Dynamic modeling of a parafoil system considering flap deflection

Jin Tao, Qinglin Sun*, Zengqiang Chen, Yingping He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In order to better study the dynamic characteristics and the control strategy of parafoil systems, considering the effect of flap deflection as the control mechanism and regarding the parafoil and the payload as a rigid body, a six degrees-of-freedom (DOF) dynamic model of a parafoil system including three DOF for translational motion and three DOF for rotational motion, is established according to the Kirchhoff motion equation. Since the flexible winged parafoil system flying at low altitude is more susceptible to winds, the motion characteristics of the parafoil system with and without winds are simulated and analyzed. Furthermore, the airdrop test is used to further verify the model. The comparison results show that the simulation trajectory roughly overlaps with the actual flight track. The horizontal velocity of the simulation model is in good accordance with the airdrop test, with a deviation less than 0.5 m/s, while its simulated vertical velocity fluctuates slightly under the influence of the wind, and shows a similar trend to the airdrop test. It is concluded that the established model can well describe the characteristics of the parafoil system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-425
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Southeast University (English Edition)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Airdrop experiment
  • Dynamic modeling and simulation
  • Flap deflection
  • Flight characteristic
  • Parafoil system


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