Simulator Assessment of the Lateral-Directional Handling Qualities of the Flying-V

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Flying wings are known for their limited lateral-directional stability and handling qualities. This study aims at assessing the lateral-directional handling qualities of a conceptual flying wing aircraft currently in development at TU Delft, the Flying-V, in a moving-base flight simulator. It focuses on two aspects: First assess the lateral-directional handling qualities of the bare-airframe Flying-V, and the compliance to quantitative requirements. Second, improve these handling qualities through a prototype flight control system, and assess its effect on the handling qualities and the requirement compliance. These assessments were performed both analytically and with a pilot-in-the-loop simulator experiment, in order to experimentally validate analytical findings and obtain new pilot-subjective insights. The analytical and experimental assessment for lowspeed flight conditions both show the lateral-directional handling qualities of the Flying-V to be insufficient for requirement compliance, due to a lack of pitch, roll and yaw control authority and an insufficiently stable Dutch roll eigenmode. The prototype flight control system, consisting of an adapted control allocation and a stability augmentation system, showed both analytically and experimentally to improve the control authority, stability, and handling qualities of the Flying-V. While the effect on the lateral-directional stability was sufficient for stability requirement compliance, the control authority was not sufficiently increased for maneuverability requirement compliance at low speed. Thus, if the landing speed is not increased from the current baseline, a challenge remains to improve the handling qualities of the Flying-V. An approximation of the control authority required for full requirement compliance in the low-speed flight conditions tested showed a control authority increase of over a factor four to be required in that case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2023
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-699-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventAIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum - National Harbor, MD & Online, Washington, United States
Duration: 23 Jan 202327 Jan 2023


ConferenceAIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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