The Pennsylvania State University

Graduate School

College of Engineering

**A DISCUSSION OF METHODS OF REAL-TIME AIRPLANE FLIGHT
SIMULATION**

A paper in

Aerospace Engineering

by

Carl Banks

Graduate School

College of Engineering

A paper in

Aerospace Engineering

by

Carl Banks

This paper discusses the methods of flight simulation; specifically
real-time simulation of airplanes. The paper describes methods to
form a minimal, but complete, flight simulator. The simulator
basically operates by solving the airplane's equations of motion of
the airplane in real time. The major part of solving the equations of
motion is determining the total force and moment on the airplane.
There are many ways to model aerodynamic forces. This paper describes
three general models: polynomial modeling, where each resultant force
and moment is expressed as a polynomial function; multipoint modeling,
where different parts of the aircraft are modeled separately; and
tabular modeling, where the forces and moments are looked up in
tables. The simulator must also calculate forces and moments produced
by the engine and landing gear. The simulator solves the equations of
motion in a real-time loop. In each loop, outputs the scenery based
on the state, inputs the control positions and settings, calculates
the state at the next time step, and finally pauses to synchronize the
loop to real time.

- Contents
- Symbols
- Introduction
- Airplane Dynamics
- Airplane Aerodynamic Modeling
- Airplane Subsystem Modeling
- The Simulator Program
- Conclusion
- References
- About this document ...