The development of Nixus fly-by-wire sailplane

Paulo Iscold, Jim Payne, L.M.M. Boermans

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


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Nixus is the world’s first fly-by-wire (FBW) sailplane. Designed for maximum performance, it has a custom 92-foot span, 53.3 aspect ratio wing. The use of an FBW system for the wing flaperons allows the exploration of new strategies for automatic flap positioning, tailored aileron deflections, load alleviation, and aeroelasticity control. This paper describes design and fabrication aspects of this sailplane as well as ground and flight test phases. For ground testing, the wing structural load test and the ground vibration test will be discussed. For the flight test phase, focus will be on the glider’s flutter envelope expansion, performance testing, and fly-by-wire testing. Details about instrumentation developed exclusively for this program and novel flight test techniques for this type of aircraft is also be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2021 FORUM
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-62410-610-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAIAA Aviation 2021 Forum - Virtual Event
Duration: 2 Aug 20216 Aug 2021


ConferenceAIAA Aviation 2021 Forum


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