Learning Aircraft Design and Flight Control System ...

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7th International CONCEIVE DESIGN IMPLEMENT OPERATE Conference (CDIO2011)

Learning Aircraft Design and Flight Control System Design using Flight Simulation as a CDIO Conduit
Author:Peter Gibbens <peter.gibbens@sydney.edu.au> (University of Sydney)
Dries Verstraete (University of Sydney)
Date: 2011-06-20     Track: Main     Session: 1

Flight stability and control system design is a problematic area for teaching and learning in most tertiary institutions because of limitations in implementation and operation opportunities. Implementation and operation is a critical element of student learning because of the need for students to understand the relationship between design procedures and decisions, and their consequences in flight operation. Motion based flight simulation is a very effective mechanism for students to experience the transient responses and stability of a flight control system in flight, and to relate these back to the design process to reinforce learning. This paper describes how a motion based flight simulation facility has been integrated into a flight control system design course in a way that makes use of the CDIO principles. Students conceive and design a flight control solution for a given aeroplane, and then are able to embed that solution in the simulator and to operate the autopilot so as to experience the dynamics of their solution through the subsequent vestibular and visual stimuli. The paper also addresses how this concept is being expanded into a more thorough implementation in which courses in aircraft design, dynamics, and aerodynamics are being unified in a CDIO structure, with flight simulation providing capstone learning opportunities.