Flight Performance of Fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft

Flight Performance of Fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft

1st Edition - May 10, 2006

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  • Author: Antonio Filippone
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780750668170
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080461038

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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.

Key Features

  • Unique coverage of fixed and rotary wing aircraft in a unified manner, including optimisation, emissions control and regulation.
  • Ideal for students, aeronautical engineering capstone projects, and for widespread professional reference in the aerospace industry.
  • Comprehensive coverage of computer-based solution of aerospace engineering problems; the critical analysis of performance data; and case studies from real world engineering experience.
  • Supported by end of chapter exercises


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

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    List of tables
    Nomenclature: organizations
    Nomenclature: acronyms
    Nomenclature: main symbols
    Nomenclature: Greek symbols
    Nomenclature: subscripts/superscripts
    Supplements to the text

    Part I Fixed-Wing Aircraft Performance

    1 Introduction
    1.1 Physical units used
    1.2 Performance parameters
    1.3 Performance optimisation
    1.4 Certificate of airworthiness
    1.5 Upgrading of aircraft performance
    1.6 Mission profiles

    2 The aircraft and its environment
    2.1 General aircraft model
    2.2 Reference systems
    2.3 Forces on the aircraft
    2.4 Moments of inertia
    2.5 Flight dynamics equations
    2.6 The international standard atmosphere
    2.7 Non standard conditions

    3 Weight performance
    3.1 The aircraft’s weight
    3.2 Definitions of weights
    3.3 Weight estimation
    3.4 Weight management
    3.5 Range-payload diagram
    3.6 Direct operating costs

    4 Aerodynamic performance
    4.1 Aerodynamic forces
    4.2 Lift equation
    4.3 Vortex lift
    4.4 High-life systems
    4.5 Drag equation
    4.6 Glide ratio
    4.7 Glide ratio at transonic and supersonic speed
    4.8 Practical estimation of the drag coefficient
    4.9 Compressibility effects
    4.10 Transonic drag rise
    4.11 Life and transonic buffet
    4.12 Aero-thermodynamic heating
    4.13 Aerodynamic penetration and radius
    4.14 Aircraft vortex wakes
    4.15 Aerodynamics and performance

    5 Engine performance
    5.1 Gas turbine engines
    5.2 Internal combustion engines
    5.3 Engines flight envelopes
    5.4 Power and thrust definitions
    5.5 Generalised engine performance
    5.6 Fuel flow
    5.7 Propulsive efficiency
    5.8 Thrust characteristics
    5.9 Propeller characteristics

    6 Flight envelopes
    6.1 General definitions
    6.2 Aircraft speed range
    6.3 Definition of speeds
    6.4 Steady state level flight
    6.5 Speed in level flight
    6.6 Absolute ceiling of jet aircraft
    6.7 Absolute ceiling of propeller aircraft
    6.8 Optimal speeds for level flight
    6.9 General flight envelopes
    6.10 Limiting factors on flight envelopes
    6.11 Dash speed of supersonic aircraft
    6.12 Absolute ceiling of supersonic aircraft
    6.13 Supersonic acceleration

    7 Take-off and landing
    7.1 Definition of terminal phases
    7.2 Conventional take-off
    7.3 Ground run of jet aircraft
    7.4 Solutions of the take-off equation
    7.5 Rotation and initial climb
    7.6 Take-off with one engine inoperative
    7.7 Calculation of the balanced field length
    7.8 Ground run of propeller aircraft
    7.9 WAT charts
    7.10 Missed take-off
    7.11 Final approach and landing
    7.12 Landing run
    7.13 Effects of the wind
    7.14 Ground manoeuvring

    8 Climb and gliding
    8.1 Governing equations
    8.2 Rate of climb
    8.3 Steady climb of propeller airplane
    8.4 Climb of jet airplane
    8.5 Polar diagram for rate of climb
    8.6 Energy methods
    8.7 Specific excess power diagrams
    8.8 Differential excess power plots
    8.9 Minimum problems with energy method
    8.10 Steady state gliding
    8.11 General gliding flight
    8.12 Maximum glide range with energy method
    8.13 Minimum flight paths
    8.14 Additional research on aircraft climb

