University of Minnesota
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Winter 1998 Seminar Series

Tailless Aircraft

Professor William Garrard

Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


Recently there has been considerable interest in the development of aircraft which have reduced vertical tail size compared with conventional aircraft. The tail of an aircraft produces a large radar signature and the requirement for stealth in new military aircraft necessitates the design of "tailless" aircraft. Reduction in vertical tail size results in lateral-directional response characteristics which are a great deal different from those of conventional aircraft. This talk examines the effects of reduction of tail size on lateral-directional dynamics on a fighter type aircraft. It is shown that without a feedback system for stability enhancement, reduced tail size results in a highly unstable aircraft which would be unflyable. Structured singular value or mu-synthesis is used to design controllers at two representative flight conditions. These controllers are shown to provide acceptable handling qualities and robustness to a variety of modeling errors without saturating the control effectors.

Friday, February 13, 1998
209 Akerman Hall
2:30-3:30 p.m.

Refreshments served after the seminar in 227 Akerman Hall.
Disability accomodations provided upon request.
Contact Audrey Stark-Evers, Senior Secretary, 625-8000.