Validation of engineering methods for predicting hypersonic vehicle control forces and moments

M. Maughmer, L. Ozoroski, D. Straussfogel, L. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Hypersonic aircraft are being studied for a wide variety of proposed missions. Since the control of these vehicles throughout the speed range has a major impact on their ultimate configuration, it must be considered early in the conceptual design stage. This work examines the ability of the aerodynamic analysis methods contained in an industry standard conceptual design code, the Aerodynamic Preliminary Analysis System, to estimate the forces and moments generated through control surface deflections from low subsonic to high hypersonic speeds. Predicted control forces and moments generated by various control effectors are compared with previously published wind-tunnel and flight-test data for three vehicles: the North American X-15, a hypersonic research airplane concept, and the Space Shuttle Orbiter. Qualitative summaries of the results are given for each force and moment coefficient and each control derivative in the various speed ranges. Results show that all predictions of longitudinal stability and control derivatives are acceptable for use at the conceptual design stage. Results for most lateral/directional control derivatives are acceptable for conceptual design purposes; however, predictions at supersonic Mach numbers for the change in yawing moment due to aileron deflection and the change in rolling moment due to rudder defection are found to be unacceptable for reliable predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-769
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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