Moving target approach for wind-aware flight path generation

Marius Klein, Andreas Klos, Jörg Lenhardt, Wolfram Schiffmann


A total loss of thrust poses a major hazard to passengers and aircrafts. In such situations, the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing by fast and intuitive decisions. During the manoeuvre, the potential energy of the aircrafts altitude is converted into the kinetic energy to move a certain distance over ground. This may enable the aircraft to reach a suitable landing field at a proper altitude. In this paper, we introduce an emergency landing assistant which calculates the flight path from a start to a target position with uniform computational complexity. The main objective is to support the pilot and accelerate the decision-making process. Our path computations take a constant wind into account by moving the target runway contrary to the wind direction. The results have shown that even with the restriction of co-rotating circles a high percentage of valid flight paths can be found. Furthermore, for most of the considered start configurations more than one feasible flight path can be discovered.

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