1960-01-01

Landing Aircraft Automatically and Reliably 600252

The control engineer, by monitoring and analyzing the function of an experienced pilot in a typical landing maneuver, gains a better insight into making a choice of an approach to the landing system control problem.
Every pilot, by virtue of education and experience, develops his own conception of and skill in accomplishing a smooth landing. Normally, the pilot achieves touchdown of his aircraft in a prescribed area and at a given sinking rate. To accomplish this, he employs prediction techniques based on his current capability to perform the landing and to make corrections for any deviations from his planned flare path caused by wind conditions or speed changes.
Studying pilot prediction techniques and analyzing the results of data recordings of pilot landings resulted in a search for a new approach to the flare computation problem. The development of “terminal control theory” provided the most logical answer and led to the formulation of a system that closely approaches the prediction type of control used by the human pilot.
Prediction equations were developed for the control of the terminal conditions of the aircraft for the landing flare. Investigations of typical landings have revealed that the most satisfactory landings are at a sinking rate of 2 ft or less per sec.

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