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.


Key Features

New to this edition:

  • Additional examples to illustrate the application of computational procedures using tools such as MATLAB®, MathCad® and Program CC®.

  • Improved compatibility with, and more expansive coverage of the North American notational style.
  • Expanded coverage of lateral-directional static stability, manoeuvrability, command augmentation and flight in turbulence.
  • An additional coursework study on flight control design for an unmanned air vehicle (UAV).


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

Table of Contents


Preface to the second edition

Preface to the first edition




Examples of other symbols and notation

Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Overview

1.2 Flying and handling qualities

1.3 General considerations

1.4 Aircraft equations of motion

1.5 Aerodynamics

1.6 Computers

1.7 Summary



Chapter 2. Systems of Axes and Notation

2.1 Earth axes

2.2 Aircraft body–fixed axes

2.3 Euler angles and aircraft attitude

2.4 Axes transformations

2.5 Aircraft reference geometry

2.6 Controls notation

2.7 Aerodynamic reference centres


Chapter 3. Static Equilibrium and Trim

3.1 Trim equilibrium

3.2 The pitching moment equation

3.3 Longitudinal static stability

3.4 Lateral-directional static stability

3.5 Calculation of aircraft trim condition



Chapter 4. The Equations of Motion

4.1 The equations of motion for a rigid symmetric aircraft

4.2 The linearised equations of motion

4.3 The decoupled equations of motion

4.4 Alternative forms of the equations of motion


Chapter 5. The Solution of the Equations of Motion

5.1 Methods of solution

5.2 Cramer’s rule

5.3 Aircraft response transfer functions

5.4 Response to controls

5.5 Acceleration response transfer functions

5.6 The state-space method

5.7 State-space model augmentation


Chapter 6. Longitudinal Dynamics

6.1 Response to controls

6.2 The dynamic stability modes

6.3 Reduced-order models

6.4 Frequency response

6.5 Flying and handling qualities

6.6 Mode excitation


Chapter 7. Lat


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© 2013
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