Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Aviation Systems

Major Professor

Stephen Corda

Committee Members

Peter Uwe Solies, Borja Martos

Abstract

A real-time energy management display is developed and evaluated, and the feasibility and utility of the display in providing real-time guidance and information on the aircraft’s energy state was investigated. Flight simulations were conducted with the UTSI Aviation Systems research flight simulator to validate the display and evaluate its utility for flying along constant specific excess power contours, and directly obtaining specific excess power contours from level acceleration flight test. The display was evaluated for flying optimal paths. This study considered the energy state of the aircraft from the point of view of the relation that exists between specific excess power and the forces in flight. The approach yields as one result a cubic function for the specific excess power, Ps, of the aircraft. We then directly solve for velocity, V as the control parameter for a given Ps, as a function of altitude, H. This technique is then used to build a real-time energy management display that provides guidance and real-time information of the aircraft’s energy state. Flight simulation results proved the display to be successful in obtaining direct Ps contours from level acceleration flight tests and in providing guidance for flights along constant Ps contours at low airspeeds although it was difficult to keep the Ps constant. However flights along zero Ps contours and along constant Ps contours at very high speeds were not successful. The application of the display in flying optimal paths was also not very successful with the current structure of the display. This was due to the fact that the display’s guidance information is provided in a digital format which is very sensitive, and tracking a number for guidance is nearly impossible.

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