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Article

In-flight Lift and Drag Estimation of an Unmanned Propeller-Driven Aircraft

1
Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB), University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 31, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Institute of Flight Mechanics and Controls (iFR), University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 27, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Roberto Sabatini
Aerospace 2021, 8(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8020043
Received: 14 December 2020 / Revised: 29 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 6 February 2021
The high-power density and good scaling properties of electric motors enable new propulsion arrangements and aircraft configurations. This results in distributed propulsion systems allowing to make use of aerodynamic interaction effects between individual propellers and the wing of the aircraft, improving flight performance and thus reducing in-flight emissions. In order to systematically analyze these effects, an unmanned research platform was designed and built at the University of Stuttgart. As the aircraft is being used as a testbed for various flight performance studies in the field of distributed electric propulsion, a methodology for precise identification of its performance characteristics is required. One of the main challenges is the determination of the total drag of the aircraft to be able to identify an exact drag and lift polar in flight. For this purpose, an on-board measurement system was developed which allows for precise determination of the thrust of the aircraft which equals the total aerodynamic drag in steady, horizontal flight. The system has been tested and validated in flight using the unmanned free-flight test platform. The article provides an overview of the measuring system installed, discusses its functionality and shows results of the flight tests carried out. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aircraft; thrust determination; flight testing; e-Genius-Mod; free-flight wind tunnel unmanned aircraft; thrust determination; flight testing; e-Genius-Mod; free-flight wind tunnel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bergmann, D.P.; Denzel, J.; Pfeifle, O.; Notter, S.; Fichter, W.; Strohmayer, A. In-flight Lift and Drag Estimation of an Unmanned Propeller-Driven Aircraft. Aerospace 2021, 8, 43. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8020043

AMA Style

Bergmann DP, Denzel J, Pfeifle O, Notter S, Fichter W, Strohmayer A. In-flight Lift and Drag Estimation of an Unmanned Propeller-Driven Aircraft. Aerospace. 2021; 8(2):43. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8020043

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bergmann, Dominique P., Jan Denzel, Ole Pfeifle, Stefan Notter, Walter Fichter, and Andreas Strohmayer. 2021. "In-flight Lift and Drag Estimation of an Unmanned Propeller-Driven Aircraft" Aerospace 8, no. 2: 43. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8020043

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