Model for Longitudinal Perch Maneuvers of a Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle


Aerodynamicists with a vision for birdlike aircraft systems must move beyond steady flow models toward new ways of characterizing motion of agile flight systems. One such system is a fixed-wing aircraft that performs a deep stall maneuver commonly referred to as a perch. Described herein is a mathematical model for perch maneuvers of a small aircraft with fixed, positively cambered wings. The modeling approach does not rely on resource-heavy forms of system identification but rather employs a minimalist approach, whereby insights gleaned from previous high-angleof-attack research are applied to individual components of the aircraft. Using the model that results from this approach, three aggressive, longitudinal perch maneuvers are computer-simulated, and results of the simulations are compared to laboratory flight measurements obtained using high-speed video tracking. Notwithstanding its simplicity, the model predicts position, velocity, and pitch orientation of the aircraft with significant accuracy.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aerodynamics; Antennas; Flight simulators; High speed cameras; Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Aircraft systems; Flight measurements; Flight systems; High-speed video; Individual components; Model approach; Small aircraft; Steady-flow model, Fixed wings

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0021-8669; 1533-3868

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 Benoit Malouin, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2015