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Conceptual design and CFD analysis of a new prototype of agricultural aircraft
KTH.
2018 (English)In: Aerospace Science and Technology, ISSN 1270-9638, E-ISSN 1626-3219, Vol. 80, p. 156-176Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the agricultural aviation, there are several aerodynamic factors that must be optimized in order to contribute to the successful application of agricultural products, such as the high aerodynamic efficiency (L/D) required at the working phase and the influence of aircraft wingtip phenomena on the spray deposition and movement. For these reasons, in this research is presented the conceptual design of an advanced prototype of agricultural aircraft, whose main characteristic is an adaptive multi-winglet device installed on the wingtips, which optimized the main aerodynamic issues presented in its mission. Traditional aircraft design methods were used to develop and assess the suitability of the aircraft, focusing on its design requirements and tackling studies of weight sizing, pilot ergonomics, aerodynamics, stability, and performance. Subsequently, analytical and computational methods were used to design the adaptive multi-winglet device, which is composed by three winglets with its own geometry fitted on a tip-tank. Six configurations were created by modifying only the cant angle of each winglet in order to determine the arrangement that provides the best aerodynamic characteristics through a study of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), using the Reynolds–Averaged–Navier–Stokes (RANS) equations coupled with the Shear Stress Transport (SST) turbulence model. First, the flow around the wing and the multi-winglet section of the aircraft was investigated exclusively. Afterward, the airflow around the entire aircraft was studied at the product application condition, in order to compare the overall aerodynamic performance of the baseline concept along with the optimal multi-winglet configuration installed on the aircraft. Lift, drag and pitching moment coefficients were assessed, as well as the wingtip vortex structure of the most relevant configurations. Results of this study showed that adaptive multi-winglet devices are a promising alternative to improve the overall performance of an agricultural aircraft, because they provide control over the size and strength of the wake-spray interaction on the sprayed product, reduce the induced drag, reduce the bending moment and improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 80, p. 156-176
Keywords [en]
Adaptive multi-winglet device, Aerodynamic efficiency, CFD, Conceptual design, Induced drag, Spray deposition, Aerodynamic configurations, Aerodynamic drag, Aerodynamic stability, Agricultural products, Computational geometry, Deposits, Drag reduction, Efficiency, Ergonomics, Fighter aircraft, Navier Stokes equations, Shear stress, Turbulence models, Vehicle performance, Aero-dynamic performance, Aerodynamic characteristics, Pitching moment coefficients, Shear-stress transport, Computational fluid dynamics
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-236736DOI: 10.1016/j.ast.2018.07.014ISI: 000445991100013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050118635OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-236736DiVA, id: diva2:1257861
Note

QC 20181023

Available from: 2018-10-23 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved

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Díaz-Vázquez, Guillermo

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