Matrix methods for determining the longitudinal-stability derivatives of an airplane from transient flight data

James J. Donegan

Three matrice methods are developed and presented for determining the longitudinal-stability derivatives from transient flight data. In these methods the expressions for some of the stability derivatives are in the form generally used in stability calculations. The first method requires the combination of four measurements in time-history form, two of which must be incremental elevator deflection and incremental tail load and the other two measurements can be chosen from a possible three, namely incremental load factor, pitching velocity, and angle of attack. The method demonstrates the use of the tail load to separate the pitching-moment derivatives and to determine the downwash derivative.

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