A New Flight Test Technique
This engineering team has combined two typical flight test techniques into a single maneuver enabling crosswind limit calculations, even in calm flight conditions. This new and innovative flight test maneuver combines the 'Steady-Heading Sideslip' and 'Bank-to-Bank Roll' maneuvers into a test technique the team has named the 'Slideslip-to-Bank' maneuver. It is useful
for simulating crosswinds and for calculating the maximum crosswind limit in which a plane can land safely. The team developed the maneuver in order to validate a crosswind model for a modified experimental airplane for which no crosswind limits were available.
Work to date: During flight tests at 10,000 feet, the team gathered high-quality flight data, evaluated aircraft response, and measured trends for various crosswind scenarios. The new flight test technique combines the 'Steady-Heading Sideslip' maneuver, which simulates crosswinds and measures rudder effectiveness, and the 'Bank-to-Bank' maneuver, which collects data along a plane's rolling axis and validates the rolling model.
The resulting maneuver is an accurate predictor of residual roll rate capability in the presence of sideslip.
Looking ahead: The team would like to perform the maneuver on other airplanes to achieve validation.
Armstrong's Research and Engineering Directorate is responsible for the overall engineering content of flight research projects. Our engineers provide technical expertise in aerodynamics; guidance, navigation, and control; propulsion; static and dynamic structures; flight hardware and software; flight and ground test instrumentation and data systems; and system engineering and integration. They apply their expertise across the spectrum of Armstrong's many activities and also support the development and continual evolution of engineering tools and test techniques. Here are highlights from a few recent and particularly notable engineering success stories.