Subsonic Aircraft Wing Conceptual Design Synthesis and Analysis

Abderrahmane Badis


This paper exposes a simplified preliminary conceptual integrated method to design an aircraft wing in subsonic speeds up to Mach 0.85. The proposed approach is integrated, as it allows an early estimation of main aircraft aerodynamic features, namely the maximum lift-to-drag ratio and the total parasitic drag. First, the influence of the Lift and Load scatterings on the overall performance characteristics of the wing are discussed. It is established that the optimization is achieved by designing a wing geometry that yields elliptical lift and load distributions. Second, the reference trapezoidal wing is considered the base line geometry used to outline the wing shape layout. As such, the main geometrical parameters and governing relations for a trapezoidal wing are reviewed in details. Third, the integrated design method is introduced through an evocative flowchart that describes the wing design process, whose objectives are essentially the determination and the optimization of the different wing parameters, essentially: Wing Area, Sweep Angle, Aspect Ratio, Taper Ratio, Thickness and Twist. Furthermore, refined and assessed formulas identified from an exhaustive literature study and historical trends yielding accurate and logical estimation of each parameter described in the optimization flowchart are provided. Finally, the capability of the proposed method is investigated through two design examples for jet and propeller aircrafts. The obtained layouts are tested and verified through simulations using the NASA OpenVSP simulation software.


Aircraft Wing; Subsonic Flight; Conceptual Design; Elliptical Distributions; OpenVSP.

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