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Integrated Propulsion-based Flight Control System Design for a Civil Transport Aircraft

By M. Härefors and D. G. Bates


We describe results of a study carried out at the University of Leicester in collaboration with Volvo Aero Corporation, on the design of integrated flight and propulsion control systems for large civil transport aircraft. The use of the aircraft engines (via differential thrust and/or thrust vectoring) for the purposes of emergency flight control is examined in detail. An industry standard modelling and simulation tool (IFPClab), containing a detailed model of the Boeing 747-100 transport aircraft, was developed for the study using the MATLAB/SIMULINK software environment. IFPClab has a flexible, modular structure, which can easily be adapted to different aircraft and engine configurations. Propulsion based flight control systems, for use in the event of a partial or total failure of the traditional aerodynamic control surfaces, are designed using modern robust multivariable control methods. Evaluation of these control systems in non-linear simulations indicates that large civil transport aircraft may be effectively controlled using only collective and differential thrust. The addition of thrust vectoring, however, is seen to significantly improve the flying qualities that may be achieved. 1

Year: 2009
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