Flight Dynamics Principles

A Linear Systems Approach to Aircraft Stability and Control

The study of flight dynamics requires a thorough understanding of the theory of the stability and control of aircraft, an appreciation of flight control systems and a grounding in the theory of automatic control. Flight Dynamics Principles is a student focused text and provides easy access to all three topics in an integrated modern systems context.

Written for those coming to the subject for the first time, the book provides a secure foundation from which to move on to more advanced topics such as, non-linear flight dynamics, flight simulation, handling qualities and advanced flight control.

About the author:

After graduating Michael Cook joined Elliott Flight Automation as a Systems Engineer and contributed flight control systems design to several major projects. Later he joined the College of Aeronautics to research and teach flight dynamics, experimental flight mechanics and flight control. Previously leader of the Dynamics, Simulation and Control Research Group he is now retired and continues to provide part time support. In 2003 the Group was recognised as the Preferred Academic Capability Partner for Flight Dynamics by BAE SYSTEMS and in 2007 he received a Chairman’s Bronze award for his contribution to a joint UAV research programme.


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Aerospace and aeronautical engineering students; CPD audience from the aero industry


Book information

  • Published: October 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-098242-7

Table of Contents

Preface to the second edition
Preface to the first edition

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Systems of Axes and Notation

Chapter 3 - Static Equilibrium and Trim

Chapter 4 - The Equations of Motion

Chapter 5 - The Solution of the Equations of Motion

Chapter 6 - Longitudinal Dynamics

Chapter 7 - Lateral-Directional Dynamics

Chapter 8 - Manoeuvrability

Chapter 9 - Stability

Chapter 10 - Flying and Handling Qualities

Chapter 11 - Command and Stability Augmentation

Chapter 12 - Aerodynamic Modelling

Chapter 13 - Aerodynamic Stability and Control Derivatives

Chapter 14 - Flight in a Non-steady Atmosphere

Chapter 15 - Coursework Studies

Appendix 1 - AeroTrim: A Symmetric Trim Calculator for Subsonic Flight Conditions

Appendix 2 - Definitions of Aerodynamic Stability and Control Derivatives

Appendix 3 - Aircraft Response Transfer Functions Referred to Aircraft Body Axes

Appendix 4 - Units, Conversions and Constants

Appendix 5 - A Very Short Table of Laplace Transforms

Appendix 6 - The Dynamics of a Linear Second Order System

Appendix 7 - North American Aerodynamic Derivative Notation

Appendix 8 - Approximate Expressions for the Dimensionless Aerodynamic Stability and Control Derivatives

Appendix 9 - Transformation of Aerodynamic Stability Derivatives from a Body Axes Reference to a Wind Axes Reference

Appendix 10 - Transformation of the Moments and Products of Inertia from a Body Axes Reference to a Wind Axes Reference

Appendix 11 - The Root Locus Plot