Flight Dynamics, Simulation, and Control: For Rigid and Flexible Aircraft, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Flight Dynamics, Simulation, and Control

For Rigid and Flexible Aircraft, 1st Edition

By Ranjan Vepa

CRC Press

696 pages | 165 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466573352
pub: 2014-08-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781466573390
pub: 2014-08-25
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Explore Key Concepts and Techniques Associated with Control Configured Elastic Aircraft

A rapid rise in air travel in the past decade is driving the development of newer, more energy-efficient, and malleable aircraft. Typically lighter and more flexible than the traditional rigid body, this new ideal calls for adaptations to some conventional concepts. Flight Dynamics, Simulation, and Control: For Rigid and Flexible Aircraft addresses the intricacies involved in the dynamic modelling, simulation, and control of a selection of aircraft. This book covers the conventional dynamics of rigid aircraft, explores key concepts associated with control configured elastic aircraft, and examines the use of linear and non-linear model-based techniques and their applications to flight control. In addition, it reveals how the principles of modeling and control can be applied to both traditional rigid and modern flexible aircraft.

Understand the Basic Principles Governing Aerodynamic Flows

This text consists of ten chapters outlining a range of topics relevant to the understanding of flight dynamics, regulation, and control. The book material describes the basics of flight simulation and control, the basics of nonlinear aircraft dynamics, and the principles of control configured aircraft design. It explains how elasticity of the wings/fuselage can be included in the dynamics and simulation, and highlights the principles of nonlinear stability analysis of both rigid and flexible aircraft. The reader can explore the mechanics of equilibrium flight and static equilibrium, trimmed steady level flight, the analysis of the static stability of an aircraft, static margins, stick-fixed and stick-free, modeling of control surface hinge-moments, and the estimation of the elevator for trim.

  • Introduces case studies of practical control laws for several modern aircraft
  • Explores the evaluation of aircraft dynamic response
  • Applies MATLAB®/Simulink® in determining the aircraft’s response to typical control inputs
  • Explains the methods of modeling both rigid and flexible aircraft for controller design application

Written with aerospace engineering faculty and students, engineers, and researchers in mind, Flight Dynamics, Simulation, and Control: For Rigid and Flexible Aircraft serves as a useful resource for the exploration and study of simulation of flight dynamics.


"Starting from the fundamentals, the book takes the reader to more advanced topics, abreast with the current research. …The material presented is comprehensive and is richly illustrated by the case studies."

—Dr. Rajesh Joseph Abraham, Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology, India

"In one volume there is a comprehensive coverage of flight mechanics and control, starting from basic concepts of aerodynamics and propulsion, including standard topics of longitudinal and lateral stability and control, with extensive use of case studies, leading up to an impressive set of advanced topics that would not normally be found in a single volume, including extensive coverage of flexible aircraft, flight control systems and pilot-in-the-loop simulation and modelling."

—Neil Sandham, University of Southampton, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction to Flight Vehicles


Components of an Aeroplane

Basic Principles of Flight

Flying Control Surfaces: Elevator, Ailerons and Rudder

Pilot’s Controls: The Throttle, the Control Column and Yoke, the Rudder Pedals and the Toe Brakes

Modes of Flight

Power Plant

Avionics, Instrumentation and Systems

Geometry of Aerofoils and Wings

Chapter Highlights


Answers to Selected Exercises


Basic Principles Governing Aerodynamic Flows


Continuity Principle

Bernoulli’s Principle

Laminar Flows and Boundary Layers

Turbulent Flows

Aerodynamics of Aerofoils and Wings

Properties of Air in the Atmosphere

International Standard Atmosphere (from ESDU 77021, 1986)

