The goal of the Contrails project is to help preserve and disseminate the technical record of 20th century aerospace research, highlighting in particular the research endeavors of the Illinois Tech community.

In-Flight Simulation of the Lateral-Directional Handling Qualities of Entry Vehicles

Report Number: WADD TR 61-147
Author(s): Robert P. Harper
Corporate Author: Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc.
Laboratory: Flight Control Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1961-11
Pages: 65
Contract: AF 33(616)-5823
Project: 8219
Task: 82163
AD Number: AD0269517
Original AD Number: AD269517

The initial results of a flight research program to simulate the handling qualities of winged vehicles during atmospheric entry are discussed. The purpose is to evaluate in flight the effects on pilot-vehicle performance of the dynamic flight characteristics of atmospheric entry vehicles, and to determine their suitability for the entry mission. The evaluations were conducted in a three-axis variable stability T-33 airplane. Different sets of handling characteristics were evaluated in maneuvering flight and rated as to their suitability for the entry mission. Emphasis was placed upon the lateral handling characteristics, and 129 configurations were examined by one pilot. An effort is made to relate pilot objections and the attendant poor ratings to their causative vehicle characteristics. The piloting difficulties involved in the control of vehicles with either static or dynamic directional instabilities are discussed.

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