A report discusses the Lift and Nozzle Change Effects on Tail Shock (LaNCETS) test to investigate the effects of lift distribution and nozzle-area ratio changes on tail shock strength of an F-15 aircraft. Specific research objectives are to obtain in-flight shock strength for multiple combinations of nozzle-area ratio and lift distribution; compare results with pre-flight prediction tools; and update predictive tools with flight results. The objectives from a stability and control perspective are to ensure adequate aircraft stability for the changes in lift distribution and plume shape, and ensure manageable transient from engaging and disengaging the ILTV research control laws. In order to change the lift distribution and plume shape of the F-15 aircraft, a decade-old Inner Loop Thrust Vectoring (ILTV) research control law was used. Flight envelope expansion was performed for the test configuration and flight conditions prior to the probing test points.

The approach for achieving the research objectives was to utilize the unique capabilities of NASA’s NF-15B-837 aircraft to allow the adjustment of the nozzle-area ratio and/or canard positions by engaging the ILTV research control laws. The ILTV control laws provide the ability to add trim command biases to canard positions, nozzle area ratios, and thrust vectoring through the use of datasets. Datasets consist of programmed test inputs (PTIs) that define “trims” to change the nozzle-area ratio and/or canard positions. The trims are applied as increments to the normally commanded positions.

A LaNCETS non-linear, six-degrees-of-freedom simulation capable of real-time pilot-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop, and non-real-time batch support was developed and validated. Prior to first flight, extensive simulation analyses were performed to show adequate stability margins with the changes in lift distribution and plume shape. Additionally, engagement/disengagement transient analysis was also performed to show manageable transients.

This work was done by Cheng Moua of Dryden Flight Research Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Mechanics/Machinery category. DRC-009-039

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2010 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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