Towards integrated design of fluidic controls for a flapless aircraft

William James Crowther, Paul Wilde, Kenneth Gill, Stephen Michie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Fluidic flight controls enable forces and moments for flight vehicle trim and manoeuvre to be produced without use of conventional moving surface controls. This paper introduces a methodology for the design of Circulation Control (CC) and Fluidic Thrust Vectoring (FTV) as fluidic controls for roll and pitch. Work was undertaken as part of the multidisciplinary FLAVIIR project, with the goal of providing full authority fluidic flight controls sufficient for a fully flapless flight of an 80kg class demonstrator aircraft known as DEMON. The design methodology considers drag, mass, volume and pneumatic power requirements as part of the overall design cost function. It is shown that the fundamental flow physics of both CC and FTV are similar, and hence there are strong similarities to the design approach of each. Flight ready CC and FTV hardware has been designed, manufactured and ground tested. The CC system was successfully wind tunnel demonstrated on an 85% scale half model of the DEMON. The design condition of a control ΔCL of 0·1 was achieved with a blowing coefficient of 0·01, giving a useable control gain of 10. The FTV system was static tested using a micro gas turbine source. The control characteristic was 'N' shaped, consisting of an initial high gain response in a negative sense (gain = ―30) followed by a low gain response in a positive sense (gain = +3) at higher blowing rate. CC and FTV control hardware directly contributes to around 6% to the overall mass of the flight vehicle, however provision of pneumatic power carries a significant mass penalty unless generated as part of an integrated engine bleed system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)699-713
    JournalAeronautical Journal
    Issue number1149
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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