Flight Performance of Fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft


  • Antonio Filippone, University of Manchester, UK

Calculation and optimisation of flight performance is required to design or select new aircraft, efficiently operate existing aircraft, and upgrade aircraft. It provides critical data for aircraft certification, accident investigation, fleet management, flight regulations and safety. This book presents an unrivalled range of advanced flight performance models for both transport and military aircraft, including the unconventional ends of the envelopes. Topics covered include the numerical solution of supersonic acceleration, transient roll, optimal climb of propeller aircraft, propeller performance, long-range flight with en-route stop, fuel planning, zero-gravity flight in the atmosphere, VSTOL operations, ski jump from aircraft carrier, optimal flight paths at subsonic and supersonic speed, range-payload analysis of fixed- and rotary wing aircraft, performance of tandem helicopters, lower-bound noise estimation, sonic boom, and more.This book will be a valuable text for undergraduate and post-graduate level students of aerospace engineering. It will also be an essential reference and resource for practicing aircraft engineers, aircraft operations managers and organizations handling air traffic control, flight and flying regulations, standards, safety, environment, and the complex financial aspects of flying aircraft.
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Undergraduate & graduate students in aerospace & aeronautical engineering; Practicing aircraft engineers, fleet and operations managers; Organizations dealing with air traffic, regulations, standards, safety, environment & various financial aspects of the design & operation of the aircraft; Flight mechanics, those involved with aircraft design, scheduling, operations research, systems, controls, navigation, air traffic operations, optimisation & optimal control


Book information

  • Published: May 2006
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-6817-0

