Experimental and numerical results obtained for a scaled RPV and a full size aircraft
Cezary Galinski and Zdobyslaw Goraj
The authors
Cezary Galinski and Zdobyslaw Goraj are based at the Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland.
Keywords
Stability (control theory), Aircraft, Tests and testing, Flight dynamics
Abstract
This paper describes a series of tests of remotely piloted vehicles (RPV) and full scale aircraft from which most of the performance information and selected dynamic characteristics normally required for aircraft operation can be obtained. The main goal of the paper is to compare corresponding characteristics of RPVs and full scale aircraft and establish if RPV testing can help and inﬂuence an early stage design project in order to optimise its aerodynamic conﬁguration and predict its static and dynamic characteristics. This paper presents basic similarity transformations, including mass scale, force scale, power scale, linear acceleration scale, Reynolds number scale etc. as functions of linear scale. It was found that tests in steady conditions are difﬁcult to perform, timeconsuming, and do not offer signiﬁcant advantages over the classical wind tunnel tests. RPV tests in unsteady conditions are much easier to perform and quite accurate.
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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · pp. 305–313 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited · ISSN 00022667 DOI 10.1108/00022660410536041
Nomenclature
a ¼ wing liftcurve slope, ›C _{L}_{w} /›a
a _{1}
a _{2}
¼ 
tailplane liftcurve slope versus 
angle of attack, ›C _{L}_{H} /›a 

¼ 
tailplane liftcurve slope versus elevator deﬂection, › C _{L}_{H} /›d _{H} 
A ¼ wing aspect ratio
A _{H}
¼
¼
tailplane aspect ratio centre of gravity
CG
C _{a} ¼ MAC
C _{L}
C _{D}
C _{m}
¼ Mean Aerodynamic Chord
¼ lift coefﬁcient
¼ drag coefﬁcient
¼ pitching moment coefﬁcient, around the mean quarterchord point A
¼ pitching moment coefﬁcient of
C _{m}_{w}_{B}_{,}_{C}
the wingbody combination abouttheCG(foranarbitrary C _{L} )
C _{m}_{w}_{B}_{,}_{0}
D _{i}
D, 
L , M 
G 
¼ mg 
J _{y} 

M 
_{C}_{y} 
¼ pitching moment coefﬁcient of the wingbody combination about the CG for C _{L} ¼0
¼ induced drag
¼
lift,dragandpitching momentfor whole aircraft
¼ weight of an aircraft or RPV
¼ 
moment of inertia about y axis 
¼ 
aerodynamic pitching moment of 
the whole aircraft about the CG
M 
_{C}_{y} ^{T} ¼ thrustpitchingmomentaboutthe CG 

m 
¼ mass of the whole aircraft 

n 
¼ n _{z} ¼ 
normal load coefﬁcient 
q 
¼ 0.5 rV ^{2} ¼ dynamic pressure 

P _{s} 
¼ thrust 

Q 
¼ pitch rate 

S 
¼ wing area 

S _{H} 
¼ 
tailplane area 
T ¼ period of damped oscillation
T _{1}_{/}_{2}
¼
time to half amplitude
U,W ¼ speed components in manoeuvre
¼ speedcomponentsinsteadyﬂight
¼ small disturbances of U, W
¼ coordinatesofaircraftpositionin the ground ﬁxed axis system
¼ angle of attack ¼ elevator deﬂection ¼ trim tab deﬂection
U _{0} ,W _{0}
u,w
x _{0}_{,} z _{0}
a
d _{H}
d _{T}
1 ¼ downwash
1 _{0} d 1/d a
downwash when a ¼ 0
¼ ¼ slopeofdownwashversusangleof attack
u ¼ pitch angle
q ¼ small disturbance of u
X _{u} , X _{w} , X _{q} , Z _{u} , Z _{w} ,
¼ dimensional stability derivatives
This paper presents some results from the PhD thesis of Cezary Galinski.
