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Wing Thickness Optimization for Box Wing Aircraft

Author(s):

Jemitola P. Olugbeji, Okafor E. Gabriel* and Godwin Abbe   Pages 1 - 8 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: In the interest of improving aircraft performance, studies have highlighted the benefits of Box wing configurations over conventional cantilever aircraft configuration. Generally, the greater an aircraft's average thickness to chord ratio(τ), the lower the structural weight as well as volumetric capacity for fuel. On the other hand the lower the τ, the greater the drag reduction. A review of patents related to the Box-wing aircraft was carried out. While methodologies for optimizing wing thickness of conventional aircrafts have been studied extensively, limited research work exist on the methodology for optimizing the wing thickness to chord ratio of the Box wing aircraft configurations.

Methods: To address this gap, in this work a two stage optimization methodology based on gradient search algorithm and regression analysis was implemented for the optimization of Box wing aircrafts wing thickness to chord ratio. The first stage involved optimizing the All Up Mass(AUM), Direct Operating Cost (DOC) and Zero Lift Drag Coefficients(C_DO), with respect to the aft and fore sweep angle for some selected τ values. At the second stage, a suitability function (γ) was optimized with respect to the aft and fore sweep angle for some selected τ values. A comparative study was further carried out using the proposed methodology on similar size cantilever wing aircraft.

Result: From the result, an optimal τ value was reached. Also the τ value for the cantilever aircraft found based on the proposed methodology was similar to the true τ value of the adopted aircraft, thereby validating the methodology.

Conclusion: Based on the optimal τ value reached from this work, the Box wing aircraft are suitable for thin airfoils.

Keywords:

Box wing aircraft, optimization, response surface, wing thickness

Affiliation:

Faculty of Air Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Nigeria Air Force Base, Kaduna, Faculty of Air Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Nigeria Air Force Base, Kaduna, Faculty of Air Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Nigeria Air Force Base, Kaduna



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