Study and development of a flight simulator for improving aircraft design in the Air Cargo Challenge competition
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
The Air Cargo Challenge is a student competition which consists on the design, construction and flight of high performance radio controlled airplanes. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a tool to assist on the aerodynamic design of these airplanes and to facilitate its optimization. To carry out this task, a 3DoF flight simulator and a VLM aerodynamic solver (with viscous corrections) is developed. This approach seeks to evaluate the dynamics and performance of the airplane in each phase of the flight. Moreover an analysis on the variables which affect the performance is carried out in order to limit the parameters in the design phase. Verification analyses shows a good behavior of the simulator. Likewise, it is verified that that the steady VLM provides consistent results, similar to the ones obtained with other codes and similar to existing experimental data. This implementation becomes useful for future optimization of wing configurations in cruise flight. Finally, empirical relations are obtained from published data in the literature in order to obtain initial estimates of payload, wing surface, wingspan and empty weight of the aircraft for preliminary design. The final integration and tests are left for future development.
The main objective of this work is the development of a numerical methodology to assist in the design of aircraft models intended to compete in the Air Cargo Challenge competition. The methodology will be based on a 3 DoF fligth simulator that uses potential flow aerodynamics with empirical corrections to account for viscous drag and low-Reynolds number effects. The program will be intended to help on achieving optimal wing and tail configurations for take-off and cruising, as well as a satisfactory longitudinal stability.
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