A time-optimal, vertical-plane, evasive-offensive maneuver using poststall flight is found for a fighter aircraft similar to an F-16. An evader aircraft initially followed by a pursuer aircraft transfers position using the vertical-plane maneuver, becoming the pursuer. The aircraft that was initially the pursuer is assumed to continue flight at constant velocity and constant altitude. A direct numerical method, collocation with nonlinear programming, proves well suited for solving this problem. The evader aircraft's optimal trajectory is found to be a cobra maneuver, one of the vertical poststall maneuvers. Allowing the evader to use thrust vectoring yields a small improvement in final time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering