2009 Volume 52 Issue 175 Pages 21-28
Flight management systems have greatly reduced cockpit workloads, but are not capable of calculating new flight plans in real time when flight characteristics vary or when flight trajectories become nonstationary. This paper presents a real-time flight trajectory generator (R-FTG) applicable to emergency landing approaches. First, the R-FTG calculates a preliminary flight path, which consists of an initial turn, a straight-line flight, and a terminal turn. The R-FTG then optimizes the preliminary flight path by using a direct collocation method. In order to give the direct collocation method real-time performance, an idea called stage division is incorporated. Combining the direct collocation and stage division enables real-time generation of near optimal flight trajectories. Additionally, wind effects are considered in the generating process. The R-FTG is evaluated by numerical simulations; calculation results of the R-FTG are compared with those of an offline optimization method, and the calculation results under different bank angle constraints are examined. The calculations for the wind effects are also studied. These results show the effectiveness of the proposed real-time flight trajectory generator.