Browse Publications Technical Papers 2014-36-0508
2014-09-30

Weight Analysis for Low-Speed and Sun-Powered Aircraft 2014-36-0508

One of the critical tasks of aircraft design is the definition of mass of aircraft's main items, and the aircraft mass distribution.
Depending on the type of aircraft (e.g. commercial, general aviation, highly-maneuverable) different types of mass distribution data or trend curves are available; and in general these curves are based on the existing aircraft.
But some lack of data is noticeable in terms of solar aircraft, i.e. the available information in terms of mass trends does not fulfill the needs of the designers of this type of aircraft.
Considering this perspective, the main motivation of this study is to provide some information, in terms of mass trends and mass analysis for sun-powered aircraft, which could fill part of the gap, and stimulate other efforts in the same direction.
Through this work, studies of mass breakdown of different examples of sun-powered aircraft are presented.
The values have been obtained directly or estimated from the available data of aircraft geometry, systems power and typical mission.
Additionally, a tentative “trend curve” for identifying the tendency of optimum wing structural mass in function of aircraft mass, for very light aircraft, such as sun-powered aircraft, is presented.

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