Experimental Aerodynamic Analysis of a 4.6%-Scale Flying-V Subsonic Transport

Marco Palermo, Roelof Vos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


The experimental investigation into the aerodynamic characteristics of a 4.6%-scale half-model of a flying-wing transport aircraft is detailed. The study is performed in an open-jet wind tunnel where forces and moments are recorded using a 6-axis balance. Two control surfaces in the outboard wing are deflected to measure their effect in terms of lift, drag, and pitching moment up to a Reynolds number of 1 million. The results are subsequently combined with the estimated thrust force using a flight mechanics model of the aircraft in order to predict the most forward and most aft center-of-gravity locations for which the aircraft can be balanced with the control surfaces, while still being statically stable. The results show that the aircraft can attain an untrimmed maximum lift coefficient of 1.02 at an angle of attack of 35 degrees. Furthermore, the pitching moment around the leading-edge of the mean geometric chord is negatively correlated to the angle of attack up to 19 degrees, after which a strong pitch-break is observed, making the aircraft statically unstable. This is associated with a forward shift of the aerodynamic center to a longitudinal position 35%c ahead of the moment reference point which is caused by the formation of strong vortices over the wing surface. The effectiveness of the control surfaces hardly deteriorates with angle of attack and all three control surfaces are shown to be effective up to the maximum lift coefficient. Analysis shows that the center-of-gravity location should reside between [-7.5; 0.5] %c, in power-off conditions, and between [-6; 1] %c, in power-on conditions, from the leading edge of the mean geometric chord to ensure an ultimate static stability margin of 4.4% as well and a minimum landing speed of 20 m/s. Within these ranges, trimmed maximum lift coefficient values of 0.68 and 0.66 can be achieved respectively in power-off and power-on conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Subtitle of host publication6-10 January 2020, Orlando, FL
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-595-1
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum - Orlando, United States
Duration: 6 Jan 202010 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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