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Experimental and numerical results
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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · 305–313
C Du , C Dw ,
C _{D}_{q} , C _{L}_{u}_{,}
k _{H} l _{L} , l _{s} , l _{N} ,
¼ dimensionless stability derivatives ¼ horizontal tail volume
l _{R}_{e} , l _{S}_{t} 
¼ scale factors for linear dimension, area, power, Reynold’s number, Strouhal number, respectively 
z 
¼ damping ratio 
j, h 
¼ real and imaginary part of 
v _{n} 
eigenvalue ¼ undamped frequency indices 
A 
¼ mean quarterchord point 
C 
¼ mass centre of the whole aircraft 
N 
¼ neutral point of static stability 
H 
¼ tailplane 
Introduction
Research performed on scale models during the initial phases of new aircraft development provides substantial increase of the programme’s proﬁtability. Traditionally, these kinds of experiment included only wind tunnel tests. These have provided sufﬁcient information for assessing most of the ﬂight characteristics. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in manoeuvrability and handling qualities. There are many constraints in classical wind tunnel experiments, which reduce their usefulness for this current area of research. However tests of scale models (remotely piloted vehicles – RPVs) in real ﬂight allow the detailed examination of all manoeuvres which are available for full scale aircraft. Therefore, these tests offer a very interesting research tool for aircraft during the early development phase (Bennet and Abel, 1982; DeAngelis, 1982; Edwards, 1983; Fair and Robinson, 1980; GalOr, 1995; Harris, 1997; Lindberg et al. , 1997; Murrow and Eckstrom, 1979; Newsom and Pototzky, 1982; Trego, 1996; Yip et al. , 1991, 1992). Over the last 30 years, numerous research programmes using RPVs were carried out by NASA (Bennet and Abel, 1982; Budd et al. , 1993; Cohen and Le, 1991; DeAngelis, 1982; Deets and Edwards, 1974; Edwards, 1983; Edwards and Deets, 1975; Fisher and Meyer, 1988; Fair and Robinson, 1980; Harris, 1997; Holleman, 1974, 1976; Iliff and Maine, 1974; Iliff et al. , 1975; Layton, 1974; Lindberg et al. 1997; Moes and Whitmore, n.d.; Murrow and Eckstrom, 1979; Newsom and Pototzky, 1982; Trego, 1996). These programmes explored the various and complex interactions of advanced technologies,
such as aeroelastic tailoring, closecoupled canard conﬁgurations and relaxed static stability. Many programmes were devoted to deﬁning the design techniques appropriate for advanced ﬁghter technologies, including high manoeuvrability and dynamics at high angles of attack. The high quality of ﬂightmeasured data and their close correlation with the analytical design modelling proved that RPVs create a viable and costeffective tool for developing aerodynamic, structure and control law requirements for modern aircraft (Deets and Brown, 1986). To obtain strictly the similar results of measurement it is necessary to match all four (Katz and Plotkin, 1991) numbers of similarity (sometimes even more if heat transfer is included into analysis):
Re ¼ LV _{0} =n – Reynolds number, representing the ratio between the inertial and viscous forces;
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
St ¼ L =TV ¼ L v=V – Strouhal number, representing the ratio between a characteristic speed (frequency of a periodic occurrence over a characteristic distance) to the undisturbed ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ speed;
Fr ¼
– Froude number, representing the
ratio of ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ inertial force to gravitational force;
M ¼
¼ ^{V} – Mach number,
q
V ^{2}
0
gL
q
r _{0} V ^{2} kp _{0}
0
a
representing the ratio of the velocity (local or undisturbed) to the speed of sound.
Usually, it is impossible to match all of these numbers in experiments on scaled RPV (Galinski, 1997). Experiments described in this paper were undertaken to establish if it is possible to predict the dynamic behaviour of the fullscale aircraft when some numbers of similarity criteria are not matched. To reach this goal a scaled RPV was built (Galinski, 1996; Galinski et al. , 1997) equipped and tested in ﬂight (Plate 1). This was a copy of the J5 Marco motorglider (certiﬁed in 1986). The theoretical part of the experiment involved separate calculations for the RPV and the full size aircraft.
