Georges Ghazi


3 In-Flight Aircraft Performance Model Enhancement Using Adaptive Lookup Tables

Authors: Georges Ghazi, Magali Gelhaye, Ruxandra Botez


Over the years, the Flight Management System (FMS) has experienced a continuous improvement of its many features, to the point of becoming the pilot’s primary interface for flight planning operation on the airplane. With the assistance of the FMS, the concept of distance and time has been completely revolutionized, providing the crew members with the determination of the optimized route (or flight plan) from the departure airport to the arrival airport. To accomplish this function, the FMS needs an accurate Aircraft Performance Model (APM) of the aircraft. In general, APMs that equipped most modern FMSs are established before the entry into service of an individual aircraft, and results from the combination of a set of ordinary differential equations and a set of performance databases. Unfortunately, an aircraft in service is constantly exposed to dynamic loads that degrade its flight characteristics. These degradations endow two main origins: airframe deterioration (control surfaces rigging, seals missing or damaged, etc.) and engine performance degradation (fuel consumption increase for a given thrust). Thus, after several years of service, the performance databases and the APM associated to a specific aircraft are no longer representative enough of the actual aircraft performance. It is important to monitor the trend of the performance deterioration and correct the uncertainties of the aircraft model in order to improve the accuracy the flight management system predictions. The basis of this research lies in the new ability to continuously update an Aircraft Performance Model (APM) during flight using an adaptive lookup table technique. This methodology was developed and applied to the well-known Cessna Citation X business aircraft. For the purpose of this study, a level D Research Aircraft Flight Simulator (RAFS) was used as a test aircraft. According to Federal Aviation Administration the level D is the highest certification level for the flight dynamics modeling. Basically, using data available in the Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM), a first APM describing the variation of the engine fan speed and aircraft fuel flow w.r.t flight conditions was derived. This model was next improved using the proposed methodology. To do that, several cruise flights were performed using the RAFS. An algorithm was developed to frequently sample the aircraft sensors measurements during the flight and compare the model prediction with the actual measurements. Based on these comparisons, a correction was performed on the actual APM in order to minimize the error between the predicted data and the measured data. In this way, as the aircraft flies, the APM will be continuously enhanced, making the FMS more and more precise and the prediction of trajectories more realistic and more reliable. The results obtained are very encouraging. Indeed, using the tables initialized with the FCOM data, only a few iterations were needed to reduce the fuel flow prediction error from an average relative error of 12% to 0.3%. Similarly, the FCOM prediction regarding the engine fan speed was reduced from a maximum error deviation of 5.0% to 0.2% after only ten flights.

Keywords: Aircraft Performance, Cruise, Trajectory Optimization, Cessna Citation X, adaptive lookup tables

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2 Development of an Efficient Algorithm for Cessna Citation X Speed Optimization in Cruise

Authors: Georges Ghazi, Marc-Henry Devillers, Ruxandra M. Botez


Aircraft flight trajectory optimization has been identified to be a promising solution for reducing both airline costs and the aviation net carbon footprint. Nowadays, this role has been mainly attributed to the flight management system. This system is an onboard multi-purpose computer responsible for providing the crew members with the optimized flight plan from a destination to the next. To accomplish this function, the flight management system uses a variety of look-up tables to compute the optimal speed and altitude for each flight regime instantly. Because the cruise is the longest segment of a typical flight, the proposed algorithm is focused on minimizing fuel consumption for this flight phase. In this paper, a complete methodology to estimate the aircraft performance and subsequently compute the optimal speed in cruise is presented. Results showed that the obtained performance database was accurate enough to predict the flight costs associated with the cruise phase.

Keywords: Cessna Citation X, cruise speed optimization, flight cost, cost index, and golden section search

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1 Cessna Citation X Business Aircraft Stability Analysis Using Linear Fractional Representation LFRs Model

Authors: Ruxandra Mihaela Botez, Yamina Boughari, Florian Theel, Georges Ghazi


Clearance of flight control laws of a civil aircraft is a long and expensive process in the Aerospace industry. Thousands of flight combinations in terms of speeds, altitudes, gross weights, centers of gravity and angles of attack have to be investigated, and proved to be safe. Nonetheless, in this method, a worst flight condition can be easily missed, and its missing would lead to a critical situation. Definitively, it would be impossible to analyze a model because of the infinite number of cases contained within its flight envelope, that might require more time, and therefore more design cost. Therefore, in industry, the technique of the flight envelope mesh is commonly used. For each point of the flight envelope, the simulation of the associated model ensures the satisfaction or not of specifications. In order to perform fast, comprehensive and effective analysis, other varying parameters models were developed by incorporating variations, or uncertainties in the nominal models, known as Linear Fractional Representation LFR models; these LFR models were able to describe the aircraft dynamics by taking into account uncertainties over the flight envelope. In this paper, the LFRs models are developed using the speeds and altitudes as varying parameters; The LFR models were built using several flying conditions expressed in terms of speeds and altitudes. The use of such a method has gained a great interest by the aeronautical companies that have seen a promising future in the modeling, and particularly in the design and certification of control laws. In this research paper, we will focus on the Cessna Citation X open loop stability analysis. The data are provided by a Research Aircraft Flight Simulator of Level D, that corresponds to the highest level flight dynamics certification; this simulator was developed by CAE Inc. and its development was based on the requirements of research at the LARCASE laboratory. The acquisition of these data was used to develop a linear model of the airplane in its longitudinal and lateral motions, and was further used to create the LFR’s models for 12 XCG /weights conditions, and thus the whole flight envelope using a friendly Graphical User Interface developed during this study. Then, the LFR’s models are analyzed using Interval Analysis method based upon Lyapunov function, and also the ‘stability and robustness analysis’ toolbox. The results were presented under the form of graphs, thus they have offered good readability, and were easily exploitable. The weakness of this method stays in a relatively long calculation, equal to about four hours for the entire flight envelope.

Keywords: Stability Analysis, Robustness Analysis, flight control clearance, LFR

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