Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Paul A. Blue, PhD


This thesis presents the results of a handling qualities evaluation of a supersonic tailless air vehicle. The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review mandated the need for the next generation of long-range strike aircraft by 2018. Due to speed and stealth requirements, this resulted in a tailless aircraft with an instantaneous center of rotation located well forward of that of a conventional aircraft. This thesis examines how this center of rotation affected pilot handling qualities ratings. This effect should have been the most pronounced during approach and landing, and was where the testing focused. The goal of this research was to develop a systematic procedure for evaluating the handling qualities of this aircraft, and to determine how different pilot flying techniques or pilot-inceptor interactions influenced them. This procedure was demonstrated in simulator testing and in flight testing on the Calspan-operated Total In-Flight Simulator aircraft.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number