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ultralight flight-simulation project



The following is based on a simulation programme developed in 2006 at Imperial College, London by Oliver Ahad under the supervision of Professor JMR Graham and Dr Varnavas Serghides.  The simulation project formed the basis for Oliver's dissertation in completion of his Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.


The simulator here is a simplified version designed to be used with the X-Plane flight simulation software to be found at .  The X-Plane software obviously cannot model the FanWing accurately - the technology is unprecedented and unique. To compensate, a model was created with a combination of vectored thrust engines and airfoils to correct the flight characteristics and, within inevitable limitations of these early stages of a new development, match as closely as possible the known flight characteristics of the FanWing. Note that the simulator was built on data derived from a very early wing design (1997) that was on loan to Imperial College for use by the students.  As a result of this the flying model derived is very slow.


Instructions for use:




Download and unzip this folder:


1. Move the FanWing folder into your Aircraft Folder.


2. Load up X-Plane  


3. Load the FanWing from your aircraft directory 

Tips for use:


- A joystick with rudder control will simplify turns since there is no auto-coordination between rudder and ailerons in the model.

- For accurate loading, go to the settings drop-down menu, and then to Weight and Balance. Set the payload weight to zero, and increase the fuel weight to 88lbs.

- You may also want to go to the data input & output tab of the settings menu, and tick the fourth box in the "throttle setting" line so that you can see the throttle setting while you fly

- To take off, release the brake and bring the throttle up to about 70%. When the forward speed reaches approximately 12 knots, take-off by adding an increment of power, not by increasing the pitch. After take-off, push the nose down to gain some speed, and counteract this by adding a little more power.

- Use of the throttle directly affects the pitch and is the key to flying the aircraft. As you increase the power the nose will rise. An increase in throttle will actually slow the aircraft down and vice-versa. Don't make any quick changes in power as this will have a dramatic effect on the handling. The best way to control your speed is through the pitch, not the power. However, changes in pitch should be followed by a change in power to compensate for the change in lift (unless you are climbing or descending). To get the best simulation the vectored thrust is set at 80 so that if you put the nose up by 10 there is no more thrust and the aircraft loses control. (This is an effect of the simulation and not of the technology!)

- Turning: Steep turns should be accompanied with a small increase in power or elevator deflection to avoid loss of height. Be sure to apply rudder during turns to keep the aircraft in balance.

- Landing:  It is easiest to control your descent on final approach with pitch changes, as these will be smoother and less sensitive than using power. Remember that it is not necessary to flare or bleed off speed, so you can approach at a low pitch angle.

- To test the power-off landing (very steep) gain some altitude, bring the power to zero and switch the flap on. (This simulates the glide characteristics of the aircraft with the data gained from the Spring 2002 tests carried out by Klaus Kogler at Imperial College.)  Keep the speed at about 18-20 Kts by varying the pitch of the aircraft.  Before landing increase the speed to about 22 kts and at about 50-100 ft from the ground pull up to land. As with any other power-off landing it is important to pull up at the right time - too soon and you will stall - too late and you hit the ground too fast. (note: since the data was derived for this simulation we have made improvements to the glide ratio)