FLIGHTLAB is a state-of-the-art, finite element, component-based, selective fidelity modeling and analysis software package. It supports modeling and simulation of rotorcraft, fixed-wing aircraft, compound aircraft, helicopters, multi-copters, drones, flying cars and experimental aircraft configurations.
FLIGHTLAB consists of two products:
As well as a selection of add-ons:
The FLIGHTLAB development system includes a modern simulation environment, modeling element and function libraries, and a collection of graphical user interfaces for constructing, analyzing, and simulating rotorcraft, helicopters, and other air vehicles. The toolbox includes:
FLIGHTLAB Model Editor (FLME)
Control System Graphical Editor (CSGE)
Analysis Workspace & Utilities (Xanalysis)
Using the development system, rotorcraft and other aircraft models can be built to fit their application with the desired level of fidelity. Depending on the fidelity, the development models can be used for engineering analysis, real time simulation, or both. The development system is also used to generate run-time models for real time applications.
Multiple bodies, multi-body dynamics
Nonlinear unsteady aerodynamics
Flight dynamics and real time simulation (including full flight simulators)
Flight performance, stability, controllability, and handling qualities
Aeroelastic stability, vibration, and loads
Aircraft systems analysis and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation
Couple with external programs including CFD and Matlab/Simulink
FLME provides the user with capability to build either an isolated subsystem or a full rotorcraft model, including rotors, wings, fuselage, aerodynamic bodies and surfaces, cargo, landing gear, propulsion system, flight controls, and external bodies. It allows users to hierarchically traverse the rotorcraft or air vehicle subsystems and select modeling options and enter modeling data.
External bodies can be modeled in FLME, including sling loads, ships, fixed or jettisonable external bodies, etc.
The functionality of FLME is augmented with the FLIGHTLAB Model Viewer (FLMV) which allows the user to interactively view the aircraft model as built in order to visually inspect the model geometry and configuration.
CSGE allows users to build a control system model, such as full flight controls, engine fuel controls, etc., for seamless integration with FLIGHTLAB. Alternatively, control models built using SIMULINK can be coupled with FLIGHTLAB for full flight simulation.
The centerpiece of the FLIGHTLAB Development System is the Xanalysis workspace.
Xanalysis provides graphical user interfaces to support various tasks including setting test conditions and aircraft configuration, trimming the aircraft, performing nonlinear response, linearizing the model, etc. In addition, dedicated standard utilities are provided for conducting tasks such as performance, stability, controllability, handling qualities, and aeroelastic loads/stability analysis.
Xanalysis also allows users to carry out custom analysis (including batch) using scripts written in FLIGHTLAB's simulation language (SCOPE).
FLIGHTLAB Model Analysis, or FLMA, is a graphical user interface with a number of features and utilities to support flight analysis and simulation for air vehicles such as rotorcraft, eVTOLs, and more. FLMA provides for:
Basic analysis, including steady state and aircraft trim
Parameter sweeps, control response, and stability tests
GUI-supported test generation with automatic script generation; ideal for regression and certification tests
Choice between GUI-driven test execution and batch processing
Rotor loads analysis
Rotor modes animation
Mission performance analysis with graphical mission profile input
Direct access to model editor (FLME) and model viewer (FLMV)
Improved plotting utility to support spot-checking and report-style plotting
FLMA's analysis features are integrated within a graphical user interface designed to streamline analysis set-up, execution, and result processing. FLMA also allows for custom analyses using scripts written in the Scope language.
The FLIGHTLAB Run-time System executes run-time models generated with the Development System. Input/output data from external systems such as control loaders, cockpit switches, image generators, etc. are communicated via shared memory and over the network.
The Run-time System includes a graphical user interface to control the run-time model, monitor parameters/variables on the Run-time System console, and manually set parameters as needed. The Run-time System can also be implemented to interact with a simulator host program using the FLIGHTLAB Communication Utilities (FLCOMMS).
Hardware-in-the-loop (e.g., simulator, actuators, engines, aircraft)
Start, trim, step, stop, pause, checkpoint, monitor and record signals of run-time models
Run standalone, automated model validation tests
Provides first-principle based aerodynamic wake modeling and is capable of capturing the mutual interference effect of all aerodynamic components in the flow field
Provides interface software (plug-in) for a 4-axis joystick and is packaged with open source visual software, such as FlightGear. It enables users to fly FLIGHTLAB development models at their desk