Special Issue "Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021)"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310). This special issue belongs to the section "Aeronautics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 11479

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Dieter Scholz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Aircraft Design and Systems Group (AERO), Department of Automotive and Aeronautical Engineering, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Berliner Tor 9, 20099 Hamburg, Germany
Interests: aircraft design; flight mechanics; aircraft systems; open access publishing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Egbert Torenbeek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Flight Performance and Propulsion, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: aircraft design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aircraft design is, as we know, the first fascinating step in the life of an aircraft, where visions are converted into reality.

In a practical sense, aircraft design supplies the geometrical description of the aircraft. Traditionally, the output is a three-view drawing and a list of aircraft parameters. Today, the output may also be an electronic 3D model. In the case of civil aircraft, a fuselage cross-section and a cabin layout are provided in addition.

In an abstract sense, aircraft design determines the design parameters to ensure that the requirements and constraints are met and design objectives are optimized. The fundamental requirements for civil aviation are payload and range. Many constraints come from certification rules demanding safety. The objectives are often of a financial nature, like lowest operating costs. Aircraft design always strives for the best compromise among conflicting issues.

The design synthesis of an aircraft goes from the conceptual design to the detailed design. Frequently, expert knowledge is needed more than computing power. Typical work involves statistics, the application of inverse methods, and use of optimization algorithms. Proposed designs are analyzed with respect to aerodynamics (drag), structure (mass), performance, stability and control, and aeroelasticity, to name just a few. A modern aircraft is a complex, computer-controlled combination of its structure, engines, and systems. Passengers demand high comfort at low fares, society demands environmentally friendly aircraft, and investors demand a profitable asset.

Overall aircraft design (OAD) comprises all aircraft types in civil and military use, considers all major aircraft components (wing, fuselage, tail, undercarriage) as well as the integration of engines and systems. The aircraft is seen as part of the air transport system and beyond contributing to multimodal transport. Aircraft design applies the different aerospace sciences and considers the aircraft during its whole life cycle. Authors from all economic sectors (private, public, civic, and general public) can submit to this Special Issue (SI). Education and training in aircraft design is considered as important as research in the field.

The SI can be a home for those active in the European Workshop on Aircraft Design Education (EWADE) or the Symposium on Collaboration in Aircraft Design (SCAD), both independent activities under the CEAS Technical Committee Aircraft Design (TCAD). Please see http://AircraftDesign.org for details.

Following the successful initial Special Issue on “Aircraft Design (SI-1/2017)” and the relaunch with “Aircraft Design (SI-2/2020)”, this is already the third SI in sequence named “Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021)”. The editorial “Publishing in 'Aircraft Design' with a Continuous Open Access Special Issue” describes the history, the set up, and idea behind this SI sequence. The editorial was published on 14 Jan 2020 as https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7010005.

Activities in the past showed that aircraft design may be a field too small to justify its own (subscription-based) journal. A continuous open access special issue may fill the gap. As such, the Special Issue “Aircraft Design” can be a home for all those working in the field who regret the absence of an aircraft design journal.

The Special Issue "Aircraft Design" is open to the full range of article types. It is a place to discuss the "hot topics" (zero-emission airplanes, electric flight, urban air mobility—you name it). The classic topics in aircraft design remain:

  • Innovative aircraft concepts
  • Methodologies and tools for aircraft design and optimization
  • Reference aircraft designs and case studies with data sets

It is up to us as authors to shape the Special Issue “Aircraft Design” according to our interests through the manuscripts we submit.

