At a time when the increase in global traffic suggests a need for innovative solutions, this book offers a collection of contributions to the design of methodologies for a new generation of high speed transport aircraft, and of supersonic craft in particular.

The contributors come from university aerospace departments, the aircraft industry, and an aerospace research institution: the University of Colorado and Pennsylvania State University in the United States of America. Daimler Benz Aerospace and the DLR German Aerospace Research Establishment in Germany. They have been selected to provide a balance between the practical requirements for development and the tools and concepts for achieving design goals.

The book consists of twenty chapters arranged in three parts:

The first six chapters, after exploring the market outlook, present the challenge of developing the technologies needed to create solutions to high speed air transport within the framework of a variety of economic, environmental, and other practical constraints. Chapter 1 discusses the prospects for the development of a supersonic transport, including unconventional solutions. Chapter 2 provides a method for predicting future aircraft pricing. Chapter 3, outlines a multidisciplinary approach to the development of new aircraft, while Chapter 4 presents the problem as a multipoint design challenge. Chapter 5 lists the technologies needed. The final challenge, certification of a new supersonic aircraft, is examined in Chapter 6.

A collection of design tools follows, with theoretical models of the aerodynamics supporting generic aircraft shape definition, for use in systematic optimization strategies. While aerodynamics clearly dominates in the contents of this book, structural and thermal loads arc treated as well in Chapters 7 through 15, stressing a careful selection of design parameters based on mathematical modeling, and reviewing recent techniques for optimization. Chapter 7 introduces phenomcna-bascd tool development, illustrating the value of a detailed understanding of flow phenomena in the transonic flight regime. Chapter 8 then provides mathematically defined supersonic configurations. Both phenomena and configuration models sene as the basis for the geometry’ preprocessor software development in Chapter 9. The inverse aerodynamic problem formulation of Chapter 10 is compared with other strategics for optimization in Chapter 11. A combination of these techniques is reported in Chapter 12. Thermal problems are discussed in Chapter 13, and structural problems in Chapter 14, applying inverse and optimization strategies. Finally, a global approach to multidisciplinary inverse design and optimization in a parallel computing environment is treated in Chapter 15.

In the last five chapters various knowledge bases arc used for special and innovative aircraft concepts. Comparison of optimum conventional and novel configurations resulting from systematic design approaches stimulates the designer’s creativity, so that he can improve on his own methods. Certain aspects of the initial challenge are encountered in some case studies in Chapter 16. The industrial use of optimization tools is illustrated in Chapter 17. Chapter 18 discusses the possibility of improving aircraft performance by establishing laminar flow on aircraft components. The concluding chapters are devoted to an unconventional configuration, the oblique flying wing: Chapter 19 investigates a case study, with the application of industrial methods, while Chapter 20 discusses other studies of this unusual aircraft and some of its aerodynamic characteristics.

The collaboration between authors R. Scebass and H. Sobieczky was funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung with a Max Planck grant which helped to make possible the results outlined in Chapters 7, 8. 9 and 20. and substantially supported the editor in his idea of organizing the lecture series “New Design Concepts for High Speed Air Transport” held at CISM in June 1995. The encouragement of W. Schneider of Vienna is also gratefully acknowledged.

Many thanks go to Michael Klein and Stephanie Alberti of the DLR Institute for Fluid Mechanics in Gottingen, who put all the manuscript data into book form, and to the DLR for providing the computer equipment to make this possible.

H. Sobieczky

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