Nonlinear inversion flight control for a supermaneuverable aircraft

S. Antony Snell, Dale F. Enns, William L. Garrard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

524 Scopus citations


Nonlinear dynamic inversion affords the control system designer a straightforward means of deriving control laws for nonlinear systems. The control inputs are used to cancel unwanted terms in the equations of motion using negative feedback of these terms. In this paper, we discuss the use of nonlinear dynamic inversion in the design of a flight control system for a Supermaneuverable aircraft. First, the dynamics to be controlled are separated into fast and slow variables. The fast variables are the three angular rates and the slow variables are the angle of attack, sideslip angle, and bank angle. A dynamic inversion control law is designed for the fast variables using the aerodynamic control surfaces and thrust vectoring control as inputs. Next, dynamic inversion is applied to the control of the slow states using commands for the fast states as inputs. The dynamic inversion system was compared with a more conventional, gain-scheduled system and was shown to yield better performance in terms of lateral acceleration, sideslip, and control deflections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-984
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NASA Langley Research Center under Grant NAG-1-321 with Bart Bacon as technical monitor.


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