Plate 1 Author with J5 Marco RPV (Galinski, 1997)
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Experimental and numerical results
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Finally, the results of these calculations were compared with ﬂight test results. In the case of the full size aircraft the selected experimental data taken from the certiﬁcation report were compared to the numerical results obtained on the basis of a mathematical model. It was assumed that these data corresponded to that of the ﬁnal conﬁguration. Unfortunately, because of ﬁnancial limitations it was not possible to execute test ﬂights on the RPV and the fullscale aircraft simultaneously.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · 305–313
^{.} scale of the atmosphere density
l _{r} ¼ ^{r} ^{m}
r 0
¼ 1
where r _{m} is the density of the atmosphere corresponding to the test conditions of scaled model; and r _{0} the density of the atmosphere corresponding to the test conditions of the full scale aircraft.
With these conditions fulﬁlled it was possible to develop the transformation presented in Table I.
Similarity transformation
Strouhal number is the most important in case of dynamic behaviour similarity, so it was assumed that it should be comparable in the model and the full size aircraft. Froude and Reynold’s numbers were assumed to be less important. Froude numbers are important when hydrodynamic effects are considered (for example waves on the water). Reynold’s numbers describe the ﬂow in steady conditions so it is crucial in wind tunnel tests. It would be too difﬁcult to match this number in the experiments described here, so it was decided to ignore it. However, the effects of changes in Reynold’s number were investigated. Experiments were constrained to low Mach numbers ðM , 0:3Þ: However, it is believed that it would be possible to match the Mach number in future experiments by careful selection of the test conditions. In these conditions, the effect of differences in Re number would also be decreased. Finally it was decided to match the Strouhal number only. A similarity transformation frequently used for the design of ﬂying replicas satisﬁes this condition (GalOr, 1994; Stinton, 1983). Matching the Strouhal number was achieved fulﬁlling the following assumptions:
^{.}
^{.}
scale of the gravity acceleration was equal to unity:
l _{g} ¼ ^{g} ^{m} ¼ 1
g
0
where g _{m} is the gravity acceleration of scaled model, and g _{0} the gravity acceleration of full scale aircraft;
scale of the aircraft density was equal to unity:
l ra ¼ r ^{m}^{a}
r oa
¼ 1
where r _{m}_{a} is the density of the scaled model; and r _{o}_{a} the density of the full scale object;
Aircraft selection
The J5 Marco motorglider was selected for testing because of its predictable, mild dynamic characteristics including laminar ﬂow over the wing airfoil, characteristic soft stall and a very good spin behaviour (Pamadi, 1998). It was assumed that if these features transfer to the scaled RPV that it would be very good “proof of the concept” that dynamic characteristics can be evaluated at early design stage by use of scaled model. An important factor was that the geometry of the J5 Marco was quite simple and it facilitates the fabrication of a scale model. Good access to the design ﬁgures with geometry details and ﬂight test results was also an important factor in this choice. Finally, the Marco Mini (RPV) was expected to be relatively easy to control compared to other aircraft being considered (Galinski, 1996).
Linear scale selection
A linear scale equal to 1/3 was chosen. The Reynold’s number for the RPV on this scale corresponds to Re . 2; 00; 000 for an angle of
Table I 

Linear scale Area scale 
l _{l} l _{S} ¼ l ^{2} l 
Volume scale Mass scale Force scale Force momentum scale Inertia momentum scale Velocity scale Time scale Rotation velocity scale Power scale Linear acceleration scale Reynolds number scale Strouhal number scale
l _{v}_{o}_{l} ¼ l ^{3}
l
l _{m} ¼ l ^{3} l _{F} ¼ l ^{3} l _{M} ¼ l ^{4} l _{J} ¼ l ^{5}
l _{V} ¼ l _{t} ¼
l _{v} ¼ 1=
l
l
l
l
p
p
ﬃﬃﬃﬃ
ﬃﬃﬃﬃ
l
l
ﬃﬃﬃﬃ
l
l
p
l
l
l _{N} ¼ l ^{3}^{:}^{5}
l
l _{a} ¼ 1
l _{R}_{e} ¼ l ^{1}^{:}^{5}
l
l _{S}_{t} ¼ 1
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Experimental and numerical results
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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · 305–313
attack close to stall. An Re ¼ 2; 00; 000 was expected to be the critical Reynold’s number. Below this limit value the changes of aerodynamic coefﬁcients are expected to be unacceptably large. On the other hand, the scale equal to 1/3 reduced the cost of the RPV and made it easy to manufacture and operate (11 kg mass and 3 m wing span).
