A recurrence matrix solution for the dynamic response of aircraft in gusts

Houbolt, John C.

A systematic procedure developed for the calculation of the structural response of aircraft flying through a gust by use of difference equations in the solution of dynamic problems is first illustrated by means of a simple-damped-oscillator example. A detailed analysis is then given which leads to a recurrence matrix equation for the determination of the response of an airplane in a gust. The method takes into account wing bending and twisting deformations, fuselage deflection, vertical and pitching motion of the airplane, and some tail forces. The method is based on aerodynamic strip theory, but compressibility and three-dimensional aerodynamic effects can be taken into account approximately by means of over-all corrections. Either a sharp-edge gust or a gust of arbitrary shape in the spanwise or flight directions may be treated. In order to aid in the application of the method to any specific case, a suggested computational procedure is included. The possibilities of applying the method to a variety of transient aircraft problems, such as landing, are brought out. A brief review of matrix algebra, covering the extent to which it is used in the analysis, is also included. (author)

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