For all V/STOL aircraft, some type of attitude control is required in the hovering mode. In the past, this requirement has usually been met with a Reaction Control System (RCS) — a so-called “Puffer-Pipe” system which consists of high pressure gas ducted about the airframe and exhausted through nozzles at the wing tips, nose and tail.

This paper discusses a preliminary design study of an RCS for a STOVL aircraft conceptual configuration presently being developed by General Dynamics’ Fort Worth Division. The study highlights critical limitations and considerations relevant to the choice of an RCS concept. Physical requirements for RCS performance are detailed. Basic physical tradeoffs are elucidated. Various RCS candidate concepts are presented, and judged for their respective merits and drawbacks. The candidate system judged best suited for the particular application proposed is presented and discussed.

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