In-fl ight simulation experiments performed in 1967 with a variable-stabil ity aircraft during the author's stay at Princeton University, motivated the study of handl ing characteristics of future transport aircraft with closed-loop fl ight control systems. In 1972, the first experiment took place at the National Aerospace Laboratory NLR, using one of its research aircraft. In anticipation of expected developments in (digital) fl ight control technology, the research programme following the first experiments was aimed at the establ ishment of quantitative handl ing qual ities criteria. An appreciable part of that programme has been sponsored by the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs (Nederlands Instituut voor VI iegtuigontwikkel ing en Ruimtevaart) and the Department of Civil Aviation of the Netherlands (Rijksluchtvaartdienst). In 1981, a thorough review of the extensive and valuable data gathered was started. The result, presented in this book, was also included in the author's thesis for a Ph.D. degree of the Delft University of Technology. To introduce the reader to the multi-discipl inary field of handl ing qual ities research, introductory chapters are presented on longitudinal aircraft dynamics, closed-loop fl ight control systems using non-mechanical signal transmission, human pilot dynamics, hand I ing qual ities assessment techniques, and the present status of handl ing qual ity criteria.