Plan to launch an aircraft project? One of the key aspects of this process is performing aerodynamic analysis. Why? Find the answer in this article!
Before we consider the ways how aerodynamic analysis supports aircraft projects, let’s get the definition of this notion.
What is aerodynamics? The term is defined as the analysis of the ways air and other gases deal with moving objects. As far as in the aircraft industry, engineers are mostly engaged in air features, aerodynamics is particularly concerned with such aspects as lift and drag as both occur as the result of air flowing around and over solid objects.
Engineers implement aerodynamics rules to generate a wide range of solutions in various industries, such as edifices, bridges, and automobiles. However, the thing of key concern is the aerodynamic analysis of flying vehicles, such as airplanes, helicopters, airships, paramotors, gliders, and hot air balloons.
Let’s discover in what way aerodynamic analysis can support aircraft projects for you to get proof of why such analysis type is vital to design a win-win solution.
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Controlling an Aircraft in Flight
To get the info regarding how an aircraft will behave in flight, engineers prepare the aerodynamic design analysis that includes such aspect as CFD or computational fluid dynamics. The last indicates how fluid circulates with the help of a computer. This is a complex investigation that consists of the following phases:
- Designing digital prototypes of a certain aerodynamic body;
- Calculating and evaluating the design in terms of lift performance;
- Assessing drag indicators;
- Understanding whether pressure distributes according to standards.
The above-mentioned steps are only the surface of aerodynamic analysis. In more detail, the analysis handles several issues connected with the conventional aerodynamic trial. It enables calculating the aerodynamic features of an aircraft solution under multiple flight circumstances, all without demanding a high budget and much time to design a model and execute series of simulations in a wind tunnel.
Support in Figuring out Aircraft’s Weight
As a rule, aircraft engineers search for ways to economize as much weight as possible. Why? A lower weight leads to a reduced amount of fuel to stay in the air. The reduced weight allows more passengers and luggage on board. When designing a novel aircraft solution, finding a balance of implementing durable and safe materials and, at the same time, minimizing the laws of gravity is essential. Here, aerodynamic analysis comes in handy.
The analysis makes it possible to perform weight and balance estimations that are a must-have for in-flight scheduling as well as aircraft functioning. A relevant weight-balance ratio leads to a comfortable experience when passengers that are onboard even a small aircraft don’t feel the difference in operating an aircraft.
Any aircraft moving through the atmosphere undergoes drag. Here, aerodynamic analysis helps to find ways how to reduce this friction. One of the solutions lies in building flight-bound constructions with sleek materials. In this case, drag acts against the thrust of the aircraft’s propulsion engine.
The aerodynamic analysis provided engineers with the necessary data to design winglets that can minimize the induced drag. Though such a type of drag is only noticed at high speeds of big aircraft, it isn’t present in sufficient quantity on small aircraft. However, while designing even a small aircraft, you should analyze this feature as well. A well-developed winglet supports in destining airflow to the aircraft’s fuselage. This is the method how engineers assist pilots in getting the lift back.
Allowing to Save Time and Money
If completed properly, aerodynamic analysis possesses numerous advantages over conventional trial approaches. Several of these pluses are as follows:
- The aerodynamic analysis is a more budget-efficient way of evaluating aircraft performance at the development phase as engineers don’t need to build a prototype for trials. They don’t require much time and specific qualification to finalize this aspect of the aircraft project;
- When engineers apply aerodynamic analysis, they get the opportunity to see a bigger amount of designs. They can test all the designs to get more supervision over the development procedure of the aircraft solution;
- The analysis presupposes that engineers implement mathematical models to evaluate aircraft parts. Compared to physical model testing, this approach is faster and more informative;
- Finally, aerodynamic analysis possesses the power to minimize the design period that leads to faster release of the aircraft solution at the market.
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