Flight test equipment
Serial manufactured radio control system Multiplex Proﬁ mc 4000 with Multiplex PCM9DS receiver and Multiplex Royal MC servos were used. Graupner NEJ120 gyrostabilisers were utilised for experiments in steady conditions. Data acquisition system based on telemetry was considered ﬁrst, but problems with quality of radio data transmission and higher costs determined that the system should be based on an onboard data recorder. The system used consisted of the following. (1) Eight channel programmable microprocessor data logger (2) set of transducers:
differential pressure transducer for velocity measurements;
absolute pressure transducer for barometric height measurements;
differential pressure transducer for accurate relative height measurements;
linear accelerometer;
^{.} servopotentiometers for angle indication of controls. (3) software for the following tasks:
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
to conﬁgure the data logger;
to supervise the data collection process;
to communicate between logger and PC;
to archive the data;
to present the data;
to convert the data to ASCII format;
A Micro TV system was also installed onboard. It was used mainly for visualisation experiments.
Flight test programme
The following features of the RPV were used for experimental data determination:
velocity hodograph for poweroff ﬂight (Smith, 2002);
lift to drag polar;
elevator deﬂection as speed function;
phugoid oscillations with free stick;
maximum available normal acceleration versus speed.
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
Moreover, some qualitative features were tested including visualisation of ﬂow around the wing.
Mathematical model
STB 9702 package (Goraj, 1997) was applied for dynamic analysis. This package permits the computation of selected characteristics of dynamic stability in steady horizontal ﬂight. In the case under consideration the following assumptions have been introduced:
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
aircraft has a plane of symmetry;
angles of sideslip, bank and path are equal to zero;
Mach number and the angle of attack are small.
Under these assumptions the differential equations of motion together with kinematic relationships have the following form:
M d x=dt ¼ Bx ;
where matrices of mass, generalised stiffness and vector of state are as follows:
M ¼
2
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6 6
6
4
B ¼
m
0
0
0
2mz
0
0
0
000
m
0
mz
0
2 mx
0
0
0
m 2 Z _{w}_{_}
0
2M _{w}_{_}
0
0
0
X _{q}
0
mz
0
J _{x}
0
2J _{x}_{z}
0
0
Z _{q} þ mV
0
2mz
0
mx
0
J _{y}
0
0
0
0
0
2mz
0
2J _{x}_{z}
0
J _{z}
0
0
3
7
0 0 7
00
7 7
00 7
7 7
7 7
7
7
7
7 7
7
7
5
01
10
0 0
00
0 0
0
G
2
6
6 6
6
6 6
6
6
6 6
6
6
6
6 6
6
6 6
6
6
6
6 6
4
X _{u} 0 X _{w} 0
0 Y _{v} 0 Y _{p}
Z _{u} 0 Z _{w} 0
0
0
0
L _{v}
0 L _{p}
2G
0
Y _{r} 2 mV
0
L _{r} 2 mzV
0
N _{r} þ mxV
0
0
00
0
Gz
0
0
0
2Gz
0
2Gx
0
0
0 M _{w} 0 M _{q} þ mxV
N _{v} 0 N _{p}
0
0000 1
0001 0
X ^{T} ¼½ u ; v ; w; p ; q; r ; d; f :
;
3
7
7 7
7
7 7
7
7 7
7
7
7
7
7 7
7
7 7
7
7
7
7 7
5
308
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Experimental and numerical results
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Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · 305–313
Symbols x ; y ; z denote coordinates of the aircraft mass centre in the stability frame of reference Axyz (Ax axis is originated in 25 per cent of MAC and directed back of the aircraft along the undisturbed
ﬂow velocity), and X _{u} , X _{w} , N _{p} ;
dimensional stability derivatives computed in the
stability frame of reference. The eigenvalues corresponding to matrix equation are
l _{i} ¼ j _{i} þ ih _{i} ;
stand for the
where an imaginary part h _{i} can be in particular equal to zero for aperiodic motion. Various combinations of h and j are useful in stability analysis as (Nelson, 1989):
^{.}
damping ratio
6 ¼
^{2}^{j}
ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ
p
j ^{2} þ h ^{2}
Figure 1 Balanced polars
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
