Applications in Flight Control

L1 Adaptive Control has been verified in a large number of flight tests and experiments in mid- to high-fidelity simulation environments. Brief overviews of the applications in flight control can be found below:


As part of the IRAC Project, an L1 flight control system was flight tested on the NASA’s AirSTAR Generic Transport Model (GTM) aircraft. The results of the flight tests demonstrated that, in the presence of aircraft component failure and significant changes in aircraft dynamics, the L1 flight control system is able to maintain aircraft safe operation and predictable performance with reduced pilot workload during both standard flight conditions and unusual flight regimes, like stall and post-stall. More >>


The first manned L1 flight control test was conducted by the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. This project consisted of flying and handling qualities assessment of Calspan’s variable-stability Learjet aircraft augmented with an L1 adaptive flight control law. The variable-stability capability of the aircraft was used to alter its apparent dynamics while in flight, allowing the validation of the L1 flight control law against a set of off-nominal aircraft configurations, some of them with aggressive tendencies to adverse pilot-aircraft interaction. All of these off-nominal configurations were opaque to the control law, and no fault detection and isolation methods were employed. The results demonstrated that the L1 flight control law was able to significantly restore the flying qualities of a baseline Learjet model, and also recover consistent and safe handling qualities. The evaluation also included a series of straight-in landings with two different aircraft configurations. More >>


An L1 adaptive flight control system has been designed for the U.S. Air Force’s VISTA F-16 aircraft. This project will study the system’s performance in the more dynamically challenging environment provided by the VISTA F-16. With the VISTA F-16, additional failure configurations will be tested to demonstrate the ability of the L1 flight control law to compensate for off-nominal dynamics, actuator failures, and other types of uncertainties not included in the Learjet flight tests. More >>


As a new effort in the development and technology transition of L1 adaptive control to general aviation aircraft, a simulation handling qualities assessment for a small business jet augmented with an L1 adaptive flight control system was conducted in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). The main objective of the study was to investigate the ability of an L1 adaptive FCS to provide enhanced handling qualities and maneuverability margins for safe landing in the presence of failures and in different atmospheric conditions. The experiments were conducted on the TU Delft’s 6DOF motion-based SIMONA Research Simulator. More >>