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsList of tablesNomenclature: organizationsNomenclature: acronymsNomenclature: main symbolsNomenclature: Greek symbolsNomenclature: subscripts/superscriptsSupplements to the textPart I Fixed-Wing Aircraft Performance1 Introduction1.1 Physical units used1.2 Performance parameters1.3 Performance optimisation1.4 Certificate of airworthiness1.5 Upgrading of aircraft performance1.6 Mission profilesProblems2 The aircraft and its environment2.1 General aircraft model2.2 Reference systems2.3 Forces on the aircraft2.4 Moments of inertia2.5 Flight dynamics equations2.6 The international standard atmosphere2.7 Non standard conditionsProblems3 Weight performance3.1 The aircraft’s weight3.2 Definitions of weights3.3 Weight estimation3.4 Weight management3.5 Range-payload diagram3.6 Direct operating costsProblems4 Aerodynamic performance4.1 Aerodynamic forces4.2 Lift equation4.3 Vortex lift4.4 High-life systems4.5 Drag equation4.6 Glide ratio4.7 Glide ratio at transonic and supersonic speed4.8 Practical estimation of the drag coefficient4.9 Compressibility effects4.10 Transonic drag rise4.11 Life and transonic buffet4.12 Aero-thermodynamic heating4.13 Aerodynamic penetration and radius4.14 Aircraft vortex wakes4.15 Aerodynamics and performanceProblems5 Engine performance5.1 Gas turbine engines5.2 Internal combustion engines5.3 Engines flight envelopes5.4 Power and thrust definitions5.5 Generalised engine performance5.6 Fuel flow5.7 Propulsive efficiency5.8 Thrust characteristics5.9 Propeller characteristicsProblems6 Flight envelopes6.1 General definitions6.2 Aircraft speed range6.3 Definition of speeds6.4 Steady state level flight6.5 Speed in level flight6.6 Absolute ceiling of jet aircraft6.7 Absolute ceiling of propeller aircraft6.8 Optimal speeds for level flight6.9 General flight envelopes6.10 Limiting factors on flight envelopes6.11 Dash speed of supersonic aircraft6.12 Absolute ceiling of supersonic aircraft6.13 Supersonic accelerationProblems7 Take-off and landing7.1 Definition of terminal phases7.2 Conventional take-off7.3 Ground run of jet aircraft7.4 Solutions of the take-off equation7.5 Rotation and initial climb7.6 Take-off with one engine inoperative7.7 Calculation of the balanced field length7.8 Ground run of propeller aircraft7.9 WAT charts7.10 Missed take-off7.11 Final approach and landing7.12 Landing run7.13 Effects of the wind7.14 Ground manoeuvringProblems8 Climb and gliding8.1 Governing equations8.2 Rate of climb8.3 Steady climb of propeller airplane8.4 Climb of jet airplane8.5 Polar diagram for rate of climb8.6 Energy methods8.7 Specific excess power diagrams8.8 Differential excess power plots8.9 Minimum problems with energy method8.10 Steady state gliding8.11 General gliding flight8.12 Maximum glide range with energy method8.13 Minimum flight paths8.14 Additional research on aircraft climbProblems9 Cruise performance9.1 Importance of the cruise flight9.2 General definitions9.3 Point performance9.4 The Breguet range equation9.5 Subsonic cruise of jet aircraft9.6 Mission fuel9.7 Cruise with intermediate stop9.8 Aircraft selection9.9 Supersonic cruise9.10 Cruise range of propeller aircraft9.11 Endurance9.12 Effect of weight on cruise range9.13 Effect of the wind on cruise range9.14 Additional research on aircraft cruise9.15 Formation flightProblems10 Manoeuvre performance10.1 Banked level turns10.2 Banked turn at constant thrust10.3 Power requirements10.4 Effect of weight on turn radius10.5 Manoeuvre envelope: n-V diagram10.6 Turn rates10.7 Sustainable g-loads10.8 Unpowered turn10.9 Soaring flight10.10 Roll performance10.11 Aircraft control under thrust asymmetry10.12 Pull-up manoeuvre and the loop10.13 Zero-gravity atmospheric flight10.14 Flight path to a moving targetProblemsPart II Rotary-Wing Aircraft Performance11 Rotorcraft performance11.1 Fundamentals11.2 Helicopter configurations11.3 Mission profiles11.4 Flight envelopes11.5 Definitions and reference systems11.6 Non dimensional parameters11.7 Methods for performance calculationsProblems12 Rotorcraft in vertical flight12.1 Hover performance12.2 Effect of blade twist12.3 Non dimensional hover performance12.4 Vertical climb12.5 Ceiling performance12.6 Ground effect12.7 Vertical descent12.8 Hover enduranceProblems13 Rotorcraft in forward flight13.1 Asymmetry of rotor loads13.2 Power requirements13.3 Rotor disk angle13.4 Calculation of forward flight power13.5 L/D of the helicopter13.6 Forward flight analysis13.7 Propulsive efficiency13.8 Climb performance13.9 Performance of tandem helicopters13.10 Single or tandem helicopter?Problems14 Rotorcraft manoeuvre14.1 Limits on flight envelopes14.2 Kinetic energy of the rotor14.3 Autorotative index14.4 Autorotative performance14.5 Height-velocity diagram14.6 The vortex ring state14.7 Take-off and landing14.8 Turn performance14.9 Power required for turning14.10 More on tail rotor performanceProblems15 Rotorcraft mission analysis15.1 Specific air range15.2 Non dimensional analysis of the SAR15.3 Endurance and specific endurance15.4 Speed for minimum power15.5 Speed for maximum range15.6 Fuel to climb15.7 Payload-range diagram15.8 Comparative payload fraction15.9 Mission analysisProblemsPart III16 V/STOL performance16.1 Hover characteristics16.2 Jet-induced lift16.3 Life augmentation16.4 Calculation of short take-off16.5 Ski jump16.6 Convertiplanes or tilt-rotors16.7 VSTOL flight envelopesProblems17 Noise performance17.1 Definitions of sound and noise17.2 Trends in noise reduction17.3 Airframe noise of fixed-wing aircraft17.4 Engine noise17.5 Noise certification procedure17.6 Noise reduction from operations17.7 Minimum noise to climb17.8 Helicopter noise17.9 Helicopter noise reduction17.10 Noise certification of civil helicopters17.11 Sonic boomProblemsAppendix A Aircraft modelsA.1 Aircraft A: subsonic commercial jetA.2 Aircraft B: turboprop aircraftA.3 Aircraft C: supersonic jet fighterA.4 Aircraft D: civil transport helicopterA.5 Aircraft E: tandem helicopterAppendix B Noise-dataAppendix C Selected simulation programsC.1 Assembling aircraft forcesC.2 Calculation of numerical derivativesC.3 Optimal climb of fighter jet aircraftC.4 Optimal climb rate of turbopropC.5 Calculation of mission fuelC.6 Supersonic accelerationC.7 Asymmetric thrust controlC.8 Hover power with blade element theoryC.9 Forward flight power of helicopter