undamped frequency
v _{n} ¼
ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ
p
j ^{2} þ h ^{2}
period of damped oscillation
T ¼ ^{2}^{p}
h
time to half (or time to double)
T 1=2 ¼ ^{l}^{n} ^{2}
2j
and so on. Stability derivatives were calculated based on Engineering Sciences Data Unit, (ESDU, n.d.) Data Sheets.
Comparison between numerical and experimental results
Not all results could be compared, because in many cases the certiﬁcation report for the J5 airplane did not contain numerical data corresponding to those received from the calculations and vice versa. Among comparable characteristics were: velocity hodograph, elevator deﬂection versus speed and phugoid oscillations, damping and frequency coefﬁcients. In Figure 1, the socalled balanced polars are presented. They were obtained from lift and drag measurements both for the airplane and the RPV. Two other polars were obtained from the wind tunnel tests and from theoretical calculations. Wind tunnel and free ﬂight RPV experiments gave results comparable to full scale aircraft measurements. In this case characteristics found
either by use of wind tunnel tests or by use of RPV are less optimistic than that of the full scale aircraft. The relatively low accuracy of the wind tunnel tests for small C _{L} values can be explained by the fact that a constant Reynolds number was kept during the test. This gave better accuracy
for higher C _{L} values and worse for small C _{L} values. The lower values determined by calculation were probably caused by underestimation of the following drag components: landing gear, engine cowling, gaps between cockpit canopy and others. In numerical calculations of dynamic stability the polar of the full scale aircraft and the RPV were used because the calculated polars were too low (Figure 1) which could have a large inﬂuence on aerodynamic damping. Figure 2 shows relationships between velocity and elevator deﬂection, corresponding to the trimmed ﬂight case. One can observe that the elevator must be more deﬂected in the case of RPV than in the case of the full scale aircraft. This difference is higher (about 1.58) at small C _{L} and decreases to lower value (about 0.58) at higher C _{L} . Measurements of phugoid oscillations were performed by a “hands off” method (elevator free, with hinge moment equal to zero due to the deﬂected trim tab). In the case of the RPV the elevator drive could be remotely connected and disconnected. During the preparation for measurements, the effect of trim tab on ﬂight velocity was also tested by the “hands off” method. Application of the trim tab on the RPV gave very similar results to that for the full scale aircraft. The difference between the steady state ﬂight airspeeds of the RPV and the full scale aircraft
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Experimental and numerical results
Cezary Galinski and Zdobyslaw Goraj
Figure 2 Elevator’s deﬂection vs lift coefﬁcient
(rescaled for the RPV) was equal to 7.5 per cent (the worse case) if trim tab relative dimensions and deﬂections were equal. Figures 34 shows time to half amplitude and the period of oscillations for the phugoid mode. In both cases quite good agreement of the measured and calculated values are observed. However, this consistency was obtained by the application of experimentally obtained drag polars. The results were not as consistent when the theoretical drag polars were used instead of full scale aircraft characteristics. Unfortunately, no stability data for the short period, Dutch Roll and spiral modes were available from the certiﬁcation report of J5 Marco. Only a qualitative description, written by the test pilot, was accessible.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
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Figure 4 Phugoid oscillations: period of oscillations
Other results
