Aircraft Stability and Control

Course Info

Course Number/Code: 16.333 (Fall 2004)
Course Title: Aircraft Stability and Control
Course Level: Graduate
Offered By: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Course Instructor(s): Prof. Jonathan P. How
Course Introduction:
Syllabus When you click the Amazon logo to the left of any citation and purchase the book (or other media) from, MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of this purchase and any other purchases you make during that visit. This will not increase the cost of your purchase. Links provided are to the US Amazon site, but you can also support OCW through Amazon sites in other regions. Learn more.Objectives Static and dynamic analysis of aircraft motionLearn how to identify the basic mode of the vehicle dynamicsSensors/actuators/dynamics/control simulationAnalyze the entire control systemClassical and state space control approachesMulti-loop design techniquesExample drivenHands-on projectAPPROXIMATE NUMBER OF LECTURESTOPICS2Static Analysis6Dynamic Analysis2Key Stability Derivatives2Modeling and System ID2Introduction to State Space Control Techniques3Longitudinal Autopilot3Lateral AutopilotGradingACTIVITIESPERCENTAGESHomework40%Midterm30%Final Project30%


Problem sets out every other Tuesday (due 2 weeks later at 5 pm).


In class (1 sheet).

Final Project

Equivalent to 2-3 homeworks. Short in-class presentation at the end. Possible topics:

System ID UAV-TT or UAV-MC from flight data and compare with expectationsEvaluate the stability derivatives of the UAV-MC (or your favorite airplane)Design a longitudinal/lateral/path following autopilot for the UAV-MC and demonstrateits performance in AEROSIMTMYour suggestion


Recommended: Etkin, Bernard, and Lloyd Duff Reid. Dynamics of Flight: Stability and Control. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley, 1995. ISBN: 0471034185.

Recommended: Nelson, Robert C. Flight Stability and Automatic Control. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill, 1997. ISBN: 0070462739.

Recommended: Cook, M. V. Flight Dynamics Principles. London: Arnold, 1997. ISBN: 0340632003.

Perkins, C., and R. Hage. Airplane Performance Stability and Control. 1st ed. New York: Wiley, 1949. ISBN: 047168046X.

Stevens, B., and F. Lewis. Aircraft Control and Simulation. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 2003. ISBN: 0471371459.

Blakelock, John H. Automatic Control of Aircraft and Missiles. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1991. ISBN: 0471506516.

Collinson, R. P. G. Introduction to Avionics Systems. 2nd ed. New York: Springer, 2002. ISBN: 1402072783.

Franklin, Gene F., J. David Powell, and Abbas Emami-Naeini. Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002. ISBN: 0130323934.

McRuer, Duane, Irving Ashkenas, and Dunstan Graham. Aircraft Dynamics and Automatic Control. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973. ISBN: 0691080836.

Roskam, Jan. Airplane Flight Dynamics and Automatic Flight Controls. Lawrence, KS: Darcorporation, 2001. ISBN: 1884885179.

Bryson, Arthur E. Control of Spacecraft and Aircraft. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994. ISBN: 0691087822.

Abzug, M., and E. Larrabee. Airplane Stability and Control. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0521809924.

McCormick, B. Aerodynamics, Aeronautics, and Flight Mechanics. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley, 1994. ISBN: 0471575062.