Development of a Multi-Disciplinary Optimization Framework for Nonconventional Aircraft Configurations in PACELAB APD
1 Most traditional methods and equations for estimating the structural and nonstructural weights and aerodynamics used at the aircraft conceptual design phase are empirical relations developed for conventional tube-and-wing aircraft. In a computation-heavy design process, such as Multidisciplinary Design and Optimization (MDO) simplicity of calculation is paramount, and for conventional configurations the aforementioned approaches work well enough for conceptual design. But, for non-traditional designs such as strut-braced winged aircraft, empirical data is generally not available and the usual methods can no longer apply. One solution to this is a movement toward generalized physics-based methods that can apply equally well to conventional or non-traditional configurations.