A True Airspeed Correction Methodology for Aircraft Fuel Consumption Calculations

Report No. ARL-TN-0419a
Authors: Terry Jameson
Date/Pages: January 2011; 24 pages
Abstract: A methodology is described to derive corrected True Airspeed (TAS) values for inclusion in fuel consumption calculations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Earlier work to develop a UAS Fuel Consumption Algorithm (FCA) relied upon default TAS values that are published in the aircraft's operations manual. Use of a default TAS in the FCA can result in fuel consumption estimations that are in error by as much as 10-20%. The TAS calculations described herein incorporate meteorological parameters that can be obtained via standard on-board instruments that are readily-available to the UAS mission commander. The step-by-step process to derive corrected TAS is explained in some detail, and a real-world example is included by which the results are verified. It is anticipated that the corrected TAS methodology will eventually be incorporated into the FCA software.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2011