ResearchInstitutes/ResearchFlight System Dynamics
Institute of Flight System Dynamics

"Innovation and both technical and scientific advance are the foundation of prosperity. Relying on achievements of the past would be fatal – it is all about looking ahead and shaping the future. Plurality of ideas, curiosity, enthusiasm and the perpetual thirst for knowledge are characteristics of the academic quest of progress which never let us rest but drive us to search for the new and the better. First we establish new bases by fundamental research to then accept the challenge of engineering to bring visions and ideas to real existing operating systems. In joint endeavors – with local small and medium enterprises or with academic partners around the world - we strive to contribute to the progress of aviation. We do not limit our work to classical transport aviation. For us General Aviation and small UAVs are of particular interest. And in spite of a world focused on economics and profitability we did not give up on the inspiring frontiers of flying faster, higher, further…"

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Florian Holzapfel

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Nonlinear, adaptive Flight Control
By utilizing modern methods of control engineering, we develop control systems for manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that exploit the full physical capabilities of the aircraft without leaving its envelope. To allow application of those solutions to real General Aviation or unmanned vehicles, not only certification criteria must be considered but especially the dependence on costly processes and methods must be reduced.

Trajectory Optimization
It is the objective to determine the single one trajectory that fulfills a given flight mission in the best possible way. In mathematical words, the control history for the dynamic system aircraft is to be determined such that the system is brought from specified initial conditions (e.g. take-off) to specified final conditions (e.g. landing on a specified runway) in a way that a numeric scalar cost function representing a quantitative means for the accomplishment of the mission objective (flight time, fuel consumption, noise disturbance, threat exposition) is minimized. Simultaneously it is to be ensured that the solution is compatible with the dynamics of the system (i.e. can really be flown) and that operational and dynamic constraints (airspace limitations, maximum load factors,…) are satisfied and met. Examples are trajectories minimizing the reentry heating of space vehicles, trajectories for solar aircraft saving enough energy during the day to make it through the night or the fastest track for a given airrace course.

Sensor Data Fusion and Navigation
By the complementary application of multiple miniaturized cost effective sensors, it is possible to generate consolidated signals that in terms of accuracy, availability and integrity fulfill the criteria required to use them for guidance, navigation or flight control purposes as low-cost replacements for the costly solutions of the past.

Integrated Guidance and Control
Nowadays, flight control laws, related cockpit displays and the dynamic characteristics of the primary control inceptors are designed separately or at least sequentially. It is the aim of the research efforts to improve aircraft handling qualities under manual control by integrated simultaneous design of the three abovementioned elements to a level beyond that achievable by separate consideration. Solutions applicable to General Aviation aircraft are of particular interest. These require to be compatible with traditional mechanical flight controls to fit into the price range of the segment.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Florian Holzapfel

Technische Universität München
Fakultät für Maschinenwesen
Element 6
Boltzmannstraße 15
D-85748 Garching bei München

Tel.: +49 89 289-16061
Fax: +49 89 289-16058