Short Takeoff Performance Using a Gravity Assist Ski Jump
DAVID W TAYLOR NAVAL SHIP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER BETHESDA MD AVIATION AND SURFACE EFFECTS DEPT
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A modified or gravity assist ski jump is developed, through an application of the calculus of variations, to provide for the shortest takeoff roll for a thrust vector control type vertical or short takeoff and landing V STOL aircraft that will maintain a better-than-minimum required rate of climb. As a means of comparison between the resulting modified and a conventional ski jump, the equations of motion are programmed to model the takeoff performance using a ski jump. The results of this model are found to compare well with Naval Air Test Center ski jump test results of the AV-8A aircraft. A comparison of the standard and gravity assist ski jump shows a reduction of 30 percent in required ground roll and 20 percent in distance to a 50-ft altitude, while maintaining a better-than-minimum required rate of climb, with the modified ramp. A simple modified ramp, using a pair of standard multiple girder bridging MGB ramps, is shown to provide similar improvements in takeoff performance.
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