Aircraft Design (SI-5/2023)

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 5998

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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
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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 additionally provided.

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, such as achieving the lowest operating costs. Aircraft design always strives for the best compromise among conflicting issues.

The design synthesis of an aircraft goes from conceptual design to detailed design. Frequently, expert knowledge is needed more than computing power. The typical work involves statistics, the application of inverse methods, and the 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 and 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) are invited to submit papers to this Special Issue (SI). Education and training in aircraft design are 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 and http://journal.AircraftDesign.org for details. Prof. em. Egbert Torenbeek served as Honorary Guest Editor for this Special Issue “Aircraft Design” from 2020 to 2022. He resigned from all his duties. Please read about his achievements on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egbert_Torenbeek.

Following the successful initial Special Issue on “Aircraft Design (SI-1/2017)”, the SI was relaunched with “Aircraft Design (SI-2/2020)” and continued as “Aircraft Design (SI-3/2021)” and “Aircraft Design (SI-4/2022)”. This is now the fifth SI named “Aircraft Design (SI-5/2023)”. The Editorial was published on 14 Jan 2020 as https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7010005. It gives the background of publishing in Aircraft Design and gives hints to manuscript submission in Appendix A.

Activities in the past have shown that aircraft design may be a field too small to justify its own (subscription-based) journal. A continuous open access Special Issue may fill this 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” (fuel-cell-powered aircraft, aircraft designed for contrail avoidance, aircraft with truss-braced wings, etc.). 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
Guest Editor

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 2400 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 (4 papers)

