An Advanced Flight Control System for General Aviation Application 2004-01-1807
An advanced flight control system, which has been demonstrated to compensate for unanticipated failures in military aircraft, is proposed for use in general aviation. The method uses inverse control to decouple the flight controls and to modify the handling qualities of the aircraft, while employing artificial neural networks in order to compensate for any modeling error. These errors can stem from any differences between the model and the actual aircraft. Therefore, they can include in-flight hardware failures, rendering the system fault tolerant and reducing the necessity for multiple levels of redundancy. The proposed system is verified in simulations for longitudinal flight and is shown to be able to track pilot-commanded velocity and flight path angle. Also, one example is presented for in-flight changes of the configurations (flap deployment) where the controller is shown to adapt rapidly to these changes without a need for compensation by the pilot. A brief discussion is also presented in the applicability of the FAR-23 as it stands, to aircraft using decoupled flight controls and fly-by-wire technology. A number of sections of the FAR-23 are cited and shown clearly not be applicable to such systems. The article concludes by showing that the implementation of these modern control techniques necessitates devising new regulations to address the issues specific to them.