While the special carrier-approach problems for swept-wing jet airplanes have been recognized for over 30 years, there seems to be no clear-cut method for predicting the severity of such problems in preliminary design, much less for adopting solutions at an early stage. The detail specification for one of the U. S. Navy’s recent jet airplanes, the McDonnell
Douglas F/A-18, makes that point, listing no fewer than six possible determinants for that airplane’s approach speed.
The closed-loop systems analysis approach to the carrier-landing problem would seem to offer the best chance of answering difficult questions, such as whether a new design will need direct lift control and what the upper limit might be for thrust lag following throttle motions. However, the closed-loop systems analysis approach apparently requires additional development before it is ready to be used in this design sense. Systems analysis study reports typically close with a “Need for Further Research” section.