Aircraft Stability and Control

Fundamentally we have to discern between the stability of the aircraft to external impetus, with and without the pilot responding to the perturbation. Here we will limit ourselves to the inherent stability of the aircraft. Hence the aircraft is said to be stable if it returns back to its original equilibrium state after a small perturbing displacement, without the pilot intervening. Thus, the aircraft’s response arises purely from the inherent design. At level flight we tend to refer to this as static stability. In effect the airplane is statically stable when it returns to the original steady flight condition after a small disturbance; statically unstable when it continues to move away from the original steady flight condition upon a disturbance; and neutrally stable when it remains steady in a new condition upon a disturbance. The second and more pernicious type of stability is dynamic stability. The airplane may converge continuously back to the original steady flight state; it may overcorrect and then converge to the original configuration in a oscillatory manner; or it can diverge completely and behave uncontrollably, in which case the pilot is well-advised to intervene. Static instability naturally implies dynamic instability, but static stability does not generally guarantee dynamic stability.

  • Static analysis
  • Dynamic Analysis
  • Aircraft dynamics
  • Control of Aircraft Motions
  • Vibration Control Engineering

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