In this section, it will be explained the W210 typical mission profile and the mission phases will be detailed.

STANDBY

Standby phase is a preliminary phase of the operation. The guidance is a “Hold” of Pitch and Roll angles at 0 [rad]. During this phase is possible to check, for example, if the aircraft is correctly controlling the attitude by change it and seeing the control surfaces moving.

Standby phase panel

HAND-LAUNCH

Hand-Launch phase is the first launch modality. In this case, the aircraft is launched “manually” by a person who has to increase is velocity trying to maintain the platform in a correct attitude. The image below shows the Hand-Launch phase configuration panel.

In this phase, the Guidance is a “Hold” of desired pitch at 0.17 [rad] and desired roll at 0.0 [rad]. It means the platform control system will keep to zero the roll angle and the pitch angle to 10º degrees.

Hand-Launch phase panel

Furthermore, during this phase the motor starts. The image below shows the thrust behavior: during the Hand-Launch phase, thrust starts from zero and reaches the fixed value of 0.3 in 2 seconds.

Hand-Launch phase thrust

CATAPULT

Catapult phase is the second launch modality. The takeoff is performed using a catapult which allows reaching the desired speed and maintaining the correct attitude during the launch. The image below shows the Catapult phase configuration panel.

Catapult phase panel

As happens in the Hand-Launch phase, the Guidance is a “Hold” of roll angle at 0.0 [rad] and the desired pitch is the current pitch angle. Thrusting, in this phase, is kept at zero.

SEPARATION

Separation is the second phase of this takeoff modality. Guidance is the same “Hold” configuration of the Catapult phase but Thrusting changes. In fact, Thrusting is an instantaneous step from 0 to 1 in order to switch on the motor only when the fan can not be able to hit the catapult.

Separation phase panel

Separation thrusting

CLIMBING

Climbing phase is configured to make the airplane reach the mission altitude after the takeoff.

 

Climbing phase panel

Line Attraction indicates how strongly the aircraft tries to reach a path (climb path in this case). For airplanes, this value is normally kept between 20 and 40.

Set Speed is the speed that will maintain the airplane during climbing (in this case 20 [m/s] is a good value).

In Climbing phase, the aircraft reaches the mission altitude by performing a spiral route. In order to determine the correct path must be set five different parameters:

  • Runway: here is selected the runway which previously has been edited in its configuration menu.
  • Flight Path Angle: angle at which the aircraft will climb.
  • Horizontal Distance: is the distance from the point where the aircraft enters in the phase which contains the climbing guidance, to the start of the circular climbing path.
  • Radius Head Turn R3: radius of the turn made to head the airplane towards the loiter direction.
  • Radius loiter R1 : radius of the loiter ascending made by the aircraft to reach an altitude suitable.

CRUISE

In Cruise phase, the Guidance is a “Cruise”. It means the only parameter to set is the Cruise Speed and in this case, a good value is 20 [m/s].

Cruise phase panel

HOLD

Hold phase panel

In Hold phase, the Guidance is a “Hold” of three variables:

  • Desired Pitch at 0
  • Desired Roll at 0
  • Desired I.A.S. (Indicated Air Speed) kept to a constant value of 20 [km/h]

It means the aircraft will maintain this attitude until the next phase change.

LANDING

Landing phase panel

In Landing phase are set:

  • Line Attraction (see Climbing) kept at 20
  • Set Speed fixed at 18 [m/s]
  • Runway is defined by fixing longitude, latitude and WGS84 (Elevation above the Earth ellipsoid) of two points on the map. They represent the runway limits. By clicking on the satellite picture is possible to define the points directly on the map.

Runway definition

Furthermore, in order to correctly set the approach, can be fixed some more parameters:

  • Loiter point allows defining a point which will be the center of the descent spiral (Advanced)
  • Flight-path Angle is the angle between the path line and the ground reference
  • Margin and Reverse Margin
  • Horizontal distance for descending
  • Radius of head turn
  • Radius of helix

FLARE

Flare phase allows defining a point or a zone near the runway where the aircraft will perform a pitch angle change (nose-up) in order to modify its attitude before the touchdown and avoid a possible crash due to a nose-ground direct contact.

Considering what is wanted in this phase, the guidance to command is a “Hold” of the roll and pitch angle which sets them to zero. Regarding the thrust in this phase, the engines are shut off, so the mode of the controller is “off”.