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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 365130, 15 pages
Research Article

Dynamics Modeling and Adaptive Control of a Transport Aircraft for Heavyweight Airdrop

Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering College, Air Force Engineering University, Xi’an 710038, China

Received 7 August 2014; Revised 28 December 2014; Accepted 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Xinkai Chen

Copyright © 2015 Ri Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The longitudinal nonlinear aircraft model with cargo extraction is derived using theoretical mechanics and flight mechanics. Furthermore, the nonlinear model is approximated by a semilinear time-varying system with the cargo disturbances viewed as unknown nonlinearities, both matched and unmatched types. On this basis, a novel autopilot inner-loop based on the LQR and adaptive theory is developed to reject the unknown nonlinear disturbances caused by the cargo and also to accommodate uncertainties. Analysis shows that the controller can guarantee robustness in the presence of fast adaptation, without exciting control signal oscillations and gain scheduling. The overall control system is completed with the outer-loop altitude-hold control based on a PID controller. Simulations are conducted under the condition that one transport aircraft performs maximum load airdrop mission at the height of 82 ft, using single row single platform mode. The results show the good performance of the control scheme, which can meet the airdrop mission performance indexes well, even in the presence of 20% aerodynamic uncertainties.