Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.

Second Advisor

Frederick G. Harmon, PhD.


This thesis describes the modeling and verification process for the stability and control analysis of the Condor hybrid-electric Remote-Piloted Aircraft (HE-RPA). Due to the high-aspect ratio, sailplane-like geometry of the aircraft, both longitudinal and lateral/directional aerodynamic moments and effects are investigated. The aircraft is modeled using both digital DATCOM as well as the JET5 Excel-based design tool. Static model data is used to create a detailed assessment of predictive flight characteristics and PID autopilot gains that are verified with autonomous flight test. PID gain values were determined using a six degree of freedom linear simulation with the Matlab/SIMULINK software. Flight testing revealed an over-prediction of the short period poles natural frequency, and a prediction to within 0.5% error of the long-period pole frequency. Flight test results show the tuned model PID gains produced a 21.7% and 44.1% reduction in the altitude and roll angle error, respectively. This research effort was successful in providing an analytic and simulation model for the hybrid-electric RPA, supporting first-ever flight test of parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system on a small RPA.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number