Determination of longitudinal stability and control characteristics from free-flight model tests with results at transonic speeds for three airplane configurations

Gillis, Clarence L Mitchell, Jesse L

A test technique and data analysis method has been developed for determining the longitudinal aerodynamic characteristics from free-flight tests of rocket-propelled models. The technique makes use of accelerometers and an angle-of-attack indicator to permit instantaneous measurements of lift, drag, and pitching moments. The data, obtained during transient oscillations resulting from control-surface disturbances, are analyzed by essentially nonlinear direct methods (such as cross plots of the variation of lift coefficient with angle of attack) and by linear indirect methods by using the equations of motion for a transient oscillation. The analysis procedure has been set forth in some detail and the feasibility of the method has been demonstrated by data measured through the transonic speed range on several airplane configurations. It was shown that the flight conditions and dynamic similitude factors for the tests described were reasonably close to typical full-scale airplane conditions.

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