Rapid Hover to Forward Flight Transitions for a Thrust Vectored Aircraft

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Michiel J. van Nieuwstadt and Richard M. Murray
J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 21(1):93-100, Jan-Feb 1998

This paper investigates the use of efficient computational algorithms for the computation of a nominal trajectory for fast transition between flight modes. We use differential flatness of an approximate model of the longitudinal dynamics of a thrust vectored aircraft to achieve fast switching between flight modes. We investigate some methods to compensate for the discrepancy between the full aerodynamic model and the approximate flat model, and analyze their performance. Simulations and experimental data for a thrust vectored flight control experiment at Caltech are provided to validate the approach.