F-4/CCV-Flight Tests of Advanced Technology 740861
Previous studies indicated the F-4 fly-by-wire (surfaces controlled by electrical signals rather than by mechanical inputs) aircraft to be a good test bed for flight tests of advanced concepts. In particular, the advanced technology control configured vehicle (design for control, rather than stability, in initial design phase) concepts of a short-coupled horizontal canard (control surface forward of the wing) and relaxed static longitudinal stability were shown to have large performance benefits for maneuvering flight conditions in the combat arena. The short-coupled canard has slat-like favorable interference effects on the wing lift and drag characteristics, regardless of whether leading edge slats are or are not installed on the wing. Development of the company-sponsored precision aircraft control technology aircraft to flight status was not without challenges, but these were satisfactorily met. Flight tests have verified the predicted performance benefits, while providing additional reliability/maintainability data on fly-by-wire control systems.