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Preliminary experimental results showed that a highly distributed lift system (200 mini-wings) generated approximately 45% of the lift of the conventional mono-wing of equal wing area and equivalent aspect ratio. This performance was shockingly good given the penalty associated with the subscale Reynolds numbers under consideration. Hence, improvement in aerodynamic efficiency of the distributed lift configuration would be expected when scaled up to a General Aviation aircraft class scale. Taken in combination with the potential dramatic savings in wing weight, these preliminary results were considered sufficient justification to examine the concept more deeply. This paper will include the promising results of a parametric study performed using a Vortex Lattice Technique and compares those numerical results to experimental results. The results continue to suggest the possibility that the distributed lift configuration may have a practical niche when operational constraints are taken into consideration with some multi-wing configurations obtaining upwards of 60% of the lift of the equivalent mono-wing configuration.
Primary Advisor's Department
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Stander Symposium poster
"Aerodynamic Feasibility Study on Highly Distributed Lifting Configurations for Aircraft" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1481.