Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-01-2318
2013-09-17

Design of a Human-Powered Aircraft Applying Multidisciplinary Optimization Method 2013-01-2318

A particular field of aerospace engineering is dedicated to the study of aircraft that are so energetically efficient, that the power produced by a human being enables it to takeoff and maintain sustained flight without any external or stored energy. These aircraft are known as Human-Powered Aircraft (HPA). The objective of the present work is to design a single-seat HPA applying multidisciplinary optimization techniques with an objective function that minimizes both the power required and the stall speed, representing respectively, an easier and safer aircraft to fly. In the first stage, a parametric synthesis model is created to generate random aircraft and assess their aerodynamic(utilizing a 3D vortex lattice method code and a component drag buildup method for the drag polar), stability and control(utilizing static stability criteria), weight (estimated using historical data) and performance (using the thus calculated data) characteristics. The aircraft that pass through a set of specified constraints filters form a critical population which is then optimized with a genetic algorithm. The optimal aircraft is chosen from the Pareto frontier and is piloted in a 6-degrees-of-freedom real-time flight simulator coded in Matlab/Simulink.

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