Tailless aircraft concept, Pilot paper


  • Johansson Johannes

Publish date: 2001-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--0186--SE

Pages: 24

Written in: English


This pilot paper presents a tailless aircraft configuration that is a realistic alternative to a conventional configuration for a commercial aircraft. The advantage of this tailless aircraft compared to a conventional one is a reduction in both parasite and induced drag. It can thus operate more economically. This Tailless aircraft concept have the same longitudinal and directional stability as an MD- 81, the aircraft used for reference. Directional stability is to a great extent provided by the two engine nacelles that are placed on top of each other at the rear part of the fuselage. For longitudinal trim and control the Tailless aircraft concept uses a swept wing that positions the outboard control surfaces well behind the center of gravity which enables them to work as elevators. Combined with the use of thrust vector control (TVC) the trim and control authority in pitch is equivalent to that of the reference aircraft. It can thus handle the same center of gravity envelope and can be operated in the same manner. Directional control is provided by TVC, with the optional use of winglet rudders or split flaps for yaw control. The control authority is thus the same for the Tailless aircraft concept as for the reference aircraft in all directions, and from a pilot´s point of view there should be no difference between flying a tailless or a conventional aircraft.