STI Paper No. 610

Flight-Test Evaluation of Stability Augmentation Steering System for Aircraft Ground Handling (STI Paper Series)

A flight-test program was conducted to evaluate a newly developed stability augmentation steering system (SASS). Designed to improve the ground-handling characteristics of a U.S. Navy jet trainer, the SASS features a yaw-rate feedback that is used to set the heading attitude bandwidth as desired, while providing an essentially constant rudder pedal sensitivity variation with speed. Flight-test efforts were conducted to assess performance of two SASS configurations against the baseline aircraft configuration. Three pilots evaluated the ability of the aircraft to perform a runway offset capture-and-hold maneuver, essentially a lane change task, with and without braking.

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The task with braking was found:

  • To be the better separator in terms of pilot ratings for the two SASS configurations when compared to the baseline aircraft
  • The flight-test program found that the SASS significantly improved the ground handling of the aircraft

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