Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Brian A. Kish

Second Advisor

Ralph D. Kimberlin

Third Advisor

Isaac Silver

Fourth Advisor

David C. Fleming


This report details the future flight test of a potential amphibious modification to the C-130J Super Hercules. The goal of the project is to enable an amphibious capability through the installation of dual floats via a truss structure attached to the fuselage. This project uses an iterative design process which leans heavily on digital engineering and subscale testing. Through the iterative design process, several float and truss versions underwent 6-degree of freedom aerodynamic simulation and finite element analyses to validate landing load limits and stability and control parameters. These simulators informed subsequent versions which underwent subscale physical testing in a wind tunnel and water drag tank. Predictions based on these tests inform the final flight test plan which focuses on water takeoff and landing performance. These predictions show near baseline stability and control parameters after the addition of a canted aerodynamic fin to counter pitching moments and improve lateral stability. Limited stability and control evaluation will be performed during the physical flight testing which will primarily focus on flying and handling qualities. The test plan is composed of General Test Objectives, Specific Test Objectives, and Measures of Performance. The Method of Test for each Measure of Performance will be detailed. Overall, the report will provide a framework for the initial, limited-scale flight test of the amphibious modification.


Copyright held by author

Available for download on Tuesday, May 07, 2024