellers. The aerodynamic interaction between the horizontal vane and the throttle is analyzed in the scope of a longitudinal control study. A static criterion is proposed to discern the efficiency of the interaction, with respect to a generic pitch command. A traditional control allocation logic is used to exploit the throttle as a secondary pitch effector, and a modified version based on the interaction criterion is proposed; its behavior is tested through an open-loop design space exploration of actuator time constants and effectors prioritization weights. A flexible control system architecture is designed to compare the aircraft closed-loop response in conjunction with a phugoid damper loop. Results show that the best tracking performance is obtained with pilot commands allocated to the elevator, and phugoid damper commands to both elevator and throttle. The traditional allocation method achieves the best tracking performance at the expense of the largest control effort. The modified allocation alleviates the effort while still achieving better performance than the non-coupled control.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION Forum, 17-21 June 2019, Dallas, Texas
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-589-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAIAA Aviation 2019 Forum - Dallas, United States
Duration: 17 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


ConferenceAIAA Aviation 2019 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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