Military Aircraft Performance, Stability & Control


When evaluating Military Aircraft and Weapons, the Performance, Stability & Control test technique is used to fully understand the efficiency of an aircraft or weapon’s aerodynamic shape. It is also utilized to comprehend the interaction between components. For example:
  • Between Engine-Inlet/Wing.
  • Effectiveness of Control Surfaces to ‘steer’ the aircraft as the aircraft maneuvers through its intended Operational Envelope (Attitude, Altitude, and Speed).
  • Understanding the effects of Weapons Load Outs.
  • Mission-Dependent Reconfigurations of a military aircraft.
  • In the case of weapons, transitioning from Jettisoned/Launched to Maneuvering.
  • The stability of the vehicle as surfaces are deployed.
Twt Military Performance Gallery8

Capabilities / Features & Benefits

Within this test technique, performance assessment speaks to understanding the attributes of an aircraft, such as performance in takeoff, level flight/cruise, range, etc. Stability & Control look at the effectiveness of control surfaces in maneuvering and recovery from changes in flight path, etc. The flight envelope for military aircraft will be broader than with passenger type air vehicle so within this test technique, Calspan tailors our tests to meet the customer’s particular goals and test objectives.
Twt Military Performance Gallery4

During a wind tunnel test, Calspan tests a number of aerodynamic configurations and components in order to determine their effect on the overall model drag through a range of model incidences, roll angles, and Mach numbers. Overall loads on the model are measured by a precision internal strain gauge balance and converted to aerodynamic coefficients (e.g., Lift, drag, pitching moment, etc.). Calspan applies industry standard data corrections to offset tunnel effects (i.e., remove effects of the test not representative to a full-scale aircraft).