Analysis of Aircraft Performance using X-Plane

Harrison Coldwell


Testing and evaluation is a significant part of any aircraft development cycle and the ability to utilise simulation-based methods for this testing can prove to be a very efficient and cost-effective solution. The two aims of this project are to generate a computer model of an aircraft design in Plane Maker and to develop procedures for testing the performance of this design in the flight simulation program X-Plane. Flight testing full-scale aircraft is costly, time-consuming, and labour intensive; using a simulation-based environment such as X-Plane provides a cheaper alternative. For this project an Aircraft Design Spreadsheet and MATLAB were used to generate an aircraft model in Plane Maker that could be altered and manipulated as required. This aircraft was then put through a series of flight tests in X-Plane in order to analyse its performance characteristics. The flight tests were proven to produce results within 3% of real life data and so are valid procedures and can be used to effectively test and evaluate the performance characteristics of new aircraft designs.

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