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Aerodynamic optimization studies

In this phase a number of optimization procedures were carried out in order to improve the overall performance of the aircraft.

  • Winglets

The winglet optimization procedure was critical in improving the performance of the aircraft. The flow around several winglet configurations was investigated, using CFD. At first, only the flow around the wing-winglet part of the aircraft was investigated in order to determine the optimal design, by comparing the lift and drag coefficients, the lift-to-drag (L/D) ratios, the stalling characteristics and the root bending moment. Then the airflow around the entire aircraft was studied, in order to compare the overall aircraft aerodynamic performance. 

aopd1

Flow development around two different winglet configurations, based on the CFD results

aopd2Optimized winglet geometry

 

  • Fuselage

The fuselage geometry was optimized to improve the stability of the aircraft and to reduce drag. Meanwhile, it was made sure that enough space was available in the internal for the storage of the payload.

aopd3

Flow development around the fuselage of the HCUAV

 

  • Empennage

The empennage was optimize in order to enhance the trimming and stability characteristics of the aircraft. A parametric study was conducted and the empennage geometry was redesigned to improve the critical stability characteristics.

aopd4

Moment coefficient as a function of the angle of attack

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