16.00 Introduction to Aerospace and Design
Problem Set #3
AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE FLIGHT SIMULATION LAB
You may work with one partner while actually flying the flight simulator and collecting
data. Your write-up must be done individually. You can do this problem set at home or using one
of the simulator computers
There are only a
few simulator computers in the lab area, so not leave
this problem to the last minute. To save
time, please read through this handout completely before
coming to the lab to fly the simulator.
At the end of this problem set, you should be able to:
• Take off and fly basic maneuvers using the flight simulator, and describe the relationships
between the control yoke and the control surface movements on the aircraft.
• Describe pitch - airspeed - vertical speed relationships in gliding performance.
• Explain the difference between indicated and true airspeed.
• Record and plot airspeed and vertical speed data from steady-state flight conditions.
• Derive lift and drag coefficients based on empirical aircraft performance data.
In this lab exercise, you will use Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000/2002 to become more familiar
with aircraft control and performance. Also, you will use the flight simulator to collect aircraft
performance data just as it is done for a real aircraft. From your data you will be able to deduce
performance parameters such as the parasite drag coefficient and L/D ratio.
Aircraft performance depends on the interplay of several variables: airspeed, power setting from
the engine, pitch angle, vertical speed, angle of attack, and flight path angle. Roughly speaking,
the elevator control on an aircraft controls the angle of attack of the aircraft. The resulting pitch
angle, airspeed, and vertical speed then depend on the power setting from the engine.
1. Introduction and Use of the Flight Simulator
Spend time using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000/2002 to learn to take off and fly an aircraft.
We suggest that you use a simple single engine aircraft model (i.e., Cessna 182) since they are
simpler and more stable than some of the other aircraft. Use the on-line tutorial as needed to
help you learn what the basic controls and instruments are, and how to operate the aircraft in a
stable way. At a minimum, you should be able to start the simulation, and control power, pitch,
and roll angle to take off, fly on a straight heading, make shallow turns, climb, descend, and fly
at a level altitude.
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