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Technical Paper

Comparison of the Far-Field Aerodynamic Wake Development for Three DrivAer Model Configurations using a Cost-Effective RANS Simulation

The flow field and body aerodynamic loads on the DrivAer reference model have been extensively investigated since its introduction in 2012. However, there is a relative lack of information relating to the models wake development resulting from the different rear-body configurations, particularly in the far-field. Given current interest in the aerodynamic interaction between two or more vehicles, the results from a preliminary CFD study are presented to address the development of the wake from the Fastback, Notchback, and Estateback DrivAer configurations. The primary focus is on the differences in the far-field wake and simulations are assessed in the range up to three vehicle lengths downstream, at Reynolds and Mach numbers of 5.2×106 and 0.13, respectively. Wake development is modelled using the results from a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulation within a computational mesh having nominally 1.0×107 cells.
Technical Paper

On the Aerodynamics of an Enclosed-Wheel Racing Car: An Assessment and Proposal of Add-On Devices for a Fourth, High-Performance Configuration of the DrivAer Model

A modern benchmark for passenger cars - DrivAer model - has provided significant contributions to aerodynamics-related topics in automotive engineering, where three categories of passenger cars have been successfully represented. However, a reference model for high-performance car configurations has not been considered appropriately yet. Technical knowledge in motorsport is also restricted due to competitiveness in performance, reputation and commercial gains. The consequence is a shortage of open-access material to be used as technical references for either motorsport community or academic research purposes. In this paper, a parametric assessment of race car aerodynamic devices are presented into four groups of studies. These are: (i) forebody strakes (dive planes), (ii) front bumper splitter, (iii) rear-end spoiler, and (iv) underbody diffuser.
Technical Paper

Applying a Concept for Robot-Human Cooperation to Aerospace Equipping Processes

Significant effort has been applied to the introduction of automation for the structural assembly of aircraft. However, the equipping of the aircraft with internal services such as hydraulics, fuel, bleed-air and electrics and the attachment of movables such as ailerons and flaps remains almost exclusively manual and little research has been directed towards it. The problem is that the process requires lengthy assembly methods and there are many complex tasks which require high levels of dexterity and judgement from human operators. The parts used are prone to tolerance stack-ups, the tolerance for mating parts is extremely tight (sub-millimetre) and access is very poor. All of these make the application of conventional automation almost impossible. A possible solution is flexible metrology assisted collaborative assembly. This aims to optimise the assembly processes by using a robot to position the parts whilst an operator performs the fixing process.
Technical Paper

Modelling of Distributed-Propulsion Low-Speed HALE UAVs Burning Liquid Hydrogen

The present work focuses on developing an integrated airframe, distributed propulsion, and power management methodology for liquid-hydrogen-fuelled HALE UAVs. Differently from previous studies, the aim is to assess how the synergies between the aforementioned sub-systems affect the integrated system power requirement, production, and distribution. A design space exploration study was carried out to assess the influence of distributing motor-driven fans on three different airframes, namely a tube-and-wing, a triple-fuselage, and a blended-wing-body. For the considered range of take-off masses from 5,000 to 15,000 kg, the 200 kW payload power requirement under examination was found to re-shape the endurance trends. In fact, the drop in specific fuel consumption due to the engine design point change alters the trends from nearly flat to a 25% maximum endurance increase when moving towards heavier take-off masses.
Technical Paper

Development of a Broad Delta Airframe and Propulsion Concepts for Reducing Aircraft Noise around Airports

This paper describes the impact of noise on the civil aircraft design process. The challenge to design ‘silent’ aircraft is the development of efficient airframe-engine technologies, for which integration is essential to produce an optimum aircraft, otherwise penalties such as higher fuel consumption, and, or noise are a concern. A description of work completed by Cranfield University will cover design methodologies used for a Broad delta airframe concept, with reference to future studies into alternate concepts. Engine cycle designs for ultra-high bypass ratio, constant volume combustor, and recuperated propulsion cycles are described, with a discussion of integration challenges within the airframe.
Journal Article

Applying Design for Assembly Principles in Computer Aided Design to Make Small Changes that Improve the Efficiency of Manual Aircraft Systems Installations

The installation of essential systems into aircraft wings involves numerous labour-intensive processes. Many human operators are required to perform complex manual tasks over long periods of time in very challenging physical positions due to the limited access and confined space. This level of human activity in poor ergonomic conditions directly impacts on speed and quality of production but also, in the longer term, can cause costly human resource problems from operators' cumulative development of musculoskeletal injuries. These problems are exacerbated in areas of the wing which house multiple systems components because the volume of manual work and number of operators is higher but the available space is reduced. To improve the efficiency of manual work processes which cannot yet be automated we therefore need to consider how we might redesign systems installations in the enclosed wing environment to better enable operator access and reduce production time.
Journal Article

Aircraft Wing Build Philosophy Change through System Pre-Equipping of Major Components

In the civil aircraft industry there is a continuous drive to increase the aircraft production rate, particularly for single aisle aircraft where there is a large backlog of orders. One of the bottlenecks is the wing assembly process which is largely manual due to the complexity of the task and the limited accessibility. The presented work describes a general wing build approach for both structure and systems equipping operations. A modified build philosophy is then proposed, concerned with large component pre-equipping, such as skins, spars or ribs. The approach benefits from an offloading of the systems equipping phase and allowing for higher flexibility to organize the pre-equipping stations as separate entities from the overall production line. Its application is presented in the context of an industrial project focused on selecting feasible system candidates for a fixed wing design, based on assembly consideration risks for tooling, interference and access.