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USOORE35387E
United States Patent [191 [11] E Patent Number: Re. 35,387
Strom [45] Reissued Date of Patent: Dec. 3, 1996

[54] SUPERFRAGILE TACTICAL FIGHTER 2856033 6/1980 Germany .


AIRCRAFT AND METHOD OF FLYING IT IN 2833771 9/1982 Germany .
SUPERNORMAL FLIGHT 3009340 9/1983 Germany .
522296 6/1940 United Kingdom .
959405 6/1964 United Kingdom .
[75] Inventor: Thomas H. Strom, Hampton, Va.
128344 7/1972 United Kingdom .
2097863 11/1982 United Kingdom .
[73] Assignee: Dynamic Engineering, Inc., Newport
News, Va. OTHER PUBLICATIONS

[21] Appl. No.: 828,219 SAE Technical Paper Series, No. 821469, “Flight at Super
nonnal Attitudes” by Thomas H. Strom and William J.
[22] Filed: Jan. 30, 1992 Alford, Jr., for Aerospace Congress & Exposition, Oct.
25—28, 1982 Anaheim, California.
(Under 37 CFR 1.47) J. A. Laughrey, D. J. Drape and P. E. Hiley; Performance
Related U.S. Patent Documents Evaluation of an Air Vehicle Utilizing Nonaxisymmetric
Reissue of: Nozzles; Feb. 1981; pp. 89—95 vol. 18, Journal of Aircraft.
[64] Patent No.: 4,896,846 Herbst, “10 Jahre TKF/J—9O Vorentwicklung”, 17-19 Oct.
Issued: Jan. 30, 1990 1983, pp. 15-23, New Projects & Planning in the Air Force,
Appl. No.: 194,734 Munich/Germany.
Filed: Sep. 15, 1987 (List continued on next page.)
U.S. Applications:
[63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 721,664, Apr. 9, 1985, Primary Examiner-Galen L. Barefoot
abandoned. Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Joseph Scafetta, Jr.
[51] Int. Cl.6 ............................. .. B64C 9/00; B64C 15/00 [57] ABSTRACT
[52] U.S. Cl. ..................... .. 244/75 R; 244/45 A; 244/52;
244/53 B; 244/12.5 A superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft and a method of ?ying
[58] Field of Search .............................. .. 244/45 R, 45 A, it are disclosed. The superagile aircraft is characterized by
244/12.5, 23 D, 214, 53 B, 52, 7 C, 7 B articulatable air inlets, articulatablc exhaust nozzles, highly
de?ectable canard surfaces, and control thruster jets located
[56] References Cited around the nose of the fuselage, on the top and bottom
surfaces of the propulsion system near the exhaust nozzles,
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS and on both sides of at least one vertical tail. The method of
2,982,496 5/1961 Creasey et a1. ......................... .. 244/15 operating the superagile aircraft comprises the step of articu
3,926,389 12/1975 Mederer ..... .. .. 244/45 A lating the air inlets and exhaust nozzles, de?ecting the
4,010,920 3/1977 Famer . . .. . . . . . . .. 244/89 canard surfaces, and vectoring the thruster jets so that
4,099,687
4,012,013 7/1978
3/1977 Roberts
Ball et al.
et a1. ..
Supemormal ?ight is attained. Supemormal ?ight may be
de?ned as ?ight at which the superagile aircraft operates at
4,261,533 4/1981 Roberts et a1. ........... .. an angle of attack much greater than the angle of attack
4,281,810 8/1981 Poisson-Quinton et a1. which produces maximum lift. In Supemormal ?ight, the
4,418,708 12/1983 superagile aircraft is capable of almost vertical ascents,
4,523,603 6/1985
4,569,493 2/1986 sharp turns, and very steep descents without losing control.
Enhanced survivability of the pilot and the aircraft is
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS achieved by the invention.
2421524 11/1974 Germany.
2327612 12/1974 Germany. 11 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets

zl
Re. 35,387
Page 2

OTHER PUBLICATIONS Herbst, “Design for Air Combat”, Oct. 1981, AGARD FMP
Scott, “NASA Researches Aircraft Control During Deep
Conference, Florence/Italy.
Stall”, 31 Oct. 1983, pp. 53 & 54, Aviation Week & Space Kraus et al., “Stability and Control for High Angle of Attack
Technology. Maneuvering”, 19 Apr. 1982, AGARD Conference, N eu~
Thomas A. Home, “Breaking the Stall Barrier”, May 1984, illy—sur—Seine/France.
AOPA Pilot. Strorn et al., “Controllable supernonnal ?ight: a future
European Patent O?ice Technical Board of Appeal, “In re possibility”, Dec. 1982, pp. 48—53, vol. 90, for Automotive
European Pat. Publ. No. 45987 of Boeing Co.”, 10 Oct. Engineering.
1985, pp. l21—128, Journal of EPO.
Kraus et al., “High Angle of Attack Characteristics of Moore et al., “X-29 Forward Swept Wing Aerodynamic
Different Fighter Con?gurations”, 4 Oct. 1978, AGARD Overview”, 13-15 Jul. 1983, AIAA Applied Aerodynamics
Conference, Neuilly—sur—Seine/France. Conference, Danvers/Massachusetts pp. 1-8.
W. B. Herbst, “Future Fighter Technologies”, Aug. 1980, pp. Herbst, “Supermaneuverability”, 17—19 Oct. 1983, Jahrbuch
561—566, vol. 17, Journal of Aircraft. 1983 I, Munich/Germany.
Dec. 3, 1996 Sheet 1 of 4 Re. 35,387
US. Patent Dec. 3, 1996 Sheet 4 of 4 Re. 35,387

