A simulator study of the horizontal landing characteristics and piloting techniques for manned re-entry gliders
Weiland, Robert F.
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A fixed based simulator study of the approach and tangential landing of a class of manned re-entry gliders was conducted to determine the piloting techniques and vehicle parameters which best define the approach and landing problem. Tests were conducted on. 5 configurations typical of proposed vehicles with maximum lift to drag ratios of 3 to 5. The problem was Investigated from final approach to touchdown, In still and turbulent air, simulating longitudinal equations of motion only. A three phase landing consisting of a steady glide final approach, a nearly constant load factor flare maneuver, and a 15 to 20 second shallow angle, final glide was the preferred technique. The vehicle parameters found to be most Important were maximum lift to drag ratio and speed for minimum drag. A landing analysis based on fitted parabolic drag polars and a constant load factor flare was found to be valid for the vehicles tested.
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