Prof. Dr. Dieter Scholz
Prof. em. Egbert Torenbeek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Oil Fumes, Flight Safety, and the NTSB
Aerospace 2021, 8(12), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8120389 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 2601
Abstract
During its investigations into a series of ten aircraft crashes from 1979 to 1981, US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials were presented with a hypothesis that “several” of the crashes could have been caused by pilot impairment from breathing oil fumes inflight. [...] Read more.
During its investigations into a series of ten aircraft crashes from 1979 to 1981, US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials were presented with a hypothesis that “several” of the crashes could have been caused by pilot impairment from breathing oil fumes inflight. The NTSB and their industry partners ultimately dismissed the hypothesis. The authors reviewed the crash reports, the mechanics of the relevant engine oil seals, and some engine bleed air data to consider whether the dismissal was justified. Four of the nine aircraft crash reports include details which are consistent with pilot impairment caused by breathing oil fumes. None of the tests of ground-based bleed air measurements of a subset of oil-based contaminants generated in the engine type on the crashed aircraft reproduced the inflight conditions that the accident investigators had flagged as potentially unsafe. The NTSB’s conclusion that the hypothesis of pilot incapacitation was “completely without validity” was inconsistent with the evidence. Parties with a commercial conflict of interest should not have played a role in the investigation of their products. There is enough evidence that pilots can be impaired by inhaling oil fumes to motivate more stringent design, operation, and reporting regulations to protect safety of flight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021))
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Article
Aircraft Configuration Parameter Boundaries Based on Closed-Loop Flying Qualities Requirements
Aerospace 2021, 8(12), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8120360 - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 552
Abstract
For aircraft employing the fly-by-wire technique, the closed-loop dynamic characteristics are determined by both the configuration design and the flight control system. As the capacity of the control system has certain limitations, the configuration parameters are also constrained by the requirements of the [...] Read more.
For aircraft employing the fly-by-wire technique, the closed-loop dynamic characteristics are determined by both the configuration design and the flight control system. As the capacity of the control system has certain limitations, the configuration parameters are also constrained by the requirements of the closed-loop flying qualities. This paper presents an aircraft configuration parameter boundaries determination method based on closed-loop flying qualities requirements independent of the actual flight control law design, mainly aiming at the parameters that affect the stability and control characteristics. First, a nonlinear dynamic inversion-based flight control law is adopted to decouple the control law gains from the configuration parameters and to study the relationship between the configuration parameters and closed-loop flying qualities. Second, a flying qualities evaluation scheme is established by selecting the most severe flight conditions and the evaluation criteria that are most sensitive to changes in the parameters. Finally, the parameter boundaries according to the requirements of Level 1 flying qualities are determined by searching for the critical values that lead to degradation of the flying qualities. The proposed method is verified by an application example of the design ranges of a sample aircraft’s wing position, horizontal tail area, center of gravity, vertical tail area and vertical tail position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021))
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Article
A Physics-Based Multidisciplinary Approach for the Preliminary Design and Performance Analysis of a Medium Range Aircraft with Box-Wing Architecture
Aerospace 2021, 8(10), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8100292 - 09 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The introduction of disruptive innovations in the transport aviation sector is becoming increasingly necessary. This is because there are many very demanding challenges that the transport aviation system will have to face in the years ahead. In particular, the reduction in pollutant emissions [...] Read more.
The introduction of disruptive innovations in the transport aviation sector is becoming increasingly necessary. This is because there are many very demanding challenges that the transport aviation system will have to face in the years ahead. In particular, the reduction in pollutant emissions from air transport, and its impact on climate change, clearly must be addressed; moreover, sustainable solutions must be found to meet the constantly increasing demand for air traffic, and to reduce the problem of airport saturation at the same time. These three objectives seem to be in strong contrast with each other; in this paper, the introduction of a disruptive airframe configuration, called PrandtlPlane and based on a box-wing lifting system, is proposed as a solution to face these three challenges. This configuration is a more aerodynamically efficient alternative candidate to conventional aircraft, introducing benefits in terms of fuel consumption and providing the possibility to increase the payload without enlarging the overall aircraft wingspan. The development and analysis of this configuration, applied to a short-to-medium range transport aircraft, is carried out through a multi-fidelity physics-based approach. In particular, following an extensive design activity, the aerodynamic performance in different operating conditions is investigated in detail, the structural behaviour of the lifting system is assessed, and the operating missions of the aircraft are simulated. The same analysis methodologies are used to evaluate the performance of a benchmark aircraft with conventional architecture, with the aim of making direct comparisons with the box-wing aircraft and quantifying the performance differences between the two configurations. Namely, the CeRAS CSR-01, an open-access virtual representation of an A320-like aircraft, is selected as the conventional benchmark. Following such a comparative approach, the paper provides an assessment of the potential benefits of box-wing aircraft in terms of fuel consumption reduction and increase in payload capability. In particular, an increase in payload capability of 66% and a reduction in block fuel per pax km up to 22% is achieved for the PrandtlPlane with respect to the conventional benchmark, while maintaining the same maximum wingspan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021))
