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Engineering methods applied to an unmanned combat air vehicle configuration
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Aircraft, ISSN 0021-8669, Vol. 49, no 6, 1610-1618 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Engineering methods provide fast and economic predictions of the aerodynamic characteristics of complex flight vehicles. This paper investigates the application of three specific engineering methods to a unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) configuration, termed the Stability and Control Configuration (SACCON), that is still under investigation and that is the subject of an intensive computational and experimental study by the NATO Research and Technology Organization task group AVT-161 for better understanding of its stability and control characteristics. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) data are computed for theSACCONat wind-tunnel conditions and are compared and evaluated against the measured values, especially in terms of their implications for low-speed longitudinal flight characteristics. Because of their reduced-order modeling compared with Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes CFD, predictions by the engineering methods are restricted to the flight-condition range governed by linear flow physics, which, for the SACCON in low speed is 0 α 10 deg. Despite the limited range in angle of attack, it was discovered that, due to the large sweep angle of theSACCONwing and its tip section of zero taper ratio, peak suction levels at the tip were so high that the boundary layer separated there instead. This viscous effect caused a discrepancy between the predicted and measured values of the pitching moment. The remedy taken was to increase the washout for theSACCONwing by modifying its twist and camber, and predictions made for this shape confirmed that linear flow physics prevailed then and that the static stability margin was increased. Furthermore, a series of predictions were made at high speed to establish the drag-divergence Mach numberMdd. The investigations carried out here demonstrate the continued usefulness of engineering methods not only as an analysis tool during the initial aircraft design phase but also as a design tool to improve the shape definition of the vehicle to achieve better performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 49, no 6, 1610-1618 p.
Keyword [en]
Aerodynamic characteristics, Aircraft design, Analysis tools, Design tool, Economic predictions, Engineering methods, Experimental studies, Flight vehicles, Linear flows, Low speed, Pitching moments, Reduced-order modeling, Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes, Shape definition, Stability and control, Static stability margin, Sweep angle, Taper ratios, Task groups, Unmanned combat air vehicles, Viscous effect
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-115458DOI: 10.2514/1.C031384ISI: 000312764000006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84871831734OAI: diva2:588931

QC 20130116

Available from: 2013-01-16 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2013-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Tomac, MaximillianRizzi, Arthur
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