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Flight Performance of Fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750668170, 9780080461038

Flight Performance of Fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft

1st Edition

Author: Antonio Filippone
Hardcover ISBN: 9780750668170
eBook ISBN: 9780080461038
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 10th May 2006
Page Count: 600
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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

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


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2006
10th May 2006
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

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

University of Manchester, UK

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