a.61“823
\.\A
Re. 35,387
1 2
SUPERFRAGILE TACTICAL FIGHTER leading edge sweep angles or incorporating strakes, i.e. a
AIRCRAFT AND METHOD OF FLYING IT IN continuous band of plates on the fuselage, partial ?ow
SUPERNORMAL FLIGHT separation of the wing or control surfaces may induce
stability problems below the attack angles for maximum lift
Matter enclosed in heavy brackets [ ] appears in the and impose lower limits on the normal ?ight regions.
original patent but forms no part of this reissue speci? Solutions of these problems will allow ?ight above these
cation; matter printed in italics indicates the additions lower limits. Flight above the normal limits is considered of
made by reissue. a supemormal nature.

CROSS~REFERENCE TO RELATED SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


APPLICATION
The present invention is directed to a ?xed wing aircraft
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent with canard control surfaces and a method of human-piloted
application Ser. No. 721,664, ?led Apr. 9, 1985, abandoned operation thereof permitting supemormal ?ight which is
concurrently with the ?ling of this application. concerned with ?ight at extraordinary angles of attack,
resulting in substantial changes in the pitch and the ?ight
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION path angles and also resulting in the attainment of ?ight
paths and vertical velocities which are not normally attain
1. Field of the Invention able.
The invention relates to the ?eld of aeronautics, in par 20 In piloted supemormal ?ight of the aircraft of the present
ticular to aircraft manueven'ng and control devices of a ?xed invention, the wing of an aircraft, such as a superagile
wing aircraft with a human pilot assisted by an automatic tactical ?ghter, is either partially or completely stalled, while
?ight control system. the longitudinal control surfaces, such as in a rotatable
2. Brief Description of the Related Art canard arrangement, are de?ected to approximately the same
Until about 1978, the region beyond stall was considered 25 magnitude, but of opposite sign, as the angle of attack of the
an unacceptable ?ight regime frequently characterized by aircraft, so that the canard arrangement remains effective to
uncontrollable ?ight in spins and by undesirable deep stalls. control the aircraft through large ranges of angles of attack,
Any deep stall condition is characterized by a stable pitch, and ?ight path. Such angles may vary from descend
trimmed ?ight but at a high angle of attack from which ing ?ight to deep stall, i.e. —4S°, to ascending ?ight in
return to normal ?ight may be di?icult or impossible. A deep 30 vertical climb, i.e. +90".
stall may be de?ned as an out-of-control condition at an Also, fully articulating air inlets at a front end of the
angle of attack greater than the angle of attack for maximum propulsion system and fully articulating exhaust nozzles at
lift with no signi?cant motion other than a high rate of a rear end of the propulsion system are articulated to
descent. Conventional airplanes usually stall and lose con appropriate directions relative to the air ?ow so that the inlet
trol e?ectiveness at angles of attack in the range of 18° to 35 operates effectively throughout the large angle of attack
20°. range and also so that thrust is vectored in the desired
However, according to U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,261,533 and direction by the exhaust nozzle de?ections.
4,099,687, it is now possible, through the use of a rotatable Thrust may likewise be vectored by small thruster jets or
horizontal tail on aft-tail con?gurations or through the use of other similar devices arranged around the nose of the
tiltable engines on the wings, to provide stable and control fuselage, on the propulsion system near the exhaust nozzles,
lable ?ight at extremely high airplane angles of attack. and on at least one vertical tail to provide control forces and
Because movement other than a high rate of descent can moments at low speeds where the aerodynamic control
be controlled by varying thrust levels and all moveable surfaces tend to lose effectiveness.
control surfaces with large de?ections, the safety and use The advantages of such supemormal ?ight include:
fulness of ?ight at extremely high angles of attack are being improved safety through prevention of spins; steep descents
re-examined and rede?ned. and approaches to landings; precise, steep surivable recov
The essence of the longitudinal control concept, as set eries of remotely piloted vehicles; and enhanced high angle
forth in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,261,533 and 4,099,687, is to rotate of attack control manueverability and agility.
the tail or to de?ect large chord elevons to magnitudes of 50
approximately the same order, but of opposite direction, as BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
the airplane angle of attack, so that the e?°ective tail aero FIG. 1A shows a front elevational view of the superagile
dynamic angle of attack is below the tail stall angle and is tactical ?ghter aircraft of the present invention in level ?ight.
thus capable of providing both stability and control for the
entire aircraft. FIG. 1B shows a top plan view of the superagile tactical
55 ?ghter in level ?ight.
Although rotatable canard arrangements are known from
U.S. Pat. No. 4,569,493, U.S. Pat. No. 4,281,810, U.S. Pat. FIG. 1C shows a side elevational view of the superagile
No. 4,010,920, and West German Olfenlegungsschrift tactical ?ghter in descending ?ight.
2421524, such arrangements deal strictly with the stability FIG. 2A shows a diagonal top plan view of the superagile
