The design and optimisation of a prototype sailplane

Kruger, Scott (2006) The design and optimisation of a prototype sailplane. [USQ Project]


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The science of aerodynamics can be traced back thousands of years to its beginnings, however remarkably, only one human life span separates the first heavier-than-air aircraft flight from the present day. Unfortunately, during this time little information has been released on the design methods of the high performance aircraft that best utilise the aerodynamic theory. The sailplane is one such example. This thesis seeks to investigate the theoretical foundation of un-powered aircraft design as well as implement computational methods to design and optimise a prototype sailplane based on its aerodynamic efficiency. The investigation considers the influence of a number of important features, including the airfoil, wing planform, fuselage and tail assembly geometries, and the inherent interference between these components. The overall aim of this study is to determine the appropriate combination of these components in order to provide the greatest L/D ratio over a range of intended flight speeds. The results of the investigation found two possible optimal aircraft configurations. These configurations were each functions of differing geometric parameters and were both considered as valid solutions. It is hoped that the information contained within this thesis will further enhance sailplane design methods and consequently aid to the betterment of the aerodynamic field.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: aerodynamics; inviscid; airfoil; computational fluid dynamics (CFD); XFOIL; sailplane; L/D ratio
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0901 Aerospace Engineering > 090101 Aerodynamics (excl. Hypersonic Aerodynamics)
09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4012 Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering > 401201 Aerodynamics (excl. hypersonic aerodynamics)
40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401799 Mechanical engineering not elsewhere classified

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