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Article
Influence of Novel Airframe Technologies on the Feasibility of Fully-Electric Regional Aviation
Aerospace 2021, 8(6), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8060163 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1860
Abstract
The feasibility of regional electric aviation to reduce environmental impact highly depends on technological advancements of energy storage techniques, available battery energy density, and high-power electric motor technologies. However, novel airframe technologies also strongly affect the feasibility of a regional electric aircraft. In [...] Read more.
The feasibility of regional electric aviation to reduce environmental impact highly depends on technological advancements of energy storage techniques, available battery energy density, and high-power electric motor technologies. However, novel airframe technologies also strongly affect the feasibility of a regional electric aircraft. In this paper, the influence of novel technologies on the feasibility of regional electric aviation was investigated. Three game-changing technologies were applied to a novel all-electric regional aircraft: active flow control, active load alleviation, and novel materials and structure concepts. Initial conceptual design and mission analysis of the aircraft was performed using the aircraft design framework SUAVE, and the sensitivity of the most important technologies on the aircraft characteristics and performance were studied. Obtained results were compared against a reference ATR-72 aircraft. Results showed that an all-electric aircraft with airframe technologies might be designed with the maximum take-off weight increase of 50% starting from the battery pack energy density of 700 Wh/kg. The overall emission level of an all-electric aircraft with novel technologies is reduced by 81% compared to the ATR-72. On the other hand, novel technologies do not contribute to the reduction in Direct Operating Costs (DOC) starting from 700 Wh/kg if compared to an all-electric aircraft without technologies. An increase in DOC ranges from 43% to 30% depending on the battery energy density which creates a significant market obstacle for such type of airplanes. In addition, the aircraft shows high levels of energy consumption which concerns its energy efficiency. Finally, the sensitivity of DOC to novel technologies and sensitivities of aircraft characteristics to each technology were assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021))
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Article
Design and Optimization of a Large Turboprop Aircraft
Aerospace 2021, 8(5), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8050132 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
This paper proposes a feasibility study concerning a large turboprop aircraft to be used as a lower environmental impact solution to current regional jets operated on short/medium hauls. An overview of this market scenario highlights that this segment is evenly shared between regional [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a feasibility study concerning a large turboprop aircraft to be used as a lower environmental impact solution to current regional jets operated on short/medium hauls. An overview of this market scenario highlights that this segment is evenly shared between regional turboprop and jet aircraft. Although regional jets ensure a large operative flexibility, they are usually not optimized for short missions with a negative effect on block fuel and environmental impact. Conversely, turboprops represent a greener solution but with reduced passenger capacity and speed. Those aspects highlight a slot for a new turboprop platform coupling higher seat capacity, cruise speed and design range with a reduced fuel consumption. This platform should operate on those ranges where neither jet aircraft nor existing turboprops are optimized. This work compares three different solutions: a high-wing layout with under-wing engines installation and both two- and three-lifting-surface configurations with low-wing and tail tips-mounted engines. For each concept, a multi-disciplinary optimization was performed targeting the minimum block fuel on a 1600 NM mission. Optimum solutions were compared with both a regional jet such as the Airbus A220-300 operated on 1600 NM and with a jet aircraft specifically designed for this range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021))
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Article
Sources of Onboard Fumes and Smoke Reported by U.S. Airlines
Aerospace 2021, 8(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8050122 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1397
Abstract
This paper describes the relative frequency of reports of oil and hydraulic fluid fumes in the ventilation supply air (“fume events”) compared to other types of fumes and smoke reported by U.S. airlines over 10 years. The author reviewed and categorized 12,417 fume/smoke [...] Read more.
This paper describes the relative frequency of reports of oil and hydraulic fluid fumes in the ventilation supply air (“fume events”) compared to other types of fumes and smoke reported by U.S. airlines over 10 years. The author reviewed and categorized 12,417 fume/smoke reports submitted to the aviation regulator to comply with the primary maintenance reporting regulation (14 CFR § 121.703) from 2002–2011. The most commonly documented category of onboard fumes/smoke was electrical (37%). Combining the categories of “bleed-sourced”, “oil”, and “hydraulic fluid” created the second most prevalent category (26%). The remaining sources of onboard fumes/smoke are also reported. To put the data in context, the fume event reporting regulations are described, along with examples of ways in which certain events are underreported. These data were reported by U.S. airlines, but aviation regulations are harmonized globally, so the data likely also reflect onboard sources of fumes and smoke reported in other countries with equivalent aviation systems. The data provide insight into the relative frequency of the types of reported fumes and smoke on aircraft, which should drive design, operational, and maintenance actions to mitigate onboard exposure. The data also provide insight into how to improve current fume event reporting rules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021))
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