and control of aircraft and models in level and unstalled low tactical ?ghter at the center of a plane having horizontal (X)
angle of attack regions of ?ight and do not address the and lateral (Y) coordinates.
problems of stability and control of aircraft in the high angle FIG. 2B shows a diagonal front elevational view of the
of attack regions of ?ight. superagile tactical ?ghter at the center of a plane having
In most cases, the upper limit of normal ?ight is associ lateral (Y) and vertical (Z) coordinates.
ated with conditions for maximum lift, beyond which the 65 FIG. 2C shows a diagonal side elevational view of the
wing is completely stalled. For some aircraft con?gurations, superagile tactical ?ghter at the center of a plane having
however, for example, those employing wings with high horizontal (X) and vertical (Z) coordinates.
Re. 35,387
3 4
FIG. 3 is a graph showing the horizontal tum character nozzles 14 of the propulsion system 12, and on the vertical
istics of the superagile tactical ?ghter in the X—Y plane. tails 20. These control thruster jets 22 may be powered by an
FIG. 4 is a graph showing in more detail the contributions auxiliary power system (not shown) or by bleed from the
of lift and thrust to the turning characteristics of the super propulsion system 12. The control thruster jets 22 provide
agile tactical ?ghter in the X—Y plane. control of the aircraft at velocities approaching zero.
FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view illustrating the Although not shown, an automatic ?ight control system
turning performance of the superagile tactical ?ghter in including conventional programmable, pilot interactable,
aerial combat against a conventional ?ghter jet aircraft. automatic avionic sensors, computers, effectors, and actua
tors inside the fuselage 11 help to provide rapid control and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
stability of the aircraft about the mutually perpendicular
axes X'—X', Y'—Y' and Z‘—Z‘ of FIGS. lA-lC.
As illustrated in FIGS. 1A through 1C, a superagile ?xed Utilization in several combinations of the propulsion
wing tactical ?ghter aircraft, suitable for ?ying according to system 12, ?xed wing 15, canard surfaces 19, vertical tails
the supernormal method of the present invention, comprises 20, rudders 21, and the various stability and control aug
a fuselage 11 to enclose a human pilot, a payload, and fuel, mentation systems by the human pilot allows the aircraft to
as well as automatic ?ight control, navigation, and life operate in ?ight at angles of attack signi?cantly greater than
support systems to assist the pilot. The fuselage 11 has a those associated with maximum lift. For this reason, the
nose, a midsection, and an aft section. A jet engine propul aforementioned elements and systems of the present inven‘
sion system 12 has fully articulating air inlets 13 at a front tion may be de?ned as supernormal ?ight controls.
end for supplying a continuous ?ow of minimally distorted 20
The nomenclature, symbols, and equations of motion
air ?ow, thereby maintaining e?icient engine operation of applicable to the superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft, when
the high thrust-to-weight propulsion system 12 over the ?ying according to the supernormal method of the present
entire ?ight regime, but particularly at high angles of attack invention, are represented immediately hereinbelow:
and low speeds. Also, fully articulating exhaust nozzles 14
at a rear end are provided for modulating and directing thrust 25 )fzVcos'ycosw (1)
forces produced by the propulsion system 12. Although a
twin engine propulsion system 12 is shown, a single engine Y=V cosysinw (2)
or another multi-engine system may be used instead. A
swept or modi?ed delta ?xed wing 15 is mounted on the aft
section of the fuselage 11 and is equipped with ?aperons 16, 30 Z I V sin Y (3)
elevons 17, and spoilers 18. The wing 15 has the propulsion
system 12 mounted thereunder and this ?xed wing 15 is the (4)
primary surface for producing the aerodynamic resultant
force characteristics of the aircraft. (5)
35
Mutually perpendicular reference planes are de?ned by
the three intersecting axes: longitudinal or horizontal
X'—X', lateral Y'—Y', and vertical Z‘—Z'. (6)
As shown in all FIGS. 1A-—1C, twin secondary control
force-generating canard surfaces 19, mounted on the mid' (7)
section of the fuselage 11, are separated from and located
forward of the wing 15 to provide destabilizing and con
trolling forces about the lateral Y'—Y' axis. These canard , Lift coefficient
surfaces 19 are symmetrically located about the longitudinal
axis X'—X' and are pivotable or rotatable about a lateral axis 45 i D
CD- qs , Drag coef?cient
YC'—YC', shown only in FIG. 1B, to any canard control
de?ection angle 56, as shown in FIG. IC, in a range from
about +45° (trailing edge down but not shown) to about —90° D, Drag=CDqS
(trailing edge up shown in FIG. 1C) relative to the longituv g, Acceleration due to gravity
dinal axis X'—X'. This large canard control de?ection range, 50 L, Lift
i.e. +45°;5c-Z-—90°, allows the canard surfaces 19 to be S, wing area
nearly aligned with the direction of local air ?ow over the T, Thrust
aircraft so that the canard surfaces 19 remain unstalled. In t, Time
order for an aircraft that employs canard control surfaces to V, Flight path velocity
be capable of trimmable and controllable ?ight at very high 55 V, Flight path acceleration
angles of attack, the aerodynamic surfaces on the aircraft
(i.e. wing canards) and the distribution of the mass of its
various components and systems must be arranged relative
to the center of gravity so that the aircraft is longitudinally
(l) dt

