Joshua P. Kim

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Donald Kunz, PhD.


Flying qualities data can be used to predict the future performance of aircraft; however, no flying qualities requirements exist for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The intent of flying qualities requirements is to guarantee the safety and operational effectiveness of the aircraft. Flying qualities requirements have been extensively researched and specified for fixed-wing and rotary-wing manned aircraft based on a substantial database of assessments. The critical issue today in flying qualities is how to extend them to pilotless aircraft. A simulation study using an open-source flight dynamics model (JSBSim) was conducted to perform various performance maneuvers and evaluate how well the aircraft followed the desired maneuver. Criteria from MIL-STD-1797 were used to evaluate the flying quality characteristics and compared to the simulation results. It was found that the application of manned criteria to autonomous UAVs did not provide an accurate depiction of its flying qualities. Instead the requirements should be focused on the closed-loop task evaluation and the limitations of the flight control system.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number