Objectives and content
Market surveys of the demand for future travel by supersonic transport aircraft have shown that a substantial market exists if the fare levels can be maintained close to those for subsonic transport aircraft. The central issue for a new supersonic transport aircraft is thus the achievement of market viability, to which the proposed research aims to make a major contribution. Considerable improvements in aerodynamic technology are required if a new design for a supersonic transport is to be both viable and acceptable environmentally. Reduction in the level of the drag of a new supersonic transport aircraft is essential to achieve these goals. Thus lower drag at take-off and landing conditions will reduce the engine thrust required and hence the noise generated by the aircraft. At cruise conditions over land and over sea reductions in drag will reduce the fuel required for a given range and hence increase the payload and cost effectiveness. An industrial objective of equal importance to the reduction of drag is the need for an aerodynamic design method that allows rapid completion of a design cycle; a target of 2 days per cycle has been quoted.
The industrial objectives lead to two objectives for the proposed basic research; the identification and validation of a computational method for the accurate prediction of the detailed aerodynamic performance of a supersonic transport aircraft and the assessment of alternative approaches to the aerodynamic design of this type of configuration, including a demonstration of the effectiveness of the chosen method(s) through experimental verification.
In the first technical task several computational fluid mechanics methods, covering a range of fidelity in flow modelling, are to be evaluated for their accuracy and speed of prediction against an existing set of wind-tunnel data for a generic configuration for a supersonic transport aircraft. The outcome of this work will feed into the analysis work in subsequent tasks. In the next stage two linked wing-design tasks proceed in parallel, one task for the transonic/supersonic cruise design and the other for low-speed high-lift design. From these design-method evaluation tasks a single basic wing shape will be selected as the basis for the next task, the design, manufacture and test of a wind-tunnel model. In the final task the experimental data from the model test will be analysed to assess the predictions of the design methods and to compare the aerodynamic performance against the industry objectives. This process will reveal any shortcomings in existing aerodynamic design and analysis tools and identify further needs for technology development. The assessment task will be concluded with the industry partners identifying how the results of the research can be exploited in future feasibility studies for a supersonic transport aircraft.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
80038 Pomigliano D'arco - Napoli
BS99 7AR Bristol - Filton
1059 CM Amsterdam
581 88 Linköping