unstable, i.e. the slope of its pitching moment as a function X, Y, Z, Flat earth axes
of angle of attack must be positive. X, Y, Z, Velocity components along ?at earth axes
Vertical tails 20 provide directional stability and damping. W, Weight
Rudders 21 on each tail 20 provide yaw control and augment q=/2 pV2, dynamic pressure
roll control obtained by the ?aperons 16, elevons 17, and p, density of air
spoilers 18 on the wing 15. 65 or, angle of attack
As best shown in FIG. 1B, control thruster jets 22 are 7, ?ight path angle
located near the nose of the fuselage 11, near the exhaust y, ?ight path angle velocity
Re. 35,387
6
9, pitch attitute angle mately 0.7. The turning radius R associated with these
(1), bank angle corner conditions for the conventional aircraft is about 1900
wheading angle feet.
\jl, heading angle velocity (turn rate) The region inn which supemormal ?ight occurs in FIG. 3
For purposes of these calculations, the superagile tactical is bounded by the curve associated with the maximum
?ghter aircraft is represented as a point mass, without structural load factor 1'] as an upper limit and by the line
sideslip, operating over a ?at, nonrotating earth. associated with the turn rate at the comer condition as a
The thrust T, lift L, drag D, velocity V, and various lower limit. The change in the heading angle \y with the
angular attitudes associated with and acting upon the aircraft change in time is described by equation 6 above and is
in piloted supemormal ?ight are best illustrated in FIG. 2C. 10 de?ned as the heading angle velocity or turn rate \|!. For
In such supemormal ?ight, the aircraft operates at an attack example, if the angle-of-attack 0t is 70° and the bank angle
angle or much greater than the angle of attack for maximum
(1) is 90°, the change in the turn rate \|! or the instantaneous
lift so that the ?xed wing 15 is either completely or partially turn rate variation is illustrated by the dashed curve. The
stalled while the canard surfaces 19 are de?ected in a superagile tactical ?ghter of the present invention, when
negative sense through the de?ection angle-5c. The absolute ?ying at this angle-of-attack at of 70°, would exceed the
de?ection magnitude of the canard surfaces 19 is approxi normally maximum comer turn rate \V at a Math number M
mately the same as the attack angle (1. for the entire aircraft of less than about 0.18 as the ?ight path angle 7 reaches
so that such canard surfaces 19 are nearly aligned with the
about 65°. At a ?ight path angle 7 of 78°, the turn rate \.|/
local air ?ow and are, therefore, unstalled. Thus, the canard approaches 50° per second and the turning radius R is less
surfaces 19 remain e?°ective as lift surfaces in providing the than 125 feet. For reference purposes, there is also shown the
required forces and moments for controlling the entire sustained turn rate characteristics for the aircraft when the
aircraft. thrust-minus-drag is zero, i.e. T—D=0. In other words, the
The velocity components of the aircraft along the X, Y speci?c excess power is zero, i.e. Ps=0.
and Z axes are related to the aircraft ?ight path velocity V, To better describe the physical aspects of supemormal
?ight path angle 7, and heading angle \y, according to 25 ?ight, additional characteristics of a turn by a superagile
equations 1, 2 and 3 given above. tactical ?ghter aircraft are presented in FIG. 4. Basically, the
The ?ight path acceleration V of the aircraft is related to data in FIG. 4 are the same data presented in FIG. 3 with the
the thrust T, drag D, weight W, attack angle 0t, and ?ight path addition of the turn rates \|! associated with the thrust T and
angle 7, as stated by equation 4. the lift L. Equation 6 above shows the relationship of the
The ?ight path angle velocity Yof the aircraft is related to 30 heading angle velocity or turn rate \4; to both the thrust T and
the thrust T, lift L, ?ight path velocity V, weight W, attack the lift L. For the particular ?ight conditions illustrated in
angle at, bank angle 101 , and ?ight path angle 7, as stated FIG. 4, the thrust-related term in equation 6 predominates
by equation 5. when the Mach number M is below 0.28 but the lift-related
The heading angle velocity or turn rate of the aircraft term predominates when the Mach number M is above 0.28.
is related to the thrust T, lift L, ?ight path velocity V, weight 35 A pictorial turning performance illustration of the char
W, attack angle on, bank angle <1), and ?ight path angle 7, acteristics shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is presented in FIG. 5
according to equation 6. where an elementary one-on-one combat maneuver between
As can be seen from equation 7, the pitch attitude angle the superagile tactical ?ghter of the present invention and a
6 of the aircraft is the sum of the attack angle or and the ?ight conventional ?ghter jet which does not have features for
path angle 7. 40 supemormal ?ight is shown. Upon positive identi?cation,
The attributes characterizing the superagility of the tac the opponents have the options of ?ring a long or medium
tical ?ghter aircraft are quanti?ed by the magnitudes of the range missile and or beginning to maneuver at their maxi
velocity V, acceleration V, ?ight path angle velocity 7, and mum capability to evade the incoming missile while simul
taneously trying to position themselves for close-in combat.
heading angle velocity V, in particular, and by the rapidity The conventional ?ghter jet is limited to ?ying at its comer
45
with which these attributes can be changed. A graphic
Mach number or velocity because it does not have the
illustration of the superagility, particularly the turning char' capability of supemormal ?ight at an angle of attack beyond
acteristics, of the tactical ?ghter aircraft in the horizontal
that permitted by the maximum lift coefficient. On the other
lateral plane X—Y is presented in FIG. 3. The heading angle
hand, the superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft of the present
velocity u; or turn rate of the aircraft is a function of the 50 invention begins its maneuvering by increasing thrust, pref
Mach number M of the aircraft at an altitude of 20,000 feet erably to a maximum. Next the pilot will climb by increasing
and with a wing loading W/S of 68 pounds per square foot. the angle of attack of the aircraft to a very high level, say
