Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Mario Perhinschi.


A flight simulator can successfully achieve its purpose only if equipped with adequate mathematical models of the aircraft, its sub-systems, and the environment. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has instituted stringent regulations to ensure that flight simulators used for pilot training reach desirable levels of accuracy and fidelity. The purpose of this thesis is to present the development and application of a design strategy and the computational environment associated to it for building an aircraft simulation model that meets the FAA regulations for flight simulator performance. The proposed methodology is based on using flight test data in combination with analytical modeling tools and heuristics.;The Simulink simulation environment within Matlab was selected due to its recognized capabilities, flexibility, and portability. Several interactive computational tools have been developed to support the development. Flight test data of a business class jet was used for the purpose of this research effort. An important part of the proposed strategy consists of selecting the flight data and converting them into a usable format for Matlab/Simulink. Parameter identification techniques must then be applied at specific points in the flight envelope of the aircraft in order to create an accurate flight dynamics model. Two such modeling techniques, in time and frequency domain, were used within this project. Lookup tables for the stability and control derivatives were built based on dynamic pressure. Tuning of the aerodynamic model is required to meet all FAA criteria. Once the FAA objective tests were completed, another more organic set of tests were conducted by pilots. The outcomes of these subjective tests were analyzed and additional tuning of the aerodynamic and dynamic model were performed accordingly. Eventually, compliance with both FAA objective and subjective tests is ensured through several tuning iterations and demonstrated.