Methods for conceptual flight control system design

Christopher Beaverstock, Alireza Maheri, Thomas Richardson, Mark Lowenberg, Askin Isikveren

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The traditional approach in aircraft conceptual design sizing for stability and control employs the so called “Tail Volume” method, which basically establishes static stability of the design via empirical handbook methods. The methodology dispenses with any formal definition of the Flight Control System architecture and topology, and, does not afford visibility of critical sizing scenarios to the designer. This situation creates a measure of uncertainty when attempts are made to model the flight physics problem, thus thwarting opportunities in performing an advanced assessment of flight handling qualities. This paper reviews the work-in-progress status of an innovative software package aimed at the con- ceptual design phase called Flight Control System Designer Toolkit (FCSDT) that permits Flight Control Systems architecture definition for primary and failure modes, facilitates generation of control laws, assists the designer in apportioning control allocation sched- ules, and finally, analyse the stability and control of aircraft models. Results regarding flight control system architecture design are based on a control surface layout obtained from the Boeing 747 technical manual. Stability and control assessments were based on aerodynamic data generated by the aerodynamic model builder interface to Digital DAT- COM provided by the European funded Framework 6 Program based on the Boeing 747 geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Event47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 1 Jan 2009 → …


Conference47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
Period1/01/09 → …
Internet address


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