Generation of Lift and Drag

Aerodynamic Forces and Moments

Chapter Highlights


Answers to Selected Exercises


Mechanics of Equilibrium Flight


Speeds of Equilibrium Flight

Basic Aircraft Performance

Conditions for Minimum Drag

Stability in the Vicinity of the Minimum Drag Speed

Range and Endurance Estimation


Stability of Equilibrium Flight

Longitudinal Static Stability


Lateral Stability and Stability Criteria

Experimental Determination of Aircraft Stability Margins

Summary of Equilibrium- and Stability-Related Equations

Chapter Highlights


Answers to Selected Exercises


Aircraft Non-Linear Dynamics: Equations of Motion


Aircraft Dynamics

Aircraft Motion in a D Plane

Moments of Inertia

Euler’s Equations and the Dynamics of Rigid Bodies

Description of the Attitude or Orientation

Aircraft Equations of Motion

Motion-Induced Aerodynamic Forces and Moments

Non-Linear Dynamics of Aircraft Motion and the

Stability Axes

Trimmed Equations of Motion

Chapter Highlights



Small Perturbations and the Linearised, Decoupled Equations of Motion


Small Perturbations and Linearisations

Linearising the Aerodynamic Forces and Moments: Stability Derivative Concept

Direct Formulation in the Stability Axis

Decoupled Equations of Motion

Decoupled Equations of Motion in terms of the Stability Axis Aerodynamic Derivatives

Addition of Aerodynamic Controls and Throttle

Non-Dimensional Longitudinal and Lateral Dynamics

Simplified State-Space Equations of Longitudinal and Lateral Dynamics

Simplified Concise Equations of Longitudinal and Lateral Dynamics

Chapter Highlights



Longitudinal and Lateral Linear Stability and Control


Dynamic and Static Stability

Modal Description of Aircraft Dynamics and the Stability of the Modes

Aircraft Lift and Drag Estimation

Estimating the Longitudinal Aerodynamic Derivatives

Estimating the Lateral Aerodynamic Derivatives

Chapter Highlights


Answers to Selected Exercises


Aircraft Dynamic Response: Numerical Simulation and Non-Linear Phenomenon


Longitudinal and Lateral Modal Equations

Methods of Computing Aircraft Dynamic Response

System Block Diagram Representation

Atmospheric Disturbance: Deterministic Disturbances

Principles of Random Atmospheric Disturbance Modelling

Application to Atmospheric Turbulence Modelling

Aircraft Non-Linear Dynamic Response Phenomenon

Chapter Highlights



Aircraft Flight Control

Automatic Flight Control Systems: An Introduction

Functions of a Flight Control System

Integrated Flight Control System

Flight Control System Design

Optimal Control of Flight Dynamics

Application to the Design of Stability Augmentation

Systems and Autopilots

Performance Assessment of a Command or Control

Augmentation System

Linear Perturbation Dynamics Flight Control Law Design by Partial Dynamic Inversion

Design of Controllers for Multi-Input Systems

Decoupling Control and Its Application: Longitudinal and Lateral Dynamics Decoupling Control

Full Aircraft Six-DOF Flight Controller Design by Dynamic Inversion

Chapter Highlights


Answers to Selected Exercises


Piloted Simulation and Pilot Modelling


Piloted Flight Simulation

Principles of Human Pilot Physiological Modelling

Human Physiological Control Mechanisms

Spatial Awareness

Chapter Highlights



Flight Dynamics of Elastic Aircraft


Flight Dynamics of Flexible Aircraft

Newton–Euler Equations of a Rigid Aircraft

Lagrangian Formulation

Vibration of Elastic Structures in a Fluid Medium

Unsteady Aerodynamics of an Aerofoil

Euler–Lagrange Formulation of Flexible Body Dynamics

Application to an Aircraft with a Flexible Wing Vibrating in Bending and Torsion

Kinetic and Potential Energies of the Whole Elastic Aircraft

Euler–Lagrange Matrix Equations of a Flexible Body in Quasi-Coordinates

Slender Elastic Aircraft

Aircraft with a Flexible Flat Body Component

Estimating the Aerodynamic Derivatives: Modified Strip


Chapter Highlights


Answers to Selected Exercises



About the Author

Dr. Ranjan Vepa earned his PhD in applied mechanics from Stanford University, California. He currently serves as a lecturer in the School of Engineering and Material Science, Queen Mary University of London, where he has also been the programme director of the Avionics Programme since 2001. He conducts research on biomimetic morphing of wings and aerodynamic shape control and their applications to flight vehicles. Dr. Vepa is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, London; the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), New York; a fellow of the Higher Education Academy; a member of the Royal Institute of Navigation, London; and a chartered engineer.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Mechanics / General