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34 pages, 11378 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Aircraft Conceptual Design and Multidisciplinary Optimization
by Saeed Hosseini, Mohammad Ali Vaziry-Zanjany * and Hamid Reza Ovesy
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran 159163-4311, Iran
Aerospace 2024, 11(4), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace11040273 - 30 Mar 2024
Viewed by 439
Abstract
In this research, the architecture and the functionalities of the LAMBDA (Laboratory of Aircraft Multidisciplinary Knowledge-Based Design and Analysis) framework for the design, analysis, and optimization of civil aircraft are presented. The framework is developed in MATLAB R2022a and comprises a modular architecture, [...] Read more.
In this research, the architecture and the functionalities of the LAMBDA (Laboratory of Aircraft Multidisciplinary Knowledge-Based Design and Analysis) framework for the design, analysis, and optimization of civil aircraft are presented. The framework is developed in MATLAB R2022a and comprises a modular architecture, which gives the potential for the use of different methods and fidelities for each discipline. The methods can be selected from a set of built-in methods or custom user-defined scripts. Disciplinary modules of the LAMBDA are Requirements, Weight, Sizing, Geometry, Aerodynamics, Engine, Performance, Cost, Emission, and Optimization. This framework has been used for different types of design and optimization problems. When it is applied for the design and optimization of a novel regional TBW (Truss-Braced Wing) aircraft, the operating cost has been reduced by 7.7% in the optimum configuration compared to the base configuration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-5/2023))
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28 pages, 8462 KiB  
Article
Flight-Validated Electric Powertrain Efficiency Models for Small UASs
by Farid Saemi *,† and Moble Benedict
1 Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Aerospace 2024, 11(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace11010016 - 24 Dec 2023
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Minimizing electric losses is critical to the success of battery-powered small unmanned aerial systems (SUASs) that weigh less than 25 kgf (55 lb). Losses increase energy and battery weight requirements which hinder the vehicle’s range and endurance. However, engineers do not have appropriate [...] Read more.
Minimizing electric losses is critical to the success of battery-powered small unmanned aerial systems (SUASs) that weigh less than 25 kgf (55 lb). Losses increase energy and battery weight requirements which hinder the vehicle’s range and endurance. However, engineers do not have appropriate models to estimate the losses of a motor, motor controller, or battery. The aerospace literature often assumes an ideal electrical efficiency or describes modeling approaches that are more suitable for controls engineers. The electrical literature describes detailed design tools that target the motor designer. We developed SUAS powertrain models targeted for vehicle designers and systems engineers. The analytical models predict each component’s losses using high-level specifications readily published in SUAS component datasheets. We validated the models against parametric experimental studies involving novel powertrain flight data from a specially instrumented quadcopter. Given propeller torque and speed, our integrated models predicted a quadcopter’s battery voltage within 5% of experimental data for a 5+ min mission despite motor and controller efficiency errors up to 10%. The models can reduce development costs and timelines for different stakeholders. Users can evaluate notional or existing powertrain configurations over entire missions without testing any physical hardware. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-5/2023))
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42 pages, 4627 KiB  
Article
Design Investigation of Potential Long-Range Hydrogen Combustion Blended Wing Body Aircraft with Future Technologies
by Stanislav Karpuk 1,2,*, Yiyuan Ma 3 and Ali Elham 4
1 Cluster of Excellence SE²A-Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Aviation, Technische Universität Braunschweig, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
2 Institute of Aircraft Design and Lightweight Structures, Technische Universität Braunschweig, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
3 Visionary Aircraft Concepts, Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V, Willy-Messerschmitt-Straße 1, 82024 Taufkirchen, Germany
4 Computational Engineering and Design Group, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7QF, UK
Aerospace 2023, 10(6), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10060566 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2547
Abstract
Present work investigates the potential of a long-range commercial blended wing body configuration powered by hydrogen combustion engines with future airframe and propulsion technologies. Future technologies include advanced materials, load alleviation techniques, boundary layer ingestion, and ultra-high bypass ratio engines. The hydrogen combustion [...] Read more.
Present work investigates the potential of a long-range commercial blended wing body configuration powered by hydrogen combustion engines with future airframe and propulsion technologies. Future technologies include advanced materials, load alleviation techniques, boundary layer ingestion, and ultra-high bypass ratio engines. The hydrogen combustion configuration was compared to the configuration powered by kerosene with respect to geometric properties, performance characteristics, energy demand, equivalent CO2 emissions, and Direct Operating Costs. In addition, technology sensitivity studies were performed to assess the potential influence of each technology on the configuration. A multi-fidelity sizing methodology using low- and mid-fidelity methods for rapid configuration sizing was created to assess the configuration and perform robust analyses and multi-disciplinary optimizations. To assess potential uncertainties of the fidelity of aerodynamic analysis tools, high-fidelity aerodynamic analysis and optimization framework MACH-Aero was used for additional verification. Comparison of hydrogen and kerosene blended wing body aircraft showed a potential reduction of equivalent CO2 emission by 15% and 81% for blue and green hydrogen compared to the kerosene blended wing body and by 44% and 88% with respect to a conventional B777-300ER aircraft. Advancements in future technologies also significantly affect the geometric layout of aircraft. Boundary layer ingestion and ultra-high bypass ratio engines demonstrated the highest potential for fuel reduction, although both technologies conflict with each other. However, operating costs of hydrogen aircraft could establish a significant problem if pessimistic and base hydrogen price scenarios are achieved for blue and green hydrogen respectively. Finally, configurational problems featured by classical blended wing body aircraft are magnified for the hydrogen case due to the significant volume requirements to store hydrogen fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-5/2023))
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26 pages, 7044 KiB  
Project Report
Design and Flight Test of a Tube-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
by Michael Finigian, Peter Apostolos Kavounas, Ian Ho, Conor Cian Smith, Adam Witusik, Andrew Hopwood, Camron Avent, Brandon Ragasa and Brian Roth *
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA
Aerospace 2024, 11(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace11020133 - 03 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have already proven valuable for intelligence, search, and reconnaissance missions; however, their integration into manned aircraft to augment existing capabilities is still an emerging field. This paper describes the design of an aircraft that fits inside a G-sized sonobuoy [...] Read more.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have already proven valuable for intelligence, search, and reconnaissance missions; however, their integration into manned aircraft to augment existing capabilities is still an emerging field. This paper describes the design of an aircraft that fits inside a G-sized sonobuoy canister, deploys from a manned aircraft in-flight, and flies for up to 111 km and 83 min while providing telemetry to a remote operator. While UAVs with similar performance requirements exist, most were designed to fit in larger canisters. Multiple UAVs can be deployed in the air to expand the search capabilities of manned aircraft, ultimately allowing a larger search area per cost compared to manned aircraft alone. Individual performance characteristics of the aircraft such as aerodynamics, weight, propulsion, and stability were developed in the preliminary design phase based on given performance requirements. The performance of the aircraft was assessed using analytical and empirical methods. Wing folding mechanisms were prototyped for use on the production aircraft for flight testing. Propulsion, aerodynamic, and structural capabilities were validated separately using experimental methods. The folding mechanisms used in this UAV allow it to achieve the benefits of a longer wingspan while remaining compact and easy to deploy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Design (SI-5/2023))
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