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The Mission Phase – What Is It and Why Should I Care?

By: neely
Here is the second blog entry about STK’s Aircraft Mission Modeler (AMM). My first was mostly an introduction to what will follow. Now I’m going to continue with some basic concepts that will help you make the most of AMM. It is important to understand that aircraft are operated in different ways. For example, in the Tomcat, we would perform takeoffs at the field using burner or full military throttle with full flaps down or no flaps down. So that’s four very different cases from an aircraft performance standpoint. We would spend most of our time flying around the boat at max endurance throttle settings with gentle turns. When flying cross country, we flew at max range throttle settings. We flew strike escorts at various tactically interesting speeds and we flew air combat sorties at “turn and burn” conditions. I designed AMM so a user could model each of these flight conditions via different performance models. When you select an aircraft type from this combo box  you are selecting an aircraft with potentially many different ways to takeoff, climb, cruise, descend and turn. Each of these ways to fly is captured in the various performance models associated with that aircraft type. Here are the performance models I defined for my Tomcat: The Mission Phase requires you to select a single performance model of a given type for the procedures contained within that phase. From the possibly many different ways an airplane can fly, you specify the single way it will fly for the procedures within that phase. Here is a real-world example. A typical training mission flown by Navy fighters involves three phases of flight: 1. Takeoff and proceed to station phase. Flown at max range cruise conditions to get to station with minimum fuel burn then hang out at endurance conditions to save fuel while everyone involved gets into position for ... 2. Intercept and Air Combat Training. This is what we lived for: turning and burning. 3. Return to base. Back to the minimal fuel consumption mode of flight. Easy turns. In AMM, you would model this by three phases of flight and it might look like this in the GUI: Hopefully, this info will move you a little closer toward being a distinguished power user of AMM and STK!
Posted: 10/28/2010 3:15:25 PM