Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aviation Systems

Major Professor

R. Richards

Committee Members

Ralph Kimberlin, Peter Solics


Aircraft handling qualities rating scales have traditionally been developed for closed-loop handling tasks at moderate angles-of-attack (AOA). The latest fighter aircraft, using fly-by-wire flight controls and vectored thrust, are capable of sustained maneuvers at very high AOA. A pitch control margin test (Lackey, 1991) was performed using a specially developed rating scale, which evolved as an element of tests investigating controllability at high AOA, progressing through conceptualization, simulation, and eventual flight test. This pitch control margin test is analyzed in this thesis as a case study in the development of handling qualities rating scales to evaluate high AOA flying qualities.

It was found that choice of the most suitable measures of merit is important when evaluating a new flight regime. It was also found that rating scale design requires specific mission tasks, even for open loop scenarios, as well as a glossary of associated terms to minimize ambiguity.

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