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Design, Fabrication, and Flight Testing of Self-Organizing Flight Control System

Report Number: AFFDL TR 70-77
Author: Barron, Roger L.
Corporate Author: Adaptronics, Inc. McLean, Virginia
Laboratory: Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1970-06
Pages: 230
Contract: AF 33(615)-5141
Project: None Given
AD Number: AD0872609

The report summarizes design characteristics, simulations, bench tests, and flight tests of an elementary self-organizing controller (SOC) for the pitch axis of the F-101B aircraft. This controller was flown with a cockpit electric side stick in a pseudo-fly-by-wire configuration, that is, as a fly-by-wire system with a normally disengaged mechanical backup. Blended pitch-rate and forward normal acceleration feedback (C*) and stabilator position feedback were the primary return signals used by the SOC. An optional Mach Trim loop was also investigated. The SOC, which incorporated unique modulated-noise circuits to minimize adverse effects of control-loop nonlinearities, had full authority over the aircraft stabilator within the inherent rate and position limits of the actuator. 32 test flights were conducted with the SOC, constituting a total flying time of approximately 40 hours. These flights encompassed nearly the entire performance envelope of the F-101B and included piloting tasks representative of missions flown with current fighter aircraft. The Air Force pilots rated the SOC between A1 and A2 on the CAL Revised Pilot Rating Scale. There were no in-flight malfunctions of the SOC equipment.

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