College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Aerospace Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Aerospace Engineering



Primary Advisor

Eric Mehiel, College of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Department


An autonomous controller for the Cal Poly Motion Flight Simulator was developed such that the simulated Van’s RV-7 flies a standard light aircraft traffic pattern without any human pilot input. First, an autopilot was developed in Simulink to control the aircraft’s altitude, airspeed, and heading independent of each other. The performance of the autopilot has been tested to perform with a response sufficient for precise navigation. A C++ s- function was written as a mission controller that followed a pre-programmed path around a known airport. The aircraft performs a standard left 45 degree entry into the traffic pattern, lands on the runway, and either choose to stop or perform a touch-and-go based on the pre-programmed command.