Concurrent wing and high-lift system aerostructural optimization

Koen T.H. van Den Kieboom, Ali Elham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


A method is presented for concurrent aerostructural optimization of wing planform, airfoil and high lift devices. The optimization is defined to minimize the aircraft fuel consumption for cruise, while satisfying the field performance requirements. A coupled adjoint aerostructural tool, that couples a quasi-three-dimensional aerodynamic analysis method with a finite beam element structural analysis is used for this optimization. The Pressure Difference Rule is implemented in the quasi-three-dimensional analysis and is coupled to the aerostructural analysis tool in order to compute the maximum lift coefficient of an elastic wing. The proposed method is able to compute the maximum wing lift coefficient with reasonable accuracy compared to high-fidelity CFD tools that require much higher computational cost. The coupled aerostructural system is solved using the Newton method. The sensitivities of the outputs of the developed tool with respect to the input variables are computed through combined use of the chain rule of differentiation, automatic differentiation and coupled-adjoint method. The results of a sequential optimization, where the wing shape and high lift device shape are optimized sequentially, is compared to the results of simultaneous wing and high lift device optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947–963
Number of pages17
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2017


  • Aerostructural optimization
  • Coupled adjoint sensitivity analysis
  • High lift devices


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