Date of Award

Winter 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Brett Newman

Committee Member

Colin Britcher

Committee Member

Drew Landman


A designed control motion scheme to improve passenger comfort in general aviation aircraft by reducing normal acceleration and pitch rate due to turbulence is investigated. An aerodynamic math model is created for ViGYAN’s Active Ride Improvement System flight article, a one-eighth scale Pilatus Porter PC-6 with conventional forward main wing, aft horizontal and vertical tails, and a single engine with tractor configuration. The test article incorporates a full-span gust flap and forward mounted gust sensor to mechanize the gust alleviation control system, and these features are present in the dynamic model. The model is a two degree of freedom linear pitch-plunge description of the flight dynamics and is enhanced by including separate gust effects and indicial lifts. Three wind fields are input to the model for linear simulation testing with the controls both fixed and active, and comparisons are drawn for alleviations in the human motion sickness range. The system successfully produced nearly an order of magnitude reduction in normal acceleration and an order of magnitude reduction in pitch rate. This gust alleviation performance shows that the ride improvement concept appears feasible by offering significant improvement in passenger comfort in general aviation aircraft experiencing turbulence with practical engineering implementation.


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