Figure 5 shows the relationship between maximum load factor available in ﬂight versus velocity. It is apparent that data for the full scale aircraft and the RPV are comparable. This is a very interesting observation. In steady ﬂow conditions (easy obtained in a wind tunnel test) the maximum lift coefﬁcient is usually much lower for lower Re numbers. In unsteady ﬂow conditions, C _{L}_{m}_{a}_{x} seems to be much less sensitive to the Re number. The full scale aircraft was tested at two ﬂight conditions only. These corresponded to the following ﬂight parameters: { V ¼ 95 km=h; n ¼ 3:9Þ and ð V ¼ 104 km=h; n ¼ 4Þ:
Other experiments were mainly of a qualitative nature. In all cases (i.e. in loop, roll and stall
Figure 3 Phugoid oscillations: time to half
Figure 5 Load factor available in ﬂight
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Experimental and numerical results
Cezary Galinski and Zdobyslaw Goraj
behaviour) the pilot reported that the RPV and the full scale aircraft were dynamically similar and consistent. Also the visualisation tests showed that the ﬂows around the wings both of the RPV and the full scale aircraft were similar (Plates 25 and Figure 6).
Plate 2 Stall with ﬂaperons deﬂected up (Galinski, 1997)
Plate 3 Entrance to the loop. Loop angle ,358, ﬂow attached over the whole wing surface (Galinski, 1997)
Plate 4 Loop angle ,1008, ﬂow attached over the whole wing except fourth tuft in the eighth row (Galinski, 1997)
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Plate 5 Departure from the loop. Loop angle ,2858, ﬂow attached over the whole wing surface except fourth tuft in rows No. 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Galinski, 1997)
Accuracy of RPV measurements
It should be mentioned that all steady ﬂight experiments were very difﬁcult and timeconsuming to perform. The lesson learnt from these measurements is that due to atmospheric turbulence it was very difﬁcult to achieve calm conditions over a longer period of time. This explains why the results of the steady state experiments are so highly scattered. In the dynamic experiments calm conditions were much easier to achieve because they were only required for a short period of time. Inconsistent data were also easier to detect and if necessary excluded because it was rare and deviated signiﬁcantly from the majority of the results.
Conclusions
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
^{.}
RPV tests in steady conditions are difﬁcult to perform, timeconsuming, and do not have signiﬁcant advantages over classical wind tunnel tests;
RPV tests in unsteady conditions are much easier to perform and quite accurate. Reynolds number seems to have much less inﬂuence on both the aerodynamic coefﬁcients and stability derivatives in unsteady conditions compared to steady conditions;
RPV tests can contribute to early design correction of an aircraft’s aerodynamic characteristics;
RPV tests can decrease the risk and help to predict the ﬂight test behaviour of the full scale aircraft.
Experimental and numerical results
Cezary Galinski and Zdobyslaw Goraj
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · 305–313
Figure 6 Flow over the wing at the top of “hammerhead stall” (Galinski, 1997)
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Experimental and numerical results
Cezary Galinski and Zdobyslaw Goraj
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SFTE1974.
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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Volume 76 · Number 3 · 2004 · 305–313
Pamadi, B.N. (1998), Performance, Stability, Dynamics, and Control of Airplanes, AIAA Educational Series. Smith, H. (2002), Understanding Performance Flight Testing – Kitplanes and Production Aircraft, 2nd ed., McGrawHill, New York, NY. Stinton, D. (1983), The Design of the Aeroplane, Granada Publishing, reprint BSP Professional Books 1987, 1989. Trego, L. (1996), “Tailless research aircraft”, Aerospace Engineering. Yip, L.P., Fratello, D.J., Robelen, D.B. and Makowiec, G.M. (1991),
Yip, L.P., Ross, H. and Robelen, D.B. (1992),
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