Flight measurements of the dynamic longitudinal stability of several airplanes and a correlation of the measurements with pilots' observations of handling characteristics

Soule, Hartley A

The dynamic longitudinal stability characteristics of eight airplanes as defined by the period and damping of the longitudinal oscillations were measured in flight to determine the degree of stability that may be expected in conventional airplanes. An attempt was made to correlate the measured stability with pilots' opinions of the general handling characteristics of the airplanes in order to obtain an indication of the most desirable degree of dynamic stability. The results of the measurements show that the period of oscillation increases with speed. At low speeds a range of periods from 11 to 23 seconds was recorded for the different airplanes. At high speeds the periods ranged from 23 to 64 seconds. The damping showed no definite trend with speed.

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