Tag Archives: Boeing

Maximizing aircraft economy through multidisciplinary winglet optimization

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Winglets increase the lift generated at the wingtip by smoothing the airflow across the upper wing side near the tip. Winglets also reduce the lift-induced drag caused by wingtip vortices, improving the lift-to-drag ratio of the aircraft.

Executive summary—Wingtip devices are intended to reduce aircraft drag through partial recovery of the tip vortex energy. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) used Noesis Solutions’ Optimus to automate and couple FEM and CFD simulations to identify optimized winglet design configurations offering operational and environmental benefits. Optimus realized a 1.2% reduction in aircraft takeoff weight for a typical mission profile at 1G cruise speed. It achieved this by balancing the aerodynamic benefits and weight penalties of a passenger aircraft model integrating wing reinforcement to withstand winglet induced loads. Optimus’ design of experiments (DOE) and response surface modeling (RSM) capabilities helped FHI engineers understand the impact of winglet characteristics on aircraft performance up-front. Global design optimization enabled them to reduce the aircraft’s cruise drag by 4% and its takeoff weight by 676 kilograms, while respecting the shock induced separation (SIS) airflow constraint. Continue reading