Linear parameter-varying-based transition flight control design for a tilt-rotor aircraft

Shen Qu, Guoming Zhu, Weihua Su, Sean Shan-Min Swei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents the development of novel transition flight controllers for a class of urban air mobility aircrafts configured with a fixed-wing and six distributed electric rotor assemblies. Only the two tilt-rotors are utilized for thrust vectoring during transition flight from hovering to steady-level flight, while the four lift-rotors are modulated with aerodynamic lift induced by fixed-wing to maintain stable altitude-hold. Three tractable tilt-rotor articulation profiles are proposed by taking into account of various aircraft and hardware constraints. Given a predefined nominal tilting profile, a family of linear models is obtained by linearizing the nonlinear aircraft model at multiple tilt-rotor angular positions along the tilting profile. Using tilt-rotor angular position as a scheduling parameter, a discrete-time linear parameter-varying model can be constructed, which is then used to develop a novel transition flight control architecture that integrates the adaptive model predictive control law with feedforward effect of the dynamic reference compensation. The simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed transition flight controllers and its robustness subject to external disturbance.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)3354-3369
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number16
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • adaptive model predictive control
  • Electric vertical takeoff and landing tilting optimization
  • linear parameter-varying electric vertical takeoff and landing model
  • model predictive control with dynamic reference compensation
  • tilt-rotor aircraft


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