A frequency-response method for determining the critical control-gearing and hunting oscillations of airplanes with automatic pilots is presented. The method is graphical and has several advantages over the standard numerical procedure based on Routh's discriminant. The chief advantage of the method is that direct use can be made of the measured response characteristics of the automatic pilot. This feature is especially useful in determining the existence, amplitude, and frequency of the hunting oscillations that may be present when the automatic pilot has nonlinear dynamic characteristics. Several examples are worked out to illustrate the application of the frequency-response method in determining the effect of automatic-pilot lag or lead on critical control gearing and in determining the amplitude and frequency hunting. It is shown that the method may be applied to the case of a control geared to airplane motions about two axes.
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