Fighter Agility: Impact on Design, Performance and Flying Qualities 921017

Adopting the concept that agility is, fundamentally, the time rate of change of the aircraft's maneuver state and further, that the inertial translation characteristics of the aircraft are the resultant, combat-advantage benefits of agility, the theory of agility is summarized, new agility metrics are developed and applied to a preliminary set of fixed-base simulation data and the relationship of agility with maneuvering performance and flying qualities is briefly examined. Beginning with a brief review of the “acceleration rate vector” and its associated axial, curvature and torsional components, a metric development model is discussed in both structure and form. A developed form of this metric model, i.e., a candidate set of agility metrics is applied to a preliminary data base gathered from a fixed-base, manned simulation experiment conducted at NAWC, Warminster. The effects of varying levels of agility obtained through aircraft configurational changes is discussed, along with the implications on maneuvering performance and flying qualities.
In all, an attempt is made to address agility from concept to application. Although many results are based on preliminary analyses due to an incomplete simulation data base, the paper clearly describes the potential benefits and the problems which will certainly accompany the process of “designing for agility”.


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