Aircraft Performance and Handling Qualities

Two of the most important questions in aircraft design, or enhancement, are “What is the performance?” and, from a pilot’s perspective, “How well will it fly?” TLG has the experience to answer these questions!

TLG Aircraft Performance and Handling Qualities Services:

  • Flight Analyst DER, Robert Lind
  • Analysis of aircraft handling qualities and changes in handling qualities due to modifications
  • Design of control systems including flight surface sizing and meeting stick force requirements
  • Aircraft performance including FAR 23 and 25 takeoff and landing requirements and full mission analysis including divert scenarios
  • Graphical analysis of aircraft performance capabilities including climb rates, sustained turn rates, take off and landing distances and more
  • Use of engineering and test data to drive 6DOF flight simulation
  • Flight Test Planning, Support and Data Analysis
  • Ground Vibration Test Planning
  • Ground and Flight Test Witnessing and Reports

When Do I Need to Consider Handling Qualities?

The short answer is always! A new aircraft needs to meet the FAA handling qualities requirements and any modification to an existing aircraft where a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is desired will also need to be shown to still meet the same requirements. TLG has the tools needed to analyze aircraft stability and control before and after an aircraft modification to ensure that safety in handling is not compromised.

How Do I Size the Control Surfaces?

At a minimum, the control sizes need to provide enough authority to achieve all the performance goals, while also providing the handling qualities required by the FAA regulations. There are a lot of factors which need to be considered depending on the speed range, whether the control system is powered, how flexible the airplane is, the Center of Gravity (CG) range of the aircraft and many more. TLG’s experience includes all levels of flight control and handling quality analysis from initial design and sizing to flight test measurement and certification.

What is a “Balanced Field Length?” How High will it Fly? How Fast? How Far?

These are just a few of the many questions about aircraft performance. From a new product design, to performance adjustments due to an aircraft modification, TLG can answer these questions. TLG has a comprehensive aircraft performance code which is designed to work with as little or as much data is available; meaning a quick start for a “close enough” answer or, with all the right data, a much more accurate prediction of performance. TLG’s experience with aircraft performance ranges from adjusting performance due to aircraft modifications all the way to flight test of prototype aircraft.