By Tom Tucker, NASA History Division
First released in 1999 as quantity sixteen within the NASA "Monograph in Aerospace background" sequence. This examine includes pictures and illustrations.
Read or Download Touchdown: The Development of Propulsion Controlled Aircraft at NASA Dryden. Monograph in Aerospace History PDF
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Extra resources for Touchdown: The Development of Propulsion Controlled Aircraft at NASA Dryden. Monograph in Aerospace History
EXCERPTS FROM GUEST PILOT D The weather at engine start included a scattered-cloud layer at 6000 ft, winds at a heading of 230[°] and a speed of 14 knots, and light turbulence from the surface to an altitude of 8000 ft. Turning all three CAS axes off and selecting the emergency position for the pitch and the roll ratios resulted in the expected: very sloppy handling characteristics. The airplane was difficult to trim in the roll and pitch axes. The pitch axis required a larger than expected amount of noseup trim to stabilize at 150 KCAS.
The velocity vector varied ± 4°, and the pilot overshot the intended heading by 7°. Rather than continuing to try to fine-tune this manual control, the pilot engaged the PCA system. The immediate increase in airplane controllability was very dramatic. Small flightpath angle changes to a maximum of 2° were made very accurately, and the first heading capture attempt was only overshot by 2°. The second PCA approach was to 100 ft AGL at 150 KCAS and an 11° angle of attack and included a PCA system-controlled go-around.
This maneuver was straight-forward and demonstrated another impressive system capability. Summary Overall, the PCA system on the F-15 airplane is a breakthrough technology that is strongly recommended for incorporation in future or current aircraft. The system gives the pilot the ability to control and safely land an aircraft that otherwise would crash or be abandoned before landing. EXCERPTS FROM GUEST PILOT G The flight was flown in the morning, but a significant crosswind and light turbulence existed.