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Reduction of Wave & Lift-Dependent Drag for Supersonic Transport Aircraft

Objective



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 Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE - MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Address
Ively Road
GU14 6TD Farnborough
United Kingdom

Participants (8)

AEROSPATIALE MATRA S.A.
France
Address
316,Route De Bayonne 316
31060 Toulouse
Alenia Aerospazio - Un'Azienda Finmeccanica SpA
Italy
Address
Viale Dell'aeronautica
80038 Pomigliano D'arco - Napoli
BRITISH AEROSPACE AIRBUS LTD.
United Kingdom
Address
New Filton House
BS99 7AR Bristol - Filton
Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali ScpA
Italy
Address
Via Maiorise
81043 Capua
GERMAN AEROSPACE CENTRE
Germany
Address
Lilienthalplatz 7
38108 Braunschweig
OFFICE NATIONAL D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES AEROSPATIALES
France
Address
Avenue De La Division Leclerc 29
92322 Chatillon
STICHTING NATIONAAL LUCHT- EN RUIMTEVAART LABORATORIUM
Netherlands
Address
2,Anthony Fokkerweg 2
1059 CM Amsterdam
Saab AB
Sweden
Address

581 88 Linköping