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Improving Flight Crews Aircraft Energy Awareness Through High Energy-Limit Trajectories

Abstract : The increased number of daily flights in the last decades has led to the densification of major airports and the proliferation of air traffic delays. The approach phase is inherently complex and labor extensive for flight crews, whose mission is to follow a stabilized approach. Current flight management systems do not provide much help in situations of high energy, where crews apply challenging energy management techniques to land in the destination runway. Go-around procedures shall be initiated as soon as the aircraft is not at the correct energy condition at the stabilization gate, despite the increase of workload this type of operation induces for crews and air traffic controllers. The continuation of a nonstabilized approach may put at peril the safety of flight. This paper presents an algorithm that computes the trajectory that stabilizes the aircraft in the minimum distance, which is also known as the high-energy-limit trajectory. The provision of this trajectory contributes to raising flight crew awareness of the aircraft energy state, and it informs that stabilization is not possible by giving the minimum distance to follow a stabilized approach. Flight simulator results helped to assess the operational concept and improve the representativeness of real flight operations. The calculation of the trajectory on a real-time basis provides flight crews with useful information of the aircraft energy condition, which improves flight safety and may ultimately reduce the number of nonstabilized approaches and go-around procedures.
Keywords : Navigation Systems
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Ramon Andreu Altava, Jean Claude Mere, Pierre Neri, Daniel Delahaye, Thierry Miquel. Improving Flight Crews Aircraft Energy Awareness Through High Energy-Limit Trajectories. Journal of Aircraft, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, In press, ⟨10.2514/1.C035934⟩. ⟨hal-02917010⟩

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