Select Means for Determining Unsteady Aerodynamic Response Characteristics from Static Data
Final rept. 17 Apr-30 Sep 1998
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH AIR VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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Recent analysis has shown that nearly every high-performance tactical aircraft in the inventory of American and allied air forces has experienced some sort of unexpected controlled-flight departure in the early stages of flight testing. Most, if not all, of these in-flight departures had characteristics which lead to the conclusion that they were the result of critical state encounters. Critical states are discrete flight mechanical state vector values where the aerodynamic response loses its analytic dependence on one or more of the variables in that state vector. Critical states manifest themselves as discontinuities in either magnitude or slope in static force and moment data, and as dynamic responses which may be nonlinear with respect to either geometric parameters andor time. This report presents two analysis procedures which have shown promise in the detection of critical states. First, spectral analysis of data ensembles acquired during wind tunnel tests of two 65 degree delta wings has shown that changes in these spectra signal the presence of some critical states. Further, the nature of these spectra have in some instances provided insight into the nature of the dynamic response. The second analysis procedure involves comparing the static experimental data to a simple potential-flow-based numerical model. It was found that when the experimental dataset diverged from the numerical simulation, critical states were present. Both of these analysis procedures required no additional data to be acquired and minimal analytical effort. Therefore, they provide a cost-effective means for adverting the effects of critical states during early air vehicle test-and-evaluation programs.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft