• Aircraft taxi time prediction: Comparisons and insights

      Ravizza, Stefan; Chen, Jun; Atkin, Jason A. D.; Stewart, Paul; Burke, Edmund K.; University of Lincoln (Elsevier, 2014-01)
      The predicted growth in air transportation and the ambitious goal of the European Commission to have on-time performance of flights within 1 min makes efficient and predictable ground operations at airports indispensable. Accurately predicting taxi times of arrivals and departures serves as an important key task for runway sequencing, gate assignment and ground movement itself. This research tests different statistical regression approaches and also various regression methods which fall into the realm of soft computing to more accurately predict taxi times. Historic data from two major European airports is utilised for cross-validation. Detailed comparisons show that a TSK fuzzy rule-based system outperformed the other approaches in terms of prediction accuracy. Insights from this approach are then presented, focusing on the analysis of taxi-in times, which is rarely discussed in literature. The aim of this research is to unleash the power of soft computing methods, in particular fuzzy rule-based systems, for taxi time prediction problems. Moreover, we aim to show that, although these methods have only been recently applied to airport problems, they present promising and potential features for such problems.
    • Multifunctional unmanned reconnaissance aircraft for low-speed and STOL operations

      Trancossi, Michele; Bingham, Chris; Capuani, Alfredo; Das, Shyam; Dumas, Antonio; Grimaccia, Francesco; Madonia, Mauro; Pascoa, Jose; Smith, Tim; Stewart, Paul; et al. (SAE International, 2015-09-15)
      This paper presents a novel UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) designed for excellent low speed operations and VTOL performance. This aerial vehicle concept has been designed for maximizing the advantages by of the ACHEON (Aerial Coanda High Efficiency Orienting-jet Nozzle) propulsion system, which has been studied in a European commission under 7th framework programme.This UAS concept has been named MURALS (acronym of Multifunctional Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft for Low-speed and STOL operation). It has been studied as a joint activity of the members of the project as an evolution of a former concept, which has been developed during 80s and 90s by Aeritalia and Capuani. It has been adapted to host an ACHEON based propulsion system. In a first embodiment, the aircraft according to the invention has a not conventional shape with a single fuselage and its primary objective is to minimize the variation of the pitching moment allowing low speed operations. The shape with convex wings has been specifically defined to allow a future possibility of enabling stealth operations.Main objective of the design activity has been focused on low speed flight, very short take off and landing, and a control possibility by mean of two mobile surfaces in the front canard, which allow changing the pitch angle, and allows an almost complete plane control in combination with an ACHEON variable angle of thrust propulsion system. The design considers has been specifically to allow flying at a speed which is lower than 12 m/s with an high angle of attach (over 7°), without losses in terms of manoeuvrability and agility. These features allow innovative uses such as road monitoring, and police support and are characterized by a breakthrough performance level.A complete optimal sizing of the aircraft has been performed, together with an effective performance analysis, which allows identifying the strong points and the potential problems of the project. An effective energy analysis has been performed also. An effective prototyping is expected in about one year.