The aircraft thrust-to-weight ratio T/W varies from a value 70°, and then progressively increasing its ?ight path angle 7
of 0.5 at M=0 to 0.9 at M=0.9, as shown in the inset table and bank angle (D to values approaching 90°.
in the upper right-hand corner of FIG. 3. 55 Thus, as shown pictorially in FIG. 5 and graphically in
The region in which normal ?ight occurs is bounded by FIGS. 3 and 4, the superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft in
curves associated with the maximum lift coei?cient Cm supemormal ?ight accomplishes a decelerating, steep climb
for a conventional aircraft and with the maximum structural
with a turn rate \|/ over twice that of the conventional ?ghter
load factor 1] for the aircraft. The Mach number M and the
jet attempting to operate at its comer Mach number M or
turn rate existing at the point where these curves intersect velocity V. The turning maneuver in supemormal ?ight is
are referred to as “corner” conditions. For a conventional analogous to a skidding turn of a powerful decelerating
?ghter aircraft, not equipped with the elements of the present wheeled vehicle. This turning maneuver allows the super
invention, the turn rate at the corner condition is the agile tactical ?ghter aircraft of the present invention to turn
maximum instantaneous turn rate. For the speci?c example tightly inside the ?ight path of the opposing conventional
shown in FIG. 3, the maximum instantaneous turn rate for ?ghter jet and to launch a “supershot” short range missile
the conventional aircraft in normal ?ight is about 23° per before the opponent can turn and get into a ?ring position,
second and occurs when the Mach number M is approxi thereby scoring an aerial victory.
Re. 35,387
7 8
Although not illustrated herein, it is certain that innova decelerated along the steep ?ight path shown in FIG. 5.
tive aerial combat tacticians will develop other multi-aircraft Deceleration inertial forces produced by thrust vectoring and
encounter techniques which will use the features of the aerodynamic drag associated with high angles-of-attack are
present invention in order to achieve greater advantages for much larger than the deceleration forces associated with the
the superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft. angle-of-attack which produces maximum lift. The decel
The method of the present invention relates to ?ying and eration inertial forces cause the pilot of the superagile
controlling a superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft employing aircraft to experience “eyeballs-down” stresses that are more
highly de?ectable canard surfaces 19 and having control endurable than “hang-in-the-belt”, “eyeball-out” stresses
thruster jets 22 on the nose of the fuselage 11, near the that are nomally associated with the deceleration of a
exhaust nozzles 14 of the propulsion system 12, and on both conventional ?ghter jet which is constrained to ?y at or
sides of vertical tails 20 so that the aircraft may engage in
below the angle-of-attack which produces maximum lift.
supernormal ?ight in order to provide extraordinarily agile The method of the present invention further involves the
maneuverability characteristics or “superagility”, relative to
the maneuverability characteristics of a conventional ?ghter ?ying and controlling of the superagile tactical ?ghter
jet not capable of the present inventive method of ?ying aircraft by rede?ecting the rotatable twin canard surfaces 19
because it lacks the aerodynamic structures of the present 15 to an angle-of-attack below the angle-of-attack which pro~
invention. Thus, such a conventional jet is restricted to duces maximum lift in order to provide extraordinary unac
?ying, at best, at its corner Mach number M or velocity V, celerated, or return to unaccelerated, trimmed ?ight condi
i.e. at the maximum permissible limit of normal ?ight at the tions.
highest angle of attack associated with maximum lift. The inventive method of supernormal ?ight comprises the
For example, the method of ?ying the superagile tactical 20 further steps of applying, modulating, and vectoring thrust,
?ghter aircraft of the present invention in supernormal ?ight controllably orienting the superagile aircraft at a pitch
may comprise several steps. First, the superagile aircraft attitude in the range of 0° to about 90°, and causing the
initiates an aerial maneuver or responds to the initiation of aircraft to descend steeply and rapidly in altitude, as shown
an aerial maneuver by an, opposing ?ghter jet of essentially in FIG. 5, while stability and control are maintained. Even~
equal technological development except that the latter does 25 tually, the pilot levels the aircraft out so that it returns to
not have the supernormal control system of the present normal unaccelerated trimmed ?ight conditions.
invention and therefore is restricted to maneuvers associated Further steps of the present inventive method involve
with angles of attack less than or equal to the angle of attack controlling roll, yaw, and pitch by de?ecting the aerody
at which maximum lift occurs. The opposing ?ghter jet is namic controls 16, 17, 18, 19 and 21 and by vectoring the
also limited to a maximum turn rate \4/ at the comer Mach thruster jets 22 in the directions opposing any undesirable
motions. For example, as best shown in FIG. 1C, operation
number M or velocity V where the turn rate \t/ provided by of the control thruster jets 22 on the bottom surface of the
maximum lift and the turn rate \|! allowed by the ultimate nose of the fuselage 11 in combination with the articulating
structural load factor T1 the conventional ?ghter jet are equal. air inlets l3 and the articulating exhaust nozzles 14 will
According to FIG. 4, a representative value of a maximum 35 force the nose of the aircraft up while, as best shown in FIG.
turn rate \jlmax for a conventional ?ghter jet not equipped 1B, operation of the control thruster jets 22 on the top
with the present invention but ?ying in normal ?ight at surface of the rear of the propulsion system 12 near the
20,000 feet altitude is about 22° to 25° per second and the articulating exhaust nozzles 14 will force the tail of the
corresponding comer Mach number M is about 0.7, i.e. a aircraft down so that an undesirable nose-down pitch of the
