Student: Cameron Menini, Undergraduate Student in Mechanical Engineering, Loras College
Research Mentor: Dr. Devayan Bir
Computational and Experimental Aerodynamic Analysis of Future Conceptual Commercial Aircraft Designs
As the aviation industry continues to push forward with greener and more efficient travel, new design concepts are needed to reach the next level of aircraft aerodynamic efficiency. This research aims to conduct external flow analyses for conceptual aircraft over the complete flight envelope of modeled aircraft through CFD methods and wind tunnel testing. The first phase of the research will focus on the applicability of the turbulence models for benchmarked cases of airfoils for which experimental results are already available. Following data validation, the second phase will involve applying the same computational models to a scaled conceptual aircraft configuration to explore improved aerodynamic efficiency, drag reduction, and opportunities for greener propulsion. A scaled version of the aircraft configuration will be 3D printed and subsequently tested using a wind tunnel. The experimental results will be compared to current aircraft to validate advances in the aerodynamic efficiency of the conceptual models.