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Ranshofen, Austria

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.3.3.4.;AAT.2008.3.4.5. | Award Amount: 4.93M | Year: 2009

The aim of this research project is to investigate the usefulness of advanced flight simulator concepts for teaching pilots to detect and recover from flight upsets. The term flight upset indicates a situation when an aircraft in flight unintentionally exceeds the parameters normally experienced in line operations or training. Loss of control due to unsuccessful upset recovery is considered an important factor in civil aviation accidents. There is a clear need for the simulation of unusual flight attitudes, as a means to train pilots recovery procedures. Exercising these conditions in the real world is unsafe, expensive and, if performed in smaller aircraft, not representative of the situation in transport aircraft. Therefore, ground-based simulation of these extreme conditions is the only viable option for pilot instruction. However, at present, hexapod-based flight simulators used for pilot training are not equipped for this purpose, due to limitations of the mathematical aircraft models, and restricted simulator motion capabilities. We believe that ground-based simulation of upset recovery is feasible when innovations in different research areas will be adequately combined. To demonstrate this, real flight tests will be performed with transport aircraft in unusual attitudes. The recorded motion profiles will serve to extend mathematical aircraft models with engineering tools. In addition, current motion cueing software will be innovated to reproduce the high G-loads and extreme attitudes representative to upset recovery. Then the simulator concept will be evaluated on a new generation flight simulator (DESDEMONA) with advanced motion capabilities, and compared to hexapod-based flight simulators. The final outcome will be a set of requirements for successful ground-based simulation of upset recovery, which will contribute to better pilot training to identify and recover from flight upsets. Hence, this project contributes directly aircraft safety.

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