velocity V of about 725 feet per second at such altitude. 40 aircraft is counteracted and eliminated. Operation of the
The second step of the inventive method of ?ying the other thruster jets 22 will counteract and eliminate other
superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft is that, upon sighting the undesirable movements of roll, yaw, and pitch. These opera
opposing conventional ?ghter jet either visually or by elec tions need not be detailed herein because they should be
tronic systems, the superagile aircraft increases its thrust to discernible to persons of ordinary skill in the ?eld of
a maximum level and uses coordinated de?ections of its 45 aerodynamics from the example given immediately herein
canard surfaces 19, vectoring of its control thruster jets 22, above. By operating the thruster jets 22 in combination with
and articulating of its air inlets 13 and of its exhaust nozzles the articulating air inlets 13 and the articulating exhaust
14 in order to increase the angle-of-attack ot of the super nozzles 14 to control roll, yaw, and pitch, the superagile
agile aircraft to about 35° so as to effect a large increase in aircraft is prevented from attaining aerodynamic stall of the
the ?ight path angle 7 and in the rate of climb. 50 primary wing 15. In the event of inadvertent stall, tht?pilot
As the superagile aircraft begins to decelerate because of can rapidly actuate the highly de?ectable canard surfaces 19,
the large increase in induced drag associated with the high the articulatable air inlets 13, the articulatable exhaust
angle-of-attack ot, the angle-of-attack or is further increased nozzles 14, and the thruster jets 22 to attain an angle-of
to values in the range of 60° to 70° and the superagile attack or su?iciently higher than that associated with maxi
aircraft is banked at a high angle (I) approaching 90°. This 55 mum lift.
high banking maneuver allows the superagile aircraft to Thus, a nose-high aircraft pitch attitude angle 0 is
decelerate further to a very low velocity so that it can turn attained, thereby providing a favorable ejection attitude and
and redirect itself rapidly. Since the heading angle velocity enhanced survivability for the pilot in the event that hard
w or turn rate of the superagile aircraft is determined contact of the superagile aircraft is anticipated to be
primarily at low speed below M=0.28 by the thrust-depen 60 unavoidably made with the ground. A favorable ejection
dent term T/WV sin or in equation 6 because the velocity V attitude is one in which the pilot will be ejected from the
is in the denominator, the ability of the superagile aircraft to aircraft in a direction away from the ground.
turn rapidly and redirect itself allows such superagile aircraft The method of the present invention also involves the
to gain a favorable position for weapon ?ring opportunities steps of actuating the highly de?ectable canard surfaces 19
against the opposing conventional ?ghter jet. 65 and operating the thruster jets 22 to control roll, yaw and
One advantage of the present invention relates to the pitch so that the superagile aircraft is prevented from enter
stresses endured by the pilot when the superagile aircraft is ing into ?ight conditions whereby it will begin or sustain a
Re. 35,387
9 10
spinning motion. In the event of an inadvertent spinning increasing thrust of a propulsion system to a maximum
motion, the pilot can rapidly actuate the canard surfaces 19 capability;
and the thruster jets 22 to counteract and eliminate the vectoring gross thrust of the propulsion system by de?ect
equilibrium between aerodynamic forces and centrifugal ing articulating exhaust nozzles to angles which aug
forces that exist in a sustained spinning motion. ment turning capability and assure control of the air
The highly de?ectable canard surfaces 19 and the thruster craft at low velocities;
jets 22 my also be operated to return the superagile aircraft
from the high angle-of-attack or of supemorrnal ?ight to a de?ecting articulating air inlets at the appropriate angle to
face into a local air stream so as to provide minimally
normal ?ight condition existing below the angle-of-attack or
for maximum lift. distorted air ?ow to the propulsion system; banking the
The foregoing preferred embodiments of the superagile 10 aircraft to angles approaching 90°; decelerating the
aircraft and of the methods of ?ying it are considered aircraft to a velocity less than stalling velocity;
illustrative only. Numerous other modi?cations and changes turning the heading angle of the aircraft; and pointing the
will readily occur to those of ordinary skill in aerodynamic aircraft in any direction necessary to be aimed at an
technology after reading the foregoing disclosure. Conse opposing or threatening aircraft; whereby the aircraft
quently, the disclosed aircraft and method of ?ying it are not 15 has, by developing very high turn rates and decelera
limited to the exact constructions and steps shown and tions, effectively become superagile in supemorrnal
described herein but are intended to embrace other embodi ?ight.
ments within the purview of the appended claims without 4. The method according to claim 3, further comprising
departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. the step of:
What I claim as my invention is: rede?ecting the rotatable canard surfaces, articulating air
1. A superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft comprising: inlets, and articulating exhaust nozzles to positions so
as to rapidly return the aircraft to an angle-of-attack
a fuselage having a nose, a rnidsection, an aft section and below the angle-of-attack which produces maximum
at least one vertical tail, said fuselage adapted to house lift; whereby the aircraft returns in a controlled manner
a human pilot, a payload, fuel, automatic ?ight control to an unaccelerated, trimmed normal ?ight condition.
systems, a navigation system, and a life support system 25 5. The method according to claim 3, further comprising
to assist and sustain the pilot; the steps of:
?xed wings mounted on the aft section of the fuselage, vectoring thrust from control thruster jets, or any other
behind a center-of-gravity of the aircraft; acceptable force means, located around a nose, near