    9 Cruise performance
    9.1 Importance of the cruise flight
    9.2 General definitions
    9.3 Point performance
    9.4 The Breguet range equation
    9.5 Subsonic cruise of jet aircraft
    9.6 Mission fuel
    9.7 Cruise with intermediate stop
    9.8 Aircraft selection
    9.9 Supersonic cruise
    9.10 Cruise range of propeller aircraft
    9.11 Endurance
    9.12 Effect of weight on cruise range
    9.13 Effect of the wind on cruise range
    9.14 Additional research on aircraft cruise
    9.15 Formation flight

    10 Manoeuvre performance
    10.1 Banked level turns
    10.2 Banked turn at constant thrust
    10.3 Power requirements
    10.4 Effect of weight on turn radius
    10.5 Manoeuvre envelope: n-V diagram
    10.6 Turn rates
    10.7 Sustainable g-loads
    10.8 Unpowered turn
    10.9 Soaring flight
    10.10 Roll performance
    10.11 Aircraft control under thrust asymmetry
    10.12 Pull-up manoeuvre and the loop
    10.13 Zero-gravity atmospheric flight
    10.14 Flight path to a moving target

    Part II Rotary-Wing Aircraft Performance

    11 Rotorcraft performance
    11.1 Fundamentals
    11.2 Helicopter configurations
    11.3 Mission profiles
    11.4 Flight envelopes
    11.5 Definitions and reference systems
    11.6 Non dimensional parameters
    11.7 Methods for performance calculations

    12 Rotorcraft in vertical flight
    12.1 Hover performance
    12.2 Effect of blade twist
    12.3 Non dimensional hover performance
    12.4 Vertical climb
    12.5 Ceiling performance
    12.6 Ground effect
    12.7 Vertical descent
    12.8 Hover endurance

    13 Rotorcraft in forward flight
    13.1 Asymmetry of rotor loads
    13.2 Power requirements
    13.3 Rotor disk angle
    13.4 Calculation of forward flight power
    13.5 L/D of the helicopter
    13.6 Forward flight analysis
    13.7 Propulsive efficiency
    13.8 Climb performance
    13.9 Performance of tandem helicopters
    13.10 Single or tandem helicopter?

    14 Rotorcraft manoeuvre
    14.1 Limits on flight envelopes
    14.2 Kinetic energy of the rotor
    14.3 Autorotative index
    14.4 Autorotative performance
    14.5 Height-velocity diagram
    14.6 The vortex ring state
    14.7 Take-off and landing
    14.8 Turn performance
    14.9 Power required for turning
    14.10 More on tail rotor performance

    15 Rotorcraft mission analysis
    15.1 Specific air range
    15.2 Non dimensional analysis of the SAR
    15.3 Endurance and specific endurance
    15.4 Speed for minimum power
    15.5 Speed for maximum range
    15.6 Fuel to climb
    15.7 Payload-range diagram
    15.8 Comparative payload fraction
    15.9 Mission analysis

    Part III

    16 V/STOL performance
    16.1 Hover characteristics
    16.2 Jet-induced lift
    16.3 Life augmentation
    16.4 Calculation of short take-off
    16.5 Ski jump
    16.6 Convertiplanes or tilt-rotors
    16.7 VSTOL flight envelopes

    17 Noise performance
    17.1 Definitions of sound and noise
    17.2 Trends in noise reduction
    17.3 Airframe noise of fixed-wing aircraft
    17.4 Engine noise
    17.5 Noise certification procedure
    17.6 Noise reduction from operations
    17.7 Minimum noise to climb
    17.8 Helicopter noise
    17.9 Helicopter noise reduction
    17.10 Noise certification of civil helicopters
    17.11 Sonic boom

    Appendix A Aircraft models
    A.1 Aircraft A: subsonic commercial jet
    A.2 Aircraft B: turboprop aircraft
    A.3 Aircraft C: supersonic jet fighter
    A.4 Aircraft D: civil transport helicopter
    A.5 Aircraft E: tandem helicopter

    Appendix B Noise-data

    Appendix C Selected simulation programs
    C.1 Assembling aircraft forces
    C.2 Calculation of numerical derivatives
    C.3 Optimal climb of fighter jet aircraft
    C.4 Optimal climb rate of turboprop
    C.5 Calculation of mission fuel
    C.6 Supersonic acceleration
    C.7 Asymmetric thrust control
    C.8 Hover power with blade element theory
    C.9 Forward flight power of helicopter

Product details

  • No. of pages: 600
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2006
  • Published: May 10, 2006
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780750668170
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080461038

About the Author

Antonio Filippone

Dr. Antonio Filippone is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Affiliations and Expertise

Faculty Member in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester, UK

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