FLIGHT PLANNING AND CONDUCT OF THE M2-F2 GLIDE FLIGHT PROGRAM.
Final rept. 12 Jul 66-10 May 67,
AIR FORCE FLIGHT TEST CENTER EDWARDS AFB CA
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The flight planning for the M2-F2 glide flight program was accomplished primarily through the use of a six degree of freedom hybrid simulation. The simulation was used to predict performance and handling qualities, and to develop flight techniques for normal missions and emergency situations. In addition to proving to be an invaluable tool in flight planning, the hybrid simulation was also used extensively as a pilot training aid. The airborne simulation of the M2-F2 landing performance using F5D and F-104 aircraft enabled the pilots to gain a maximum amount of flight experience during low lift to drag ratio landings for a minimum cost. The M2-F2 lifting-body research vehicle was flown unpowered on sixteen glide flights. Four of the flights were primarily for individual pilot checkout. The glide flight program has demonstrated the feasibility of subsonic approach maneuvering and landing of a typical lifting-body configuration. Future testing of manned reentry vehicle configurations will encounter problems similar to those experienced during the M2F2 test program and will require the use of both fixed base and airborne flight simulators for flight planning and pilot training. Author
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