a high thrust-to-weight propulsion system being mounted 30
exhaust nozzles, and on at least one vertical tail of the
to the wings; aircraft, in directions to provide acceptable and neces
fully articulating air inlets at a front end of the propulsion sary control and trim about roll, yaw, and pitch axes of
the aircraft at low velocities.
system, said air inlets being de?ectable so as to face
6. The method according to claim 3, further comprising
into a local air stream so as to provide minimally the steps of:
distorted air ?ow to the propulsion system throughout 35
a complete ?ight regime but particularly at very high de?ecting further the rotatable canard surfaces rapidly to
angles of attack and low air speeds; attain an angle-of-attack su?iciently higher than the
angle-of-attack which produces maximum lift so that a
fully articulating exhaust nozzles at a rear end of the controllable stable and trimmable nose-high aircraft
propulsion system, said exhaust nozzles being rapidly pitch attitude is attained;
de?ectable so as to allow the pilot the capability to
whereby favorable ejection attitude and enhanced surviv
vector and direct gross thrust produced by the propul
ability for a pilot is achieved in the event it appears that
sion system; and
a hard contact of the superagile aircraft with ground is
rotatable canard surfacce means, mounted on the midsec unavoidable.
tion on the fuselage in front of the center-of'gravity and 7. The method according to claim 3, wherein:
separate from the wings, for fully and rapidly de?ecting
said angle at which the gross thrust is vectored by the
air ?ow thereacross in an angle-of-attack range with
trailing edge about 90° up to trailing edge about 45°
articulating exhaust nozzles is appropriate to provide
necessary longitudinal and trim forces and moments at
down, said canard surface means being located so as to
very low aircraft velocities.
provide pitch control forces and moments and to cause
50 8. The method according to claim 5, further comprising
the aircraft to be longitudinally unstable and capable of the steps of:
trimming at very high angles of attack approaching the
range from 70° to 90°. rapidly actuating the highly de?ectable canard surfaces;
2. The aircraft according to claim 1, further comprising: providing roll, yaw, and pitch control by aerodynamic
thruster jet means, or any other acceptable force means,
control surfaces;
arranged around the nose of the fuselage, on the pro rapidly actuating the thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles; and
pulsion system near the exhaust nozzle, and on at least rapidly actuating the thruster jets;
one vertical tail for vectoring thrust. whereby the superagile aircraft is prevented from entering
3. A method of ?ying a human-piloted longitudinally into ?ight conditions under which it will begin spinning
unstable ?xed-wing tactical ?ghter aircraft comprising the motions.
60
steps of: 9. The method according to claim 5, further comprising
initiating an aerial maneuver in a vertical or pitch plane to the steps of:
very high angles of attack and pitch approaching a rapidly actuating the highly de?ectable canard surfaces;
range from 70° to 90° by: providing roll, yaw, and pitch control by aerodynamic
highly de?ecting rotatable canard surfaces on the aircraft 65 control surfaces;
to provide an angle-of‘attack greater than an angle-of rapidly actuating the thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles; and
attack which produces maximum lift; rapidly actuating the thruster jets;
Re. 35,387
11 12
whereby, in the event of inadvertent spinning motions, trimming at very high angles of attack approaching the
any equilibrium between aerodynamic and centrifugal range from 70° to 90°.
forces that exist are eliminated in said spinning 11. A method of flying a human-piloted longitudinally
motions, thereby allowing rapid recovery from the unstable ?xed-wing tactical ?ghter aircraft comprising the
spinning motions. 5 steps of:
10. A superagile tactical ?ghter aircraft comprising: initiating an aerial maneuver in a vertical or pitch plane
a fuselage having a nose, a midsection, an aft section and to very high angles of attack and pitch approaching a
at least one vertical tail, saidfuselage adapted to house range from 70° to 90° by:
a human pilot, a payload, fuel, automatic ?ight control highly de?ecting rotatable canard surfaces on the aircraft
systems, a navigation system, and a life support system to provide an angle—of-attack greater than an angle
to assist and sustain the pilot; of-attack which produces maximum lift;
?xed wings mounted on the aft section of the fuselage, increasing thrust of a propulsion system to a maximum
behind a center-of—gravity of the aircraft; capability;
a high thrust-to-weight propulsion system being mounted vectoring gross thrust of the propulsion system by de?ect
to the aircraft; ing articulating exhaust nozzles to angles which aug
fully articulating exhaust nozzles at a rear end of the ment turning capability and assure control of the
propulsion system, said exhaust nozzles being rapidly aircraft at low velocities;
de?ectable so as to allow the pilot the capability to banking the aircraft to angles approaching 90°; deceler
vector and direct gross thrust produced by the propul 20 ating the aircraft to a velocity less than stalling veloc
sion system; and tty;
rotatable canard surface means, mounted on the midsec turning the heading angle of the aircraft; and pointing the
tion on the fuselage in front of the center-of-gravity and aircraft in any direction necessary to be aimed at an
separate from the wings, forfully and rapidly de?ecting opposing or threatening aircraft; whereby the aircraft
air ?ow thereacross in an angle-of-attack range with 25 has, by developing very high turn rates and decelera
trailing edge about 90° up to trailing edge about 45° tions, effectively become superagile in supernormal
down, said canard surface means being located so as to
provide pitch control forces and moments and to cause
the aircraft to be longitudinally unstable and capable of
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION
PATENT NO. RE 35, 387 Page 1 of 2
DATED December 3, 1996
INVENTOR(S) : Thomas H. Strom
It is certi?ed that ermi' appears in the above-identi?ed patent and that said Letters Patent
is hereby corrected asslmm below:

Cover page, left column, line 1 and column 1, line 1, "SUPERFRAGILE"


should be -— SUPERAGILE ——. '

Cover page, right column, line 6, "128344" should be

——l283443-— .

Column 2, line 46, correct the spelling of —-survivable-—.

Column 4, line 32, "cnpvz" should be —-CDpV2——;


line 34, "CLPV" should be —-CLpV——;
line 37, "CLPV" should be ——CLpV";
line 38, delete the minus sign (—) ; and

line 63, "V2" should be ——V2—— .

Column 5, line "wheading" should be —~!, heading——; and


line "101" should be ——<P—— .

Column 6, line "inn" should be ——in-—; and

line "Math" should be ——Mach——.


UNITED‘STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION
PATENT NO. : RE 35, 387 Page 2 of 2
DATED I December 3, 1996
INVENTUMS) : Thomas H. Strom
It is ceni?ed that enor appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent is hereby
conettedasdlown below:

Column 7, line 33, after "1]" , insert ——for-—.

Column 8, line 8, change "eyeball" to ——eyeballs—-.

Column 9, in claim 1, line 43, correct the spelling of

—-surface-—; and
in claim 2, line 57, "nozzle" should be

——nozzles——.

Column 11, in claim 10, line 22, "on" should be —-of—— .

Signed .and Sealed this


Fifteenth Day of April, 1997

Am.- 6%!” W
BRUCE LEHMAN

Arresting Officer Commixsioner 0f Pamnrs and Trademarks