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08 Aircraft Stability and Control

Includes flight dynamics, aircraft handling qualities, piloting, flight controls, and autopilots. For related information see also 05 Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance; and 06 Avionics and Aircraft Instrumentation.


Aircraft Stability – The property of an aircraft to maintain its attitude or to resist displacement, and if displaced, to develop forces and moments tending to restore the original condition. NASA Thesaurus, Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Aircraft Control – To direct the movements of an aircraft with particular reference to changes in attitude and speed. Adapted from the Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use. Wm. H. Allen, ed., 1965. NASA SP-7.

NASA Interest

Exhaustive Interest : Research, development, testing, evaluation, or performance topics related to the stability and control of any complete aircraft, or the interaction between the vehicle's components and the control of the aircraft in flight.

Selective Interest : Piloting as it affects the stability, control, and maneuverability of an aircraft.


Input Subjects of Specific Interest

  • air launched weapons (stability)
  • aircraft control
  • aircraft stability
  • aircraft trim
  • attitude control (aircraft)
  • automatic pilots (aircraft)
  • body-tail combinations (stability and control)
  • control effectiveness (aircraft)
  • control surface interactions (aircraft)
  • dutch roll
  • dynamic stability (aircraft)
  • flight control (aircraft)
  • flight dynamics (aircraft)
  • flight management systems
  • flight path control (aircraft)
  • flutter (aircraft)
  • fly-by-light control (FBL)
  • fly-by-wire control (FBW)
  • flying qualities (aircraft)
  • handling qualities (aircraft)
  • lateral control (aircraft)
  • lateral stability (aircraft)
  • longitudinal control (aircraft)
  • longitudinal stability (aircraft)
  • maneuvering (aircraft)
  • missiles (performance)
  • operational effects of atmospheric variables
  • pitch control (aircraft)
  • pitch stability (aircraft)
  • roll control (aircraft)
  • roll stability (aircraft)
  • spin recovery
  • stability (aircraft)
  • stability augmentation (aircraft)
  • stability derivatives (aircraft)
  • stabilization surfaces (aircraft)
  • static stability (aircraft)
  • vibration (aircraft)
  • voice command for aircraft
  • wind tunnel tests (stability and control)
  • wing rock
  • wing-body combinations (stability and control)
  • wing-nacelle combinations (stability and control)
  • yaw control (aircraft)
  • yaw stability (aircraft)