The Flight Dynamics and Control Toolbox

The FDC user-manual

A user-manual for FDC 1.2 is available in PostScript and PDF formats:

Rauw, M.O.: "FDC 1.2 - A Simulink Toolbox for Flight Dynamics and Control Analysis". Zeist, The Netherlands, 1997 (second edition: Haarlem, The Netherlands, 2001). ISBN: 90-807177-1-1.

A newer version of this document is currently under construction for the upcoming FDC 1.4 release. Large parts of this report are already available for download; see the news page for the latest information and download links.

The manual provides a detailed theoretical description of the models and tools from the FDC toolbox (which makes it suitable as a stand-alone reference on aircraft dynamics and flight simulation in a Matlab/Simulink context also), and a reference guide section that explains the meaning and structure of each block in the FDC models. A summarized table of contents has been included below. The second edition features improved graphics and is no longer limited to a 300 dpi resolution; its contents are identical to the first edition.

This report can also be used as documentation for FDC version 1.3, because the internal structure of that version of the toolbox largely resembles that of FDC 1.2. The main differences between the two versions are related to the user-interface of some helper routines and the new HTML-based on-line help facility; the only relevant structural difference concerns the way the aircraft model is being connected to the open-loop and autopilot simulation models.

Note: if you actually start using the FDC toolbox, it is recommended to read the documentation in the DOC subdirectory too, as it contains last-minute release notes and documentation that may sometimes overrule the information in the FDC 1.2 manual.

Download instructions

The FDC 1.2 report is distributed under the terms of Apple's Common Documentation License, which is comparable with Open Source software licenses and follows the spirit of the Open Source Definition. If you do not or cannot agree to the terms of this License, please do not download or use this material.

The 267 pages report can be downloaded from the SourceForge servers: (2483 kB) PostScript version FDC 1.2 report
FDC12-report.pdf (1965 kB) PDF version of the FDC 1.2 report (right-click and choose Save Target As or Save Link to Disk)

Note: SourceForge downloads may not work properly with some download managers; it is recommended to disable such services if you encounter any problems. Alternatively, visit the Mirrors page for a different download address.

The PostScript version needs to be unzipped first, yielding a PostScript file of 5422 kB. This file can be sent to a PostScript printer, opened in a PostScript viewer, or printed on a non-PostScript printer using a software PostScript interpreter. Ghostscript and GSview are recommended open source software tools for dealing with PostScript files.

The PDF file can be viewed with a PDF viewer such as Acrobat Reader or GSview.

Table of contents summary

Below, a summary of the table of contents from the FDC user-manual is shown. The manual also contains appendices with extensive lists of symbols, abbreviations, definitions, and model parameters, and the complete derivation of the nonlinear six-degree-of-freedom equations of motion for rigid vehicles.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Flight Control System design process
  3. Mathematical models - theoretical backgrounds
    • The non-linear aircraft model
    • External atmospheric disturbances
    • Radio-navigation models
    • Sensors, actuators, Flight Control Computer
  4. Analytical tools - theoretical backgrounds
    • Simulation tools
    • The trimming facility
    • The linearization facility
  5. FDC implementation of the aircraft model
  6. FDC implementation of the atospheric disturbance models
  7. FDC implementation of the radio-navigation models
  8. FDC implementation of the analytical tools
  9. Other utilities for the FDC toolbox
  10. Performing open-loop analysis with FDC 1.2
    • Non-linear responses to deterministic inputs
    • Non-linear responses to stochastic inputs
    • Linear responses to deterministic inputs
    • Trim demo: trimmed-fight elevator deflection curve
  11. 'Beaver' autopilot - theoretical backgrounds
    • Basic autopilot functions
    • The longitudinal autopilot modes
    • The lateral autopilot modes
    • Turn-compensation
    • The signal limiters
  12. 'Beaver' autopilot - implementation in FDC 1.2
    • Implementing separate control laws in Simulink
    • Integrated autopilot simulation structure
    • Performing simulations with the autopilot models
  13. Recommendations for future FDC releases