Steep-Descent Approach and Landing of Jet Transport Aircraft


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A Filippone
46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, Nevada, USA
Jan 2008

This paper addresses the problem of approach and landing of a mid-size jet-powered transport aircraft. The aircraft is forced to follow a steep-descent trajectory in the vertical plane (no turns allowed) to an altitude of 348 feet (100 metres) above the airfield. At the lower altitude the aircraft is controlled as in a conventional flight path.  The glide slope of the aircraft is between 3 degrees and 5.0 degrees. The aircraft modeled is the Airbus A-310 with CF6-C80 engines.  A full parametric analysis and discussion of the limitation of such maneuvers is given.  However, a number of extensions are included. In particular, this paper investigates the advantage of reverting from a steep-descent maneuver to a conventional maneuver when the noise level at the receiver station exceeds the noise emission of the conventional flight path.  It is shown that: 1.) the highest descent angle depends on the landing weight; 2.) a steeper descent can be achieved with an increase in both the maximum lift and the profile drag, with the condition that CD/CL^1.5 also increases; 3.)  the noise at the FAR landing point is reduced by up to 2dB, mostly due to the larger distance from the receiver (although the jet noise